Kilimanjaro Climb – Machame-Mweka Route.

Kilimanjaro Climb – Machame-Mweka Route, commonly known as the “Whiskey” route. It is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Mweka is the official descent route.

Machame route.

The Machame route, also commonly known as the “Whiskey” route. It is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult and challenging because it is a steep and short itinerary. Therefore, this route is better suited for the more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame gate. The path leads hikers through the rainforest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. The descent is made via the Mweka route.

Mara Expeditions offers Machame as a seven-day group climb or as a six-day private climb. The six-day variation combines days four and five, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.

Day 1: Nairobi to Moshi:

We pick you from your hotel to join a shuttle to Moshi via Namanga and Arusha. Lunch will be served en route, reaching Moshi town at 16:00hrs. {Airport (KIA) pick up can be pre-arranged for those flying, depending on their time of arrival}  Check in at our hotel for the overnight. We will gather in the evening at 18:00hrs for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.

Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame hut 3,000m (6-7hrs walking) (F/B)

After breakfast, we board our transfer vehicle to the Machame gate for registration formalities. The climb starts from Machame gate (1,830m), we walk through the lush lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Slowly gaining altitude while enjoying the diverse flora and fauna of the rainforest, you will arrive at the first Machame hut, situated at 3,000m above sea level

On a clear day, we may get our first close look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit.

Day 3: Machame camp to Shira camp 3,840m (4-6hrs walking) (F/B)

A shorter day climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semi-circular cliff known as a Picnic site, and continue up a gentler ascent through the lower alpine moorland, which is known for beautiful wild alpine flowers. The most spectacular views of Kibo peak can be seen from Shira Camp.

Day 4: Shira Camp to Barranco valley 3,900m (5-7hrs walking) (F/B)

Today we walk on a gentle ascent and panoramic views. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and after hot lunch the bottom of the Lava tower (4,600 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.)

Day 5: Barranco camp 3,900m to Karanga camp (4hrs walking) (F/B)

Our day starts by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exit steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the south-eastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rock, not technical but long and tiring. Passing underneath the Heim and Kerstin glaciers, we head towards the Karanga valley. From here we have a steep climb up from Karanga valley to our night’s camp at Karanga camp, set at 3963m. For those feeling strong, we will go for a mid-afternoon acclimatization trek up to around 4200m before descending back to camp for the night.

A {6} six-day variation bypasses Karanga hut. It starts from Barranco hut all the way to Barafu hut.

Day 6: Karanga camp to Barafu camp 4,640m (4hrs walking) (F/B)

After a sumptuous breakfast, we set off to Barafu camp at 4640m. The climb will take us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation around us at all – an alpine desert. It’s a tough steep walk made more difficult by the altitude. The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can be seen from Barafu Camp. On arriving at camp we eat and spend the afternoon resting as we prepare for a long night and day ahead. Keeping hydrated and warm as we have an early dinner and then try to get some sleep as we will be getting up at 23:00hrs to start the final ascent to the summit.

Day 7: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka camp 3,100m (13-15hrs walking) (F/B)

Wake up before midnight in the cover of darkness. We begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5,735m. We will rest there for a few minutes to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. The strong ones can continue slowly to make the one hour round trip from here along the crater rim to the main peak (Uhuru 5,895 m), which is the highest point in Africa. A few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment and a brief photo session. The descent to Barafu is amazingly fast, and we stop at Barafu Camp for some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach Mweka camp.

Day 8: Descent – Mweka camp to Mweka gate to Moshi (3-5hrs walking) (F/B)

A gentle walk takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka gate successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. After lunch, we drive back to Moshi town for your overnight.

Day 9: Departure day:

After an early breakfast, we board the shuttle to Nairobi. We have an option to join other safari extension options.

Options are of course many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.

What to bring:

Sleeping bag; one rated four (4) season is fine. The bag should be a snug fit since if it is too large there will be more cool air for the body to warm

  • Rain Trouser
  • Rain Jacket [Poncho]
  • Balaclava [Hat Woollen]
  • Warm Clothes down jacket
  • Thermal underwear
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hiking Boots
  • Gloves
  • Walking Sticks
  • Head Torch
  • Sunglasses
  • First Aid box
  • Ruck Suck 65L (duffel bags are unacceptable) to be carried by porters
  • Day Pack 35 [For your personal effects]
  1. Optional comfort accessories;

Walking poles, hot water bottle, Bivy bag

Wet wipes; ideal for those who want to stay fresh but are unable to bear dips in the freezing mountain weather

4: Passport/Identification Card {ID}

5: Personal travel/ medical insurance

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