Climbing Kilimanjaro is a bucket item list for many people and what an experience it is. Physically and mentally challenging, but ultimately it is one of the best things you will ever do! The Machame Route is one of our two most popular routes, and has proved popular with many UK visitors. Once the challenge has been completed, what better way to chill out that by spending a few days staring out over the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar!
The prices stated below are what it would cost for 2 people to do a private tour. Costs will be lower if there are more in the group or if you wish to join a group tour. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this option.
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, you will be met and transferred to Moshi. Your Kilimanjaro head guide will come to the hotel for a briefing, equipment check and help you hire anything additional you need.
Machame Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to Machame Camp (3,000m/9,800ft). Elevation Gain: 1,200 metres / 3,900 feet. Your head guide will meet you for the drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate (approximately 45min). After registration, begin climbing along a winding trail through beautiful and lush forest. Since this is the zone which experiences the most rainfall on the mountain you should be prepared for afternoon showers. These can make the trail slippery at times! The climb is steady, gradually easing as you approach camp at Machame Hut (9,800ft). The camp is located on the edge of the forest and giant heather zones. Approximately 6-7 hours of walking today.
Machame Camp (3,000m/9,800ft) to Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft). Elevation Gain: 840 metres / 2,800 feet. Today is a little shorter, beginning by climbing a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo, the summit cone of Kilimanjaro, and the jagged rim of the Shira Plateau. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones. It is filled with the lava flow from Kibo and its rim has eroded and been blasted away by weather and volcanic action. Once on the plateau the trail becomes gentler as you continue your climb to Shira Camp. On a clear day the views from here are spectacular. Approximately 5-6 hours of walking.
Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) to Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,650ft) via Lava Tower (4,550m/14,900ft). Elevation Gain: 710 metres / 2,300 feet. Elevation Loss: 700 metres / 2,250 feet. Your climb today will take you steadily up and over the expansive ridgelines of high desert to Lava Tower. The trek to the base of Lava Tower is about 4 hours. This tower is a 300 foot high volcanic plug. If time and energy allow, you can scramble to the top of Lava Tower for fabulous panoramic views. From Lava Tower we begin our steep descent into the Barranco Valley, passing large flowering plants which actually look like trees, the scenecios. This is good practice for your descent from the summit in a few days time and will take 1-2 hours. Although you will end your day at almost the same elevation as you started, today is very important for acclimatisation and will help your body prepare for summit day. Barranco Camp is in a beautiful, sheltered valley below the imposing Barranco Wall.
Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,600ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft). Elevation Gain: 750 metres / 2,500 feet. After breakfast, we leave Barranco Camp and begin our climb up the Barranco Wall. This is an impressive scramble where you will be rewarded with fantastic views back towards camp. The porters climbing the wall are also an impressive sight. From the top, at 4,200m, you will follow an undulating path around the mountain side. On a clear day there are spectacular views of Kibo to your left and Mount Meru to your right. After descending into the Karranga Valley your climb takes you through Karranga Camp and steadily on to Barafu. This is located on the ridge below the summit cone. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At Barafu we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from this position.
Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,300ft) - then descending to Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft). Elevation Gain: 1,295 metres / 4,200 feet. Elevation Loss: 2,785 metres / 9,100 feet. In the early hours of the morning you will begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru Peak. This part of the climb takes approximately 6-8 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day and therefore you will want clothing for both extremes. Just when you think you’ve had enough of climbing in the dark the sun will rise and you will be rewarded with a rich red sky framing Mawenzi. At Stella Point (5,750m) you join the crater rim. From here, climb gently to Uhuru Peak which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit the descent will take you straight down to Mweka Hut, with lunch served on the way. This part of the descent takes about 6 hours. Later in the evening enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft) to Mweka Gate (1,830m/6,000ft). Elevation Loss: 1,280 metres / 4,220 feet. Descend straight to the gate through lush forest (2-3 hours), looking for monkeys along the way. Return to Moshi from Mweka Village. Overnight Ameg Lodge – incl breakfast only
Precision Air flight : Kilimanjaro airport to Zanzibar. Upon arrival at Zanzibar airport, you will be met and transferred to The Z Hotel.
You have 3 full days to enjoy the resort and this beautiful island. Your Zanzibar extension can be as active or relaxing as you like. Organise day trips into Stone Town, swimming with the dolphins or snorkeling (all additional costs).
Today you will be transferred back to Zanzibar airport, in time for your flight home.