Machame route, which takes one day longer than the more popular Marangu but is slightly more challenging. Accommodation on the ascent is in tents, adding to the sense of adventure. More time taken acclimatizing means a higher success rate!
The Machame is actually the second most popular route for mount Kilimanjaro climb. From the village at Machame (altitude: 1490 metres), the approach is from the south-west of the summit. Led by an expert guide and a team of porters and cooks, you at once enter into lush rainforest, as heavy rains frequently visit this side of the mountain it is great.
Depend on season, it can be a muddy and slippery experience sometimes! Alpine moorland is another characteristic landscape in the early stages of this ascent. During the ascent, an optional scramble up the imperious Lava Tower is an option - for those with energy to spare.
With our experienced, knowledgeable and, above all, passionate staff, we take care of all the complex and important arrangements for the ascent of this legendary mountain, essential to giving you the best Kilimanjaro experience. Great trekking, indeed!
Approaching to the summit! Experiencing that incomparable, 'roof of the world' feeling more relaxed pace than the popular Marangu route. But challenging!. Marvellous views as you ascend discover Shira Plateau and Barranco. Trekking the Lava Tower dedicated guides, porters and cooks - a great team to help you on your way
Your first night is to be spent in Arusha. In case you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Airport, your Rhino Explorer driver will be awaiting you with great warmth welcome and take you to your home in Arusha to relax and have meals after your flight.
We recommend to awake earlier around 6:00am when birds songs begin, the breakfast is around 7:00am, we leave your at 8:00am making us reach at the Machame Gate at around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We are ready for registration to start on trekking. Excitement builds as the porters load up equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain. The Machame �Machame-Mweka� route approaches from the mountain's south-western side. At an altitude of 1800 metres, we are start walking till at a height of over 3000 metres, at a distance of 11 km at around 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today's walk is characterised by a wide track that explore the dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss.
As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the appearance of flowers such as impatiens kilimanjari and impatiens pseudoviola introduce some bright colours to the scenery. The cloud forest trees can reach over 25 metres in height. A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues. The emblematic giant heathers appear as you reach heathland and the forest thins out. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Always we serve dinner at 20:00pm. Great experience with bird songs in the wildness.
We recommend you to be active on your bed earlier around 5:30am when birds songs begin in order to share the wildness sounds with us the breakfast is around 07.00 breakfast and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 5 hours actually walking.
Our path today is dusty, narrow and steep. The vegetation is initially made up of forests of heather but soon we will encounter the first of the giant groundsels. The climb before our midday picnic lunch is steep, but there are then great views to the south and to Kibo, all to savour as you eat. With today's early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00.
Trekking is longer than yesterday's, although our overall gain in altitude is modest. Starting at 3800 metres, by the time we reach camp this afternoon we will only be 140 metres higher, though in between our start and finish we climb up to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4627 metres, before descending again to our camp. The benefits for the purposes of acclimatization today are enormous, as you climb high and then descend again for the overnight stop. The overall distance of around 10km means that we will actually be walking for around 6.5 to 7 hours, excluding breaks for lunch and short rest. Once again, our day will begin with breakfast at 07.00 and departure at 08.30, when we begin our trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at 13.00. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, we descend down to the Barranco Camp. Once at camp, which we expect to reach by 16.00, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 19.00 and overnight at your tent.
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 metres. At the beginning, we encounter the hardest part of today's stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the 'Breakfast Wall' as you tackle it right after your breakfast!).
At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today's walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.
In terms of distance today is shorter and we begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 metres in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.).
Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today's stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today's goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal � the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our 'Summit Day' is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 metres to Stella Point at 5745 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 metres of ascent and 45 minutes' walk to the summit.
Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the 'Tipping Celebration.' Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to your hotel in Arusha, where you can choose to relax - or celebrate!
After a good night's rest at your lodge, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.) If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travellers who have booked to go on safari, our oasis wild guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.
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