- More adventurous, better views
- Less crowded, more space
- High success rates to peak
- No previous experience of high ascents or technical climbing required
- Harder, steeper, more demanding than Marangu
- Available emergency evacuation service (Flying Doctor – Air Ambulance 24Hrs)
Experience the magic of a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers and other tropical vegetation as you begin your trek from Machame park entrance gate. A walk of about two to three hours will take you to this evenings campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather.
Watch your steps as you walk on a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream and on the right, the Weru Weru. Depending on the pace of climbers, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 5 and 6 p.m. Your camp is set up near some old metal huts which were once used for shelter.
Tranquil and relatively easy are the words which best describe the initial stage of this climb. There is no point in rushing to get to the camp as there is little to do there. Guides tend to recommend a slow ascent, even at this early stage, for gradual acclimatization.
Take time to admire the beauty of the rainforest. Your guides are very knowledgeable about the botany in this area and listening to them will make the walk all the more interesting and rewarding.
Witness the fabulous view of Uhuru Peak as it greets you this morning. Todays trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through an ethereal landscape of volcanic lava, caves and foaming streams.
Hike on to the next campsite, a trek of approximately six hours and you should arrive between 2 and 3 p.m. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly, sipping at their water bottles and resting about every half-hour.
Awake to find the entire Shira Plateau at your feet, with sweeping views across to Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where you will stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you begin to descend towards Barranco Camp.
Discover Grand Barranco, an immense canyon. Walk by numerous waterfalls, which are fed by streams coming from the mountain and converge here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as on the previous night. Today’s trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 4.30 and 5.30 p.m.
Join the early birds as you begin your hike to Karanga Camp, which is on the same altitude as Barranco Camp – so you should be well acclimatized now to this elevation. You will encounter a bit of a climb at Barranco Cliff and the rest of the trek is spent climbing up and down the slopes of the mountain for most of the way to camp.
Follow the trail for approximately four hours. In the afternoon you have an opportunity to hike in the Karanga Valley, where giant scenarios and lobelia grow. Rest as much as you possibly can to prepare yourself for the climb ahead.
Take pleasure in the scenic climb to Barafu, which is mostly on alpine desert terrain; a mainly mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Mawenzi Peak towers majestically to the right and, overhead; Kibo Peak seems just a stone’s throw away.
Arrive at Barafu Camp sometime before 3 p.m. Climbers who wish to attempt the summit should retire early this night, as the next day is the longest of the whole climb.
Gird up your loins for a midnight start! It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult and hikers should carry as little as possible for this stage. Temperatures range from -4 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Climb steadily, flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, for about six hours before reaching the edge of the crater between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of climbing brings you to the summit.
Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this section of the journey. Uhuru stands at 19,340 ft and is the highest point on the continent of Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy.
Relax and partake of refreshment at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around 5 p.m. you will look back and realize that, today, you have trekked a total of thirteen hours!
Capture the scenery and make fast your memories on this final day of your adventure, when you will descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate takes approximately five hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, you will be rewarded with a certificate attesting your success at conquering Mount Kilimanjaro.