Africa highest free standing giant mountain at an altitude of 5895m with seven summit offers a real thrill for mountain climbers in Tanzania
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport where you’ll be met and transferred to your booked hotel.
Drive to Machame Gate and then start the six hour walk to Machame Hut at 9840 feet. You will be walking through the rainforest, and the track can be very muddy, so good boots and gaiters are recommended. Machame Hut is on the edge of the forest and at the beginning of the moorland. There are good views of the mountain from here. The water supply is down a steep valley side.
it is a 6 to 8 hour walk to Shira hut at 12,500 feet, situated on the Shira plateau. The walk starts with quite steep inclines, and you soon get some of the best approach views of Kibo. You should also be able to see Mount Meru, about 50 kms to the south, above the clouds.
Once you reach the Shira plateau it is noticeably colder and you will need to have a fleece jacket or sweater with you. About now you will also start to feel the effects of altitude, so drink and walk slowly.
another day without much height gains, but many ups and downs, to Barranco Hut at 12,800 feet. The day’s walk is effectively a west to east traverse with a height gain at the end of the day of only 300 feet. However during the day’s walk you will ascend to almost 15,000 feet and then drop back down at Barranco camp.
You should allow about 7 hours for the walk and enjoy the incredible views of Kibo ahead of you and down the valleys to the plateau and rainforest below. You should fill your water bottle at the stream about halfway through the day’s walk. The camping spot at Barranco is perhaps the most spectacular on the Machame route.
it will take about 7 hours to get to the Barafu hut at 15,100 feet. Allow about 7 hours and make a point of leaving very early in order to reach Barafu in good time for an early supper and sleep. This is the first morning that an early start is recommended since it seems wise on the previous days to sleep as much as you can in order to build up your reserves. The first part of this day’s climb is spectacular. It’s probably the last time for a long time that you’ll feel half human – so enjoy it!
You start the day with a climb of what appears to be an incredibly steep face. However the guides and porters carrying the gear ahead of you will show you that it is in fact a good path. At the top of the steep section there are marvellous views of Meru to the south lit up by the early morning sun.
From here on you continue to cross the typical valleys and ridges that radiate from the summit downwards. You will stop for lunch in the Karanga valley and overnight at the camp, you should eat as much as you can here because you may not feel too hungry high up. It is also the last water point.
After breakfast hike up moonscape ridges to Barafu camp. There is a new toilet here, but other camping conditions are poor. Eat as well as you can and get to sleep early because you will be getting up at 11pm for soup or tea and the start of the summit attempt. It cannot be stressed enough that up to this point you should have been drinking and eating as much as possible including a good intake of high energy snacks.
you start in the very early hours with the 7 hour walk to Stella Point on the rim of the crater. You must remember to go as slowly as you can. There will be enough guides for your party to divide into slow and very slow groups. It is crazy to rush, and speed could cause your climb to end in disaster. Drink a lot as you walk and take high energy snacks. You will begin to see a change in the light at about 5.00am and from then on the top will become discernible. At Stella Point you have climbed Kilimanjaro and you will receive a certificate after the climb.
If you are feeling good, you can continue to the highest point, Uhuru, but it is further than it looks. Your guide has been instructed to forbid any climber who has been sick from continuing. Remember that this is the point of maximum risk to your health and that you must be prepared to take advice from your guide and colleagues and be reasonable if they feel you should descend. The rewards on the top are superb views of the summit glaciers and ice walls and, of course, standing on the highest point in Africa – 19,340 feet.
The descent commences at Stella Point and leads steeply down over snow and later broken rocks and scree. After about two hours you reach the Barafu hut and stop for some refreshment. From here the path is much clearer and you reach the South Circuit Path. Cross straight over here and continue steeply down to the Mweka Hut on the edge of the forest. The hut is two small buildings at 10,100 feet. Repairs are being scheduled for the Mweka Route and this may involve descent in using other adjacent paths.
The home runs! The steep descent continues through the forest following a broad ridge. This path can be slippery so trekking poles are useful here. The path improves and after about four hours you reach Mweka gate. Your vehicle will be waiting for you and you’ll soon be in the bath with a drink and the prospect of a good meal in Arusha hotel.
Depart early for a flight to Nairobi or onward connection
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