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Climb Kilimanjaro Machame Route - 7 Days / 6 Nights

This route is fantastic opportunity to combine mountain skills and experience. It maximizes the time and options available for climbing and allows for a more leisurely pace. Kilimanjaro's glaciers and rock formations are resplendent with icefalls, chasms, snowfields, and excellent climbing terrain.

Day 1 Machame Gate (1800 m) to Machame Hut (3000 m)
The day starts at dawn with a drive from Moshi to the Machame village (1500 m) where porters and guides sort out the food and gear to be carried up the mountain. You'll receive a lunch pack from the guides and can buy your own spring water in the village. Weather permitting; it is possible to drive all the way up to the Machame Gate (1800 m). However, if conditions are unsuitable for 4WD access to the park's gate, you may have to walk from the village (1500 m) to the Machame Gate (1800 m).

Much in the same way as the other routes, when arriving at the gate you must report to the office to fill in your particulars, including your passport number, in the park's register. After all the formalities have been taken care of, you head into the forest and begin the ascent to the first camp on the mountain, Machame Hut (3000 m). There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, so rain gear must be kept handy at all times. Make sure all clothing is protected with sack liners.
A bit of a breather comes halfway through the forest when you stop for lunch and a short rest. You'll reach Machame Hut (3000 m) quite late in the afternoon with the possibility of mist or low clouds over the camp. Before you know it, the porters will have erected tents and prepared supper, which is served in the mess tent. Hot water for washing is provided in a basin but bear in mind that the tents are incredibly small. Washing and storing your gear is almost impossible-let alone sleeping. Temperature at this camp drops below freezing with frost possible in the morning.

Day 2 Machame Hut (3000 m) to Shira Hut (3840 m)
Breakfast is served early in the mess tent and, weather permitting you could take in your first view of the Western Breach of Kilimanjaro. If by this stage you're running low on spring water, more drinking water will be provided. The walk from Machame Hut (3000 m) to Shira Hut (3840 m) heads up a ridge into the moorland. Although the path is in generally good condition, it requires the occasional scramble before reaching the lunch stop at about 3600 m. After this short lunch and an equally limited rest you'll continue to the next camp on the mountain, Shira Hut (3840 m). By now, you'll be able to see the Shira Needle, Shira Cathedral and East Shira Hill to the west and in an easterly direction the Western Breach with its respective glaciers will also now be in full view.
At Shira Hut the porters erect tents, collect water and then start preparing that much-awaited meal. The porters also boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner in the mess tent. The night at this exposed camp is very cold with temperatures dropping below freezing and the possibility of frost in the morning. The altitude will have affected most climbers by now and sleeping in the tent becomes a bit uncomfortable and almost impossible with coughs and snores often breaking the peaceful evening silence.

Day 3 Shira Hut (3840 m) to Barranco Hut (3950 m)
The route now turns east into a semi-desert and rocky environment where you reach an altitude of about 4600 m at Lava Tower. As you ascend from the Shira Hut (3950 m) camp, there are good views of the Shira Plateau to the west, Oehler Ridge to the north-east and the Western Breach to the east. Lunch is served at a designated area before ascending a rock and scree path to Lava Tower (4600 m). From this point you will have close views of Little Penck Glacier and the Western Breach. There is also the possibility of climbing to the top of Lava Tower (4600 m) before descending a steep rocky path that joins the route to Barranco Hut (3950 m).
The walk from Lava Tower (4600 m) to Barranco Hut (3950 m) offers great photo opportunities of the awe-inspiring Western Breach and Breach Wall. Barranco Hut perfect place to collect the good drinking water that is found running off streams supplied by melting snow and ice-most refreshing! While you wait for the spectacular sunset on the Breach Wall, the porters erect tents and provide drinking and washing water before preparing your meals. By now you'll have adapted to temperatures dropping rapidly after sunset to well below freezing. The nights at this camp are very cold with the strong likelihood of frost in the morning.

Day 4 - Acclimatization Day
This day will be acclimatization day for all climbers and crew at the Barranco campsite along the Barranco wall. After breakfast you will have a short walk around the Barranco campsite including hiking the Barranco wall up and down. After a hot lunch you will have a long rest while waiting for your dinner before retiring to you tents for total sleep.
Why acclimatization at Barranco?
Always the weather is good there and more vegetation is present in this zone, especially the area just before the campsite. This area is called the 'Garden of the Senecias' which features many of the huge senecio plants. Shorter lobelia plants are also present.

Day 5 Barranco Hut (3950 m) to Barafu Hut (4600 m)
On this route you learn from the lizard when the mountain face becomes almost unrealistically steep. This creature has a very careful climbing technique. Do likewise. Always use opposing arms and legs to force your body upwards. Push left, pull right-this creates an axis that can be drawn diagonally through the body, allowing you to move your right foot and left hand freely upwards against the wall.
The morning starts with a scramble up the almost vertical Barranco Wall to an altitude of about 4200 m and then the path crosses through the south-western slopes to reach the Karanga Valley. Before reaching the Karanga Valley, you'll pass through a few valleys offering great views of Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers that form part of the Southern Ice fields. The lunch stop and last water point on this route is Karanga Valley. There is no water at Barafu Hut (4,600 m), so you should take car to have stocked earlier along the way. After lunch you ascend a ridge along a footpath that leads to the next camp, Barafu Hut (4600 m). On a clear day the Saddle and Mawenzi (5149 m) can be seen to the east.
Barafu Hut (4600 m) is situated on an exposed and dangerous ridge, so it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any tragedies. You should take care to move around this area with extreme caution as many fatal accidents have been recorded at the camp over the years. As on every other day, the porters erect the tents and prepare supper. While this is happening you can arrange your gear for the summit bid which will take place towards midnight. Ensure that you replace your headlamp and camera batteries. Because it so incredibly cold in this neck of the woods, it would be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask to stop it freezing into one solid and useless icicle. Of course, for practical reasons, the group size will determine how many assistant guides are required.

Day 6 Barafu Hut (4600 m) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m) to Mweka Hut (3100 m)
At around midnight you'll head in a north-westerly direction up the South East Valley towards Stella Point on the crater rim. The night is very cold and the footpath rocky and steep in places. The long walk to Stella Point is a mental and physical challenge. Even more serious, you'll also find now that the gained altitude will rapidly result in shortness of breath, severe headaches and nausea. Most climbers are badly affected. Depending on weather conditions, you could encounter snow and ice from below Stella Point all the way to Uhuru Peak (5895 m). This stretch takes about an hour and offers great views of Rebmann, Decken, Kersten and Heim Glaciers. From Uhuru Peak you can also see Furtwangler Glacier to the north and the Eastern Ice Fields to the north-east. Above all, you will also be rewarded with just about the most beautiful African sunrise ever.
The time you spend on the summit is determined by weather and wind conditions. These can cause temperatures to plummet well below minus 30 degrees Celsius. The walk back to Barafu Hut (4600 m) from the summit can take over three hours and there you are able to have a short rest and collect the rest of your gear before heading down to the final camp on the mountain, Mweka Hut (3100 m).
There's an element of intense concentration involved in climbing, where one is forced to shut out all external stimuli and proceed in an altered state of consciousness where all that exists is the relationship between self and the environment. This reciprocal relationship also best expresses the initial appetite for planned climbing. The degree of danger associated with mountain climbing also causes the body to vibrate with enormous enthusiasm. There are also personal ethics involved in climbing. Each individual sets his own standards and doesn't pass judgment on what makes for a fulfilling jaunt. Without deliberately spelling out specific rules for mountaineering, the knowledge of experienced climbers is an inspiration for danger-hungry adventurers. The power of mountains is phenomenal. You lose consciousness of your own detached reality and melt into the earth to become part of the universe. Such experiences really enrich your life.

The route to Mweka Hut (3100 m) winds down a straightforward path heading into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is on the upper border of the forest where rain, mist or low cloud can be expected. Tents are erected and soon afterwards a good dinner is served. Drinking and washing water is also prepared on demand and spring water, soft drinks and beer are also available from the ranger at the camp. You will camp for the night at Mweka Hut (3100 m) before departing for the Mweka Park's gate the next morning. Temperatures are generally cold and can reach freezing levels at times.

Day 7 Mweka Hut (3100 m) to Mweka Village (1450 m)
A hearty breakfast is served before you descend through the rainforest to the park's gate. On reaching the gate you must enter your particulars into the park's register. The guides are issued with green certificates for climbers who reached Stella Point and gold certificates for those who reached Uhuru Peak. You can buy drinks, beer, maps, books and shirts from the ranger. After all the formalities are over, continue your descent to the Mweka Village (1450 m) where transport awaits to transfer you to the hotel for a bath or shower. Certificates are presented during supper by either your guide or team leader.

Price US$ 1550 per person:
Any additional day is US$ 210 per person

The price is inclusive of:-
2 transfers from Moshi to Machame park gate-return
3 meals per day while trekking - Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian
7 days Kilimanjaro trek- Machame
6 nights accomodation in camps while trekking Machame
First and Last night accommodation at standard accomodation hotel in Moshi-Bed and Breakfast.
All park entrance fees and government levies
English speaking mountain Guide and assistant guides
Minimum of 3 Porters per client

The Price does not include:
Gloves, Sun glasses, Sleeping bag, Hats , Rain suits, Warm Jacket,
Heavy boots, Scarf's, Rain Trousers

Note: All the above items can be hired at a reasonable price

Kilimanjaro Summit Gear List
. Leather or thermal boots
. Gore-Tex, Microtex or K-Tech Trilaminate jacket
. Gore-Tex, Microtex or K-Tech pants
. Fleece jacket
. Fleece pants
. Gore-Tex mittens or gloves
. Fleece gloves (use as inner for Gore-Tex mittens)
. Thermal glove liners (use as inner for Gore-Tex gloves)
. Gaiters
. Fleece balaclava
. Thermal balaclava
. Thermal top
. Thermal long johns
. Thermal socks
. Sunglasses with UV protection
. Day pack
. Head torch
. Thermal flask

Kilimanjaro Trekking gear: (Wear between camps)
. Rain suit or poncho (mainly used in the rain forest)
. Hiking boots or cross trainers
. Day pack
. Short pants
. Tracksuit pants
. T-shirts
. Sun hat (peak caps do not offer enough protection)
. Woolen socks
. Fleece beanie
. Water bottle

Kilimanjaro General gear & equipment
. Duffel bag
. Walking stick (adjustable)
. Sleeping bag (-10 rating)
. Sleeping mat

Kilimanjaro Helpful hints
Drink at least three to four litres of water a day.
. Use water filters and purifying pills to minimize stomach bugs.
. Take enough snacks like energy bars, drink mixes, etc.
. Do not move too fast, walk at a slow steady pace.
. Move as lightly as possible, do not carry unnecessary weight.
. All clothing in Duffel bags or backpacks must be protected with sack-liners to avoid getting wet, especially through the rainforest.
. High factor lip balm and sun block is essential.
. Nausea and headache pills should be kept handy on summit night.
. Symptoms of altitude sickness can be reduced by using medication (consult your doctor).
. New boots should be walked-in; this avoids blisters.
. Use a sleeping mat when camping.
. Use a thermal flask on summit night; other water bottles will freeze.
. Allow camera or video camera to acclimatize; do not wrap or place them in plastic bags.
. Thermal glove liners allow easier camera handling on the summit.
. Use only new camera and headlamp batteries on summit night.
. Guides and porters will expect tips; confirm amounts with your tour operator.

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