Mount Kilimanjaro climb – Machame Route
Duration: 10 Days and 9 Nights
Price: Please Contact us about the price of this Itinerary
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Your trip guide or our representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. Transfer 50 minutes to Mountain village lodge. Stay overnight.
Day 2: Mount Meru – Arusha National Park.
Today we’ll have a chance to recuperate from the long flight, check our equipment, and have a thorough trip briefing on what to expect on the climb. There will also be time to hike along the forested slopes of Mount Meru, which has a history similar to that of Mount St. Helens in Washington, in that half the mountain was blown away by a violent volcanic explosion. Meru’s eruption occurred some 250,000 years ago, though, and great forests of African cedar and podocarpus have since grown up to cover its crater and slopes. On our hike, we have the chance to see colobus monkeys, bushbuck and duiker, buffalo, giraffe, and perhaps elephant or (rarely) leopard. The forest bird life is excellent and includes touracos, hornbills, and parrots. Weather permitting, we can enjoy the sunset from a small hill beside camp and view the alpenglow descend on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Day 3: Begin trek on Kilimanjaro
In the morning, we drive 2½ hours to the starting point of the Machame Route, four miles past the village of Machame on the southeast side of Kilimanjaro (the trailhead varies from season to season with weather conditions). We begin hiking at about 6,400 feet and follow a winding trail up through montane cloud forest and into stands of giant heather, to camp near the Machame Hut at 10,000′. The forest can be wet at any time of the year, so we can expect a real tropical experience as we climb over roots and through giant fern forests with tangled vines and creepers. Lunch en route. (6-7 hours hiking, 8 miles.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(10,000′).
Day 4: Shira Camp
Today we climb up to our destination above the Shira Plateau at 12,650′. A steep trail leads out of the giant heather and onto a ridge that commands wide vistas of both the Shira Plateau and the plains to the west. From our exclusive camp we are treated to our first breathtaking views of the Western Breach of Kibo. (5 hours hiking, 3 miles.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(12,650′).
Day 5: Barranco Camp
Trekking east toward the Kibo Massif, we follow a ridge and climb toward the large rock outcrop of Lava Tower (15,100′) before veering off and down toward camp. Our destination is the base of the Great Barranco, a steep canyon emerging from Kilimanjaro’s Great Breach Wall, which is filled with hundreds of outlandish giant senecio and lobelia plants. The afro-alpine scenery here is fantastic and the views of the Breach Wall and Kili’s southern glaciers are better than from any other point on the mountain. Our camp is at 13,000′. (6 hours hiking, 6 miles.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(13,000′).
Day 6: Arrow Glacier Camp
Today we leave the normal Machame Route and begin the climb toward the Western Breach ascent route. Rather than traversing farther around the southern slopes of the mountain we ascend up and slightly westward, climbing easy terrain through scree and rocky ridges. The ascent is about 2,300 feet and gives us stunning views of the Western Breach wall and the Breach Icicle. As we near the Arrow Glacier and our campsite, the views open toward the west and the entire Shira Plateau lies below us. Camp is near the glacier at about 15,300′. (6 hours hiking, 3 miles.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(15,300′).
Day 7: Arrow Glacier Camp
The day will be spent mostly resting and conserving strength but there will also be a hike partway along the climbing ascent route. This will not only get us to a higher elevation for better acclimatization but a chance to familiarize ourselves with the beginning of the longest hiking day of the whole climb. B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(15,300′).
Day 8: Crater Camp
All the preparation, acclimatization, and hiking we’ve done to prepare for the Kilimanjaro climb will be put to the test today as we ascend the Great Western Breach, an imposing, steep wall of rock leading to the edge of Kibo’s crater. Camp within the crater at an altitude of 18,300′. The high altitude of Crater Camp makes it a physically demanding experience, but the reward is a radical scene of towering glaciers rising from the harsh rock landscape. (6-8 hours hiking, 2½ miles.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(18,300′).
Day 9: Summit day!
Rise with the sun for the 1,000-foot summit bid (we should be at the summit by 9:00 a.m.). The rewards of seeing the summit crater glaciers and surreal views of the African plains nearly three miles below you are well worth the effort. After a short stop for summit photos and mutual congratulations, we descend on the Mweka Route past Barafu, a direct descent off the mountain. After lunch and a short rest at Barafu, we continue to our camp at Mweka (10,200′) where a delicious dinner of fresh vegetables, bread, fish or chicken, and dessert await us. (The descent may take 8 or more hours; 8 miles total hiking.) B,L,D. Livets Resa Ltd camp(10,200′).
Day 10: End trek – “Climb Only” participants fly home
We hike 5½ miles back through the cloud forest to the Mweka Gate and transfer to the Le Jacaranda hotel for a celebratory dinner and overnight. For participants doing the “climb only” option, day-rooms will be available for use until the early evening transfer to the airport for departure on homeward-bound flight, arriving home the following day. B,L,D. Mountain village lodge.
Details: Trek to the summit of the highest peak in Africa via the Western Breach Route & enjoy a fascinating wildlife safari .Here is your chance to stand on the “roof of Africa” (and one of the “seven summits!”). Crowned by eternal snows, Kilimanjaro is an overwhelming presence on the African landscape (it’s no wonder the local people call it the “Home of God”). To climb its slopes and stand on the crest of Africa is a dream of every adventurer. From the snowy summit, with all Africa spread out at your feet, the feeling of freedom is intoxicating.
The mountain we know as Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three volcanoes: Shira, Mawenzi, and the youngest, Kibo, whose crater capped by its equatorial glacial ice and snow is a fantastic sight from any viewpoint. This itinerary takes you to the top via the little-traveled Western Breach Route, whose isolation, maximum time for acclimatization, and grandiose scenery, including stunning views of the mountain’s southern glaciers from the Barranco Valley, ensure a rare adventure. (This route was beautifully showcased in the IMAX© film Kilimanjaro).
Beginning in cloud forest at 6,400 feet, we climb to magnificent alpine scenery and make a total altitude gain of nearly 13,000 feet on the way to the “snows of Kilimanjaro” on Uhuru Peak, the summit, at 19,340 feet. Our itinerary is unique and combines the mountain’s finest scenery of the Barranco Valley and its fabulous inner crater, in which we camp in advance of our final summit push.
Porters carry all the gear (you only carry a daypack), but the steep ascent and high altitude make it a very challenging trek. An extra day for acclimatization, plus the presence of our accomplished guides, ensure the best chances of reaching the top (we’re proud to be able to claim a 98% summit success rate—just what you’d expect from a company that’s been doing this for three decades).
Made famous by writers such as Hemingway and Karen Blixen, East Africa’s wildlife is legendary, and Tanzania has the “lion’s share.” Though the mountain ascent is the main focus of the trip, we couldn’t let you go all the way to Africa without going on a safari, so before tackling Kilimanjaro we’ll spend two nights in a deluxe camp at the base of Mount Meru. Here we’ll go on game drives, day hikes, and have a chance to acclimatize before our ascent of the mountain (and enjoy killer views of the route we’ll be ascending in the following days!).
After the climb, we’ll explore Ngorongoro Crater, a collapsed caldera that’s one of the largest in the world. Its 100 square-mile-floor abounds with wildlife and supports the densest population of large carnivores anywhere. In the open grasslands we’ll be able to view all the big game species, including lion, elephant, black rhino, buffalo, zebra, and a multitude of gazelles, birds and predators. We also have the chance to explore by vehicle and on foot the plains of Serengeti National Park, everyone’s vision of the real Africa.