For those who only have six days to climb Kilimanjaro, the Machame route is the best choice because of its acclimatization profile.
Compared to other six day routes, the Machame route exposes the climber to higher elevations quicker (day three) which kickstarts the body’s adaptation to altitude.
However, this route requires that a person be in good shape to be able to tackle the challenging elevation gains and losses.
The six day Machame variation is a difficult route. In particular, day four combined with day five makes for a very hard schedule.
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met and transferred for overnight accommodation. Your head guide will meet you for your briefing, gear check, and arrange for you to hire any equipment you may need.
Departing from Arusha and our driver will take you through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead. Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here.
Once again the second day involves a steepish trek as we leave the forest behind and plow through the heath and moorland – Kilimanjaro’s second vegetation zone. (There are four or so vegetation zones on the mountain, which is why some people say that the climb is going through four seasons in four days.) During today, and fairly early on, we will also catch our first glimpse of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s famed, snowy summit – and our ultimate destination. Mount Meru, Kilimanjaro’s nearest neighbor, is also visible during today’s trek
You will notice, too, that we will be setting a deliberately slow pace from today onwards, to help everyone acclimatize to the thinning air. Our final destination on this second day is the Shira Cave Campsite (aka New Shira Campsite), with views up the plateau towards Kibo as well as westwards towards Kili’s little-known third summit, John sells Point. As with every campsite on the route, your tent will be erected and snacks will be served upon arrival, followed by the main meal later in the evening.
The morning begins with a long crossing of the plateau as we head east toward Kibo. It’s a long walk but a very photogenic one with the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro a constant looming presence ahead; most people, say that this is their favorite part of the walk. Lunch this time is taken near the Lava Tower, at the foot of Kibo. We are now heading into some serious altitude, with Lava Tower standing at 4530m above sea level. For this reason, it is normal for people to have a slight headache when they finally reach our campsite for the evening, Barranco Camp, following a steep descent to 3986m. This is entirely normal, and only worrying if the symptoms persist. By way of compensation, Barranco is the prettiest campsite on the route, set amongst a grove of Senecio against the south face of Kibo. Snacks and then dinner is served in the evening.
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. Then, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
It’s just a couple of hours further now from the campsite to Mweka Gate (1633m), where those who made it to the summit or Stella Point will collect their certificates. A car will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.
After a much-needed night’s rest we will bid you goodbye. If you have arranged airport transfers with us or a safari / Zanzibar trip, we will collect you from the hotel for your onward journey.
For this there is a cost to cover the toilet attendant, who carries, pitches, cleans, and
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and its severe forms, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HACE) and High
In the rare case when a climber gets ill or seriously injured on Mount Kilimanjaro, a helicopter evacuation may be required.
The most common factor that stops many climbers from reaching the summit is not the fitness required for the hike, but altitude sickness
Thank you so much for the amazing trips and for the interesting guides! We loved the vacation that we took last month. It was exactly as we imagined it, and even better! Again their attention to us and the ability to adjust, was remarkable! We highly recommend using Kilimanjaro Dreamers and will use them again on future adventures!!
Kilimanjaro Dreamers is a local safari tour operator based in Arusha, Tanzania. My wife and I went on our first Safari in July 2019, they are super-dependable and trustworthy. It feels really good to be putting money directly into the hands of local companies and not have fat margins skimmed off by middlemen. For me, this is really important.
It's our dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and submit on the top of Africa 5895m uhuru peak. We took 7 Days Machame route and it was the best route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro though most of us were never serious trekkers but yes, we had a common thing: Love for nature and trained for 3 months prior to this trip. It's the adventure of a lifetime. Kilimanjaro Dreamers really put their attention to details I can recommend them highly enough!
Thank you once again all at Kilimanjaro Expedition for the unforgettable days! Thomas Jonas for all info, fast responding and arranging. A save feeling to be picked up en brought back at the airport. Thomas, I’ve learned a lot about the country, Kilimanjaro, vegetation and the culture. You’re a great guide and person! Hillary, it was pleasure in the parcs driving around with you and to spot a diversity of beautiful animals so near.
We did the 7-day Lemosho trek and a 4-day safari. It was an absolutely amazing trip. Kilimanjaro Dreamers out did themselves with the best guides, chef and porters. Our guides, Jonas and Hillary, were extremely knowledgeable, professional, personable and capable. We really enjoyed getting to know them throughout the trip.
When it comes to trekking and safari, Tanzania really does have it all. It is the kind of place which experienced safari and trekking hands could easily visit for or five times, but it also makes for a fantastic first-time Safari.