Machame (“Whiskey”) Route.
The Machame route, also known as the “Whisky Route”, is one of the best to climb Kilimanjaro as it is optimal for acclimatization, allowing the climbers to “walk high and sleep low”, and as a result enjoy one of the highest summit success rates of all the routes to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
Owing to its high success rate, the Machame route can be busy, but we ‘ll start early to avoid the crowds. I also ensure that my porter team arrives into the designated campsites early so that your tent will be set up and ready for your arrival, together with a nice hot drink prepared by our team cook.
Arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and meeting with my representative who will pick you up and drive you to hotel in Moshi/Arusha town (BB).
DAY 01: Machame Gate – Camp Machame
Transfer from the Hotel by car until the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. We sign up at the Park’s office, at the gates of the Park. Then we get ready to start climbing. We go by a rain forest, a winding trail takes us up on a ridge until Machame Camp, our camping site for tonight.
*Altitude change: from 1800 m to 3000 m (+1200 m)
DAY 2: Camp Machame – Camp Shira
We have breakfast and then start our walk, during which we leave behind the rain forest. We continue ascending, traversing a valley and going up a rocky ridge, quite steep and covered in heath. Then we turn west, to the river’s gorge. We end the day at the Camp Shira, where we have dinner and spend the night.
*Altitude change: 3000 m to 3850 m (+850 m)
DAY 3: Camp Shira through Lava Tower – Camp Barranco
Today is crucial for acclimatisation, our bodies are getting prepared for the summit day. It’s an intense day and you may feel the altitude symptoms. We ascend until Lava Tower (4600m), where we have lunch and rest. Then we go down to Barranco campsite, where we will sleep. This camp is located in a beautiful valley under the Breach and the Great Barranco Wall. and the sunset here is memorable! It’s a special place to photograph.
*Altitude change: 3850 m to 4600 m to 3950 m (+750 m)
DAY 4: Camp Barranco – Camp Karanga
The day begins with a fun scramble, quite short, until the top of Great Barranco Wall. Then we cross over the scree to Karange Valley (3930 m), located under the icefalls of Kersten, Heim and Decken Glaciers. We spend the night at the camp Karanga.
*Altitude change: 3950 m to 3930 m
DAY 5: Camp Karanga – Camp Barafu
Leaving the Karanga camp behind, we reach the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail for descent. Then we continue until the Barafu Hut. This marks the completion of the Southern Circuit. From here there are views of the top from different angles. We will camp, rest and enjoy some dinner. From here we can clearly see the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks.
*Altitude change: 3930 m to 4600 m (+670 m)
DAY 6: Barafu Camp until the Summit – Hut Mweka
We will wake up at 11:30PM, quickly have some tea and cookies and start the hike. The destination is the summit located between the Ratzel and Rembman glaciers. Heading to the north-west, we go up through scree to Stella Point, on the rim of the crater. This is probably the most challenging portion of the hike, both physically and mentally. At the Stella Point (5732 m) we have a short stop to rest, and the sunrise here will likely be the most marvellous you have ever seen, if the weather permits. At the Uhuru Peak (5895 m), we reach the culminant point both of Mt Kilimanjaro and of Africa.
DAY 7: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate
We go down until the Mweka Park Gate where you receive the summit certificate. At lower altitudes it may be muddy and wet. Gaiters and trekking poles will be helpful. It’s convenient to have t-shirts and shorts for this part, but keep your rain gear and warmer clothes at hand.
*Altitude change: 3100 m to 1800 m