Machame route is one of the scenic routes for those climbers climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Machame route starts from Machame village at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Machame route is also known as Whisky route due to its beautiful scenic as well as its land escarpment.
Those people climbing Mount Kilimanjaro through Machame route feels prestige as this (Machame route) is one of the harder route in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Though the Machame route is harder there is no technical climb when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro using Machame route. Machame route start from Machame gate to Machame Camp and proceed to Shira camp, lava tower camp, Barranco camp, Karanga valley camp, Barafu camp, Uhuru Peak and descending through Millennium camp, Mweka camp and thereafter to Mweka gate.
Hiking time: 7 hours.
Distance: About 18 km's.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Elevation change: + 1490 m
Early in the morning the guide of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will be with you for briefing after breakfast around 9:00 am drive to Machame gate which takes about 40 to 45 minutes. With your picnic lunch climbers will do registering at the gate office, thereafter you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Tents and other belonging will be take care by porters and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro guide. Most of the time porters and cook happens to reach to the camping site before you for preparation of meals as well as erection of tents for your accommodation. Sometime weather condition in the night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 9 km's.
Elevation change: + 860 m
Early in the morning after breakfast, the day is spent to reach Shira campsite (3840 m) with our picnic lunch. The night at this bare camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing. The trail take us for an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for about two hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a picnic lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. Hiking to this point you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its spectacular glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Semi desert.
Elevation change: + 790 m, - 680 m
Final Elevation: 3950 m
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a four hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely, the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about two hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: About 7 km's
Habitat: Alpine desert
Elevation change: + 250 m
The morning starts with a scramble up the almost vertical Barranco Wall to an altitude of about 4,200m. After lunch the climbers are advised to take a rest at this point. Dinner and overnight at Karanga Valley camp.
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: About 6 km's
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped.
Elevation change: + 400 m
From here there is no water, so take care to stock them for there is no water at Barafu Hut. It is recommended that the climbers must familiarize with the camp before dark because of this camp is situated on an exposed and dangerous ridge. Dinner and overnight at Barafu camp.
5 - 7 hours to descend to Mweka.
Distance: About 7 km's ascent - 23 km's descent.
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.
Elevation change: + 1345 m, - 2795 m
Final Elevation: 3100 m
You will wake up around 2330hrs, and after some tea and biscuits you start climbing to Uhuru peak into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walks to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) 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 will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.
Hiking time: 4 hours.
Distance: About 15 km's
Elevation change: - 1120 m
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. At the Mweka Gate, meet Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Officials gives you the Certificate of Achievement. After sign out to the park gate you will be transferred to a hotel in Moshi for hot shower probably dinner and overnight or otherwise in the evening you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport to connect with your flight back home.