Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa!
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Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa!
Soaring above the rippling tea plantations and low hills of northeastern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340') is Africa’s highest peak. Follow the less traveled Machame Route up the slopes, hiking seven days through the spectacular landscapes of five temperate zones. On this once-in-a-lifetime trek, take in extraordinary views extending hundreds of miles, and experience the sunrise from the roof of Africa.
About the route
Also known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route (7 days)is now the most popular ascent route on Mt Kilimanjaro. Compared with the Marangu route, the walking days on the Machame route are longer and the walks are steeper. However, the scenery is spectacular and landscape interesting. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. The Machame route approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field.
Itiinerary Day0 After arrival at your hotel in Moshi, you will rest. And later there will be a meeting with the your guide for briefing about your trek and Mt Kilimanjaro. After finish to the briefing he will check all your mountain gears to see if you have all equipment, and if you will miss some of them he will take you to rent the missing gears.
Day 1 : Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, climb to Machame Camp Your 7 days machame route climbing start for driving you from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate it takes about 45 minutes. After paper work the journey start passing through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp. ●Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft ●Distance: 11km/7mi ●Climbing Time: 5-6 hours ●Habitat: Montane Forest
Day 2 : Climb Machame Camp to Shira Camp After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite. ●Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft ●Distance: 5km/3mi ●Walking Time: 4-5 hours ●Habitat: Moorland
Day 3 : Climb Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. ●Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft ●Distance: 10km/6mi ●Walking Time: 5-6 hours ●Habitat: Semi-desert
Day 4 : Climb Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. ●Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft ●Distance: 5km/3mi ●Climbing Time: 34 hours ●Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5 : Climb Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. ●Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft ●Distance: 4km/2mi ●Climbing Time: 3-4 hours ●Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 6 : Climb Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. ●Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft ●Down to 3090m/10,150ft ●Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down ●Climbing Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down ●Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Day 7 : Climb Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate and then drive to Moshi After breakfast we continue descending down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Our vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka Gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). End of your 7 day machame route climbing ●Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft ●Distance: 10km/6mi ●Climbing Time: 3-4 hours ●Habitat: Forest
Mount Kilimanjaro Includes ●Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents ●2 Nights accommodation ●Professional, experienced, mountain guides: ●All Park fees ●Rescue fees ●All meals while on the Mountain ●Arrival and Departure transfers ●Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees ●Quality Mess tents with table and chairs: ●Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food: ●Clean, purified drinking water: ●Crisis management and safety procedures: ●Fair and ethical treatment of porters: ●Sleeping Mattress: ●Emergency Evacuation by Flying Doctor Society of Africa:
Excludes: ● Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival ● Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.) ● Meals not listed above ● Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc) ● Tips and any items of personal nature.
Rental item Sleeping bag Please rent or supply your own liner Summit jacket Summit pants (Ski pants) Waterproof jacket Waterproof trousers Gaiters Pair of walking poles Headlamp (excl batteries) Balaclavas Warm Gloves Day Pack Duffle Bag Poncho
When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro? It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro year round. Ideally it is best to climb in favorable weather conditions, as rain, wind, snow, and extreme cold drain the body of energy which can significantly lower your chances of summiting.
Traditionally, the months of January, February, September, & October have been considered as the best months to climb due to dry conditions and moderate temperatures. June thru August are also normally dry, however temperatures can be very cold during this period. The months of November, December and March are more likely to have some rainfall and the months of April and May tend to have the most rain and the least favorable climbing conditions.
How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro? Depending on which route you climb the treks range from 5 to 9 days. The shortest route is the Marangu route, which also has the lowest summit rates for the entire mountain.
Reaching the summit is not only about the climber’s level of fitness, it also has a great deal to do with the body’s ability to acclimatize to the high altitude. For most people acclimatization is achieved by spending more time on the mountain. Thus, there is a strong correlation between the number of days spent on the mountain and reaching the summit – the longer the climb, the better the chances are of summiting.
Opting for a shorter route may seem like a good idea to save on expenses, but in reality you are simply significantly reducing your chances of summiting. If you are traveling all the way to Tanzania to conquer Kilimanjaro, the cost of a longer trek that allows proper acclimatization is well worth it. Which route should I climb? There are six official routes to climb Kilimanjaro. When selecting a route you should consider the difficulty of the route, the length of the route (longer routes have higher summit rates), and your preference when it comes to the amount of traffic on the trail and the scenery.
Since we are planning the trek during the months of September we are going via the Machame Route.
How cold is it on Kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro treks pass through four distinct climate zones. At the base of the mountain the temperatures are usually between 70°F and 80°F. The temperature quickly decreases as you gain altitude and pass through the different zones. The night temperatures on Uhuru peak can drop to -10°F. At high altitude the weather conditions can change rapidly and it is best to be prepared for extreme conditions.
Why do summits start at night? The predawn hours, while cold, usually provide the calmest weather conditions. The summit is usually clear around sunrise, providing the best views. Often clouds and strong winds develop not long after sunrise, making a daytime summit attempt much less attractive.
How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro? While Kilimanjaro requires no technical abilities, it is both physically and mentally demanding. The main reason people don’t reach the summit or are required to be evacuated is due to Altitude Sickness. To reduce your risk of Acute Mountain Sickness you should choose a route that allows the body to properly acclimatize, extra acclimatization days and routes that climb high and sleep lower are recommended. It is important to climb at a slow pace and to stay hydrated by drinking at least 3 liters of water per day. A CamelBak or other type of water bladder simplifies drinking during the trek.
What is altitude sickness and will it affect me? Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also known as altitude sickness, is caused by the failure of the body to react quickly enough to the reduced availability of oxygen as the climber reaches higher altitudes. While the percentage of oxygen remains the same from sea level to the top of Uhuru Peak, the decrease in pressure reduces the amount of oxygen our lungs and body absorb with every breath.
In some rare cases the lower pressure at high altitudes can cause liquid to leak from the capillaries into the lungs and brain. This can lead to life threatening conditions know as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). If any symptoms of HAPE or HACE appear in a climber they are evacuated immediately.
Scientists have found little correlation between Altitude Sickness and age, sex, or fitness level. The primary factors that have been connected to AMS are; a rapid rate of ascent, overexertion of the body, and dehydration. Your body has the capacity to adapt to the reduced availability of oxygen if it is given the right amount of time during your ascent.
More than 75% of climbers experience mild symptoms associated with AMS. It is important to inform your guide of any headaches, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, or decreased coordination. Our guides are trained to monitor your condition and modify the rate of ascent to reduce the risks associated with AMS.
Proper acclimatization is important. Our guides will constantly remind you to go slowly and you might become frustrated with the pace. Being in a rush simply reduces the chances you will make it to the summit. Stop often for drinks and to enjoy the magnificent views. The geographic features of the Lemosho and Machame Routes promote good acclimatization because you climb high during the days, then sleep lower at night.
Diamox (Acetazolamide) is a prescription drug that has proven to prevent most cases of AMS. The drug causes the bloody to become more acidic. This fools the body into believing that it has high levels of CO2 in the blood, causing you to breathe more deeply and rapidly, which in turn increases the amount of Oxygen in your blood. Prior to traveling you should consult your doctor and discuss the advantages of taking Diamox during your climb.
What if I can’t continue my trek? In the event that you are not able to continue your trek, it will not interrupt the trip for the rest of the climbers in your group. Our trekking teams always have enough guides and assistant guides that it is possible for one or more climbers to stop their trek or descend early while the rest of the group continues on to finish the trek.
What do I carry in my day pack? You should only carry the items that you will need during the day until you reach the next camp. These items will vary depending on trail conditions and weather. Your guide will advise you as to what should be carried for each day. Typically, items may include rain gear, warmer cloths, gloves, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, camera, snacks, water, lunch, and your documents (passport and money).
All other items should be packed and locked in your bag. The porters will carry this bag from one campsite to the next.
What vaccinations and medication do I need for the trek? You should consult your Doctor several months in advance, as you may need a series of vaccinations. In order for complete advice on vaccinations and medications, don’t forget to inform your Doctor that you will be traveling to Tanzania and participating in a High Altitude Trek.
Tanzania only requires the Yellow Fever vaccination for those traveling from Yellow Fever infected countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. You may be required to show a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, which should be carried at all times. No other vaccinations are currently required for entry into Tanzania.
Malaria is endemic in many parts of Tanzania. While malaria is not common at high altitudes, Anti-malaria drugs are highly recommended for all visitors to East Africa. You should discuss this with your Doctor during prior to travel.
What travel insurance should I buy? We highly recommend purchasing travel/medical insurance for your trek. Not only is it possible to be injured trekking Kilimanjaro, you may face travel delays, lost luggage/equipment, or other unexpected difficulties. Many companies do not cover high altitude trekking, so it is important to read carefully the activities covered under a policy prior to purchasing it.
How much should I tip the mountain guides and crew? Your experience is a combined result of the equipment, the training that we have provided to the trekking team and their efforts to ensure that your trek was an experience of a lifetime. Please consider that your trekking team works under high pressure and extreme conditions.
We recommend a standard tip from the group (not per climber) of: $5 per day per porter $8 to $10 per cook $8 to $10 per guide $20 per day per Kilimanjaro guide
If possible it is better to tip with Tanzanian Shillings. Tips should be distributed directly to each member of the climb team after the trek has completely finished. We will advise you if you should distribute tips at the vehicle or when you return to your hotel.