Mount Kilimanjaro is a perfectly shaped volcano still active rising sheer from the plains. At 5895m it is the highest in Africa and can be climbed any time of the year. At the lower levels, you will pass through cultivated farmlands rising through tropical rain forest onto alpine meadows and finally the barren landscape leading to the snow and ice capped summit.
We've designed our mountain treks to give the very best chance of reaching the summits, maximum appreciation of the spectacular scenery and wildlife, and an insight into the natural history and cultures of the environments and peoples we meet. Moreover our travel arrangements are based on fair-traded principles to ensure that significant benefits from our visits remain with local people.
The Machame Route is one of the best and most affordable climbing routes on Mount Kilimanjaro and is a popular route for trekkers who want to take their time and enjoy sleeping outdoors and watching the sunrise and set over the Great Rift Valley. It's less crowded, an easier climb, much more scenic and you have a better than 95% chance of making the summit.
Welcome to Tanzania! On arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport you will proceed through customs and immigration (Visa on Arrival Fee: $100 USD per person - payable in US dollars - Cash). After clearing customs you will be met in the arrivals hall by our local representative (he will be holding a sign with your name on it) and transferred to your accommodations in Arusha (approximately 1 hour driving distance).
This evening you'll meet with your expert guide for an exciting pre-trek briefing!
After breakfast at your lodge meet your guide and porters and depart for the entry gate of Kilimanjaro National Park where we fulfill the registration formalities before entering the Park. The initial trek winds through heavily rooted forest areas parallel to flowing streams. We eat lunch along the way and by mid-afternoon we reach our first camp.
Hike: 8.2 km 1840m-3022m 5-6 hours
The words steep, rocky and dusty are our adjectives for the day as we leave the grassland behind and enter the more barren landscape of the mountain. We make our way slowly upward with a backdrop of Giant Senecias – today is a great introduction to acclimatization as we ascend up, down and over the seemingly endless ridges.
Hike: 5 km 3022m-3830m 5-6 hours
We start out this morning with a gentle hike before encountering rocks and boulders that keep us on our toes and by lunchtime we reach Lava Tower (3830m). After lunch the more adventurous may opt to ascend Lava Tower to enjoy the fantastic view before reaching our camp for the night.
Hike: 10.4 km 3830m-3900m 8-9 hours
After breakfast today, we climb Barranco Wall: a steep but pleasant climb culminating in views of the Kibo massif and the surrounding glacier. As we look across the valley we can see a steady line of porters on their way to our next camp behind us. Today is an important day for acclimitization and Karangu Camp will be reached by lunch time. The afternoon is free to continue short treks in the area or relaxing at the campsite in preparation for the summit push.
Hike: 5.5 km 3900m-4040m 4-5 hours
Today is a short but steep uphill climb. We continue our our climb across a barren landscape with lots of boulders and shattered rocks. It is very quiet and peaceful and the extra day of acclimitization comes in very handy at this point. The Decken Glacier is always presence to your left as you reach a rocky section for some more scrambling before reaching our camp amidst large rocks with sheer cliff-faces. Tonight we will go to bed early (7pm) as the wake-up call is 11pm! Most climbers won't sleep much - just close your eyes and relax for a few hours.
Hike: 3.5 km 4040m - 4330m 4-5 hours
This is summit day – the culmination of five long days of climbing. We wake up around midnight for a quick snack and then start for the summit. Although we start out on rocky ground it soon turns to snow as we near the Crater rim. Slowly, slowly we trudge upwards and this is when fatigue really starts to set in for the first time, especially when we enter the volcanic scree area; every step slides backwards as we push for the summit. We reach the rim at Stella Point around sunrise and continue on to the Summit at Uhuru Peak, just a short distance away. After only a few minutes at the peak we return down our steep track for brunch and a rest back at Barafu Camp. After this, we have a comfortable but dusty walk down to Mweka.
Hike: 17.4 km 4330m-5895m-3075m 13-15 hours
On a clear morning you can wake up to the peak of Kibo in the background of the camp – a real photographic opportunity and a great reminder of yesterdays Summit push. Today is a fun morning of singing and enjoying the last moments with your ‘Kili’ team before we all head down through the steep forest to the National Park gate. We complete signing out formalities before saying good-bye and boarding our transfer vehicle to Arusha.
Hike: 8.8km 3075m-1645m 3-4 hours
After breakfast check-out. END OF SERVICES
*We can arrange the following services for you upon request (at an additional cost, please ask us for more details):
-Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for departure flight
-Private Northern Circuit Safari
-Join Group Departure 7 Day Northern Circuit Safari (this begins every other Sunday with day 1 in Arusha)
-Day activities in Arusha region: Momella Lake Canoeing; Meru Coffee & Lake Dulti; Arusha National Park Day Safari etc.
Karama Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge located in Arusha, Tanzania and is the perfect home base for a Tanzania Safari or a restful night's sleep before climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. The lodge itself consists of twenty-two unique en-suite cabins on stilts to ensure privacy and spectacular views of the landscape below and beyond. All cabins have a verandah with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Situated at the top of the lush and serene Suye Hill, Karama Lodge is a unique lodge with a rustic, yet comfortable, ambience providing a personalized service in a relaxing atmosphere. It is a peaceful secluded respite where you can enjoy the beauty around you to the sounds of the surrounding forest.
Camping on the Machame Route is an experience like no other. Meet and become friends with the porters and cooks that will support your journey to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. While walking all you need to carry is a daypack. Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the scenery. Tents are new and sturdy and can fit up to two people each. Nothing beats waking to the smell of breakfast and stepping out of your tent to spectacular panoramic views of Kilimanjaro.