Machame is the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. You do not need any mountain climbing skills, but you must be fit enough to walk about 80kms over 6 days. Porters carry all your equipment and supplies and a cook prepares your meals. As a tent experience, the Machame route, also known as the whisky route, is better cited to more adventurous hikes who are rewarded with exquisite scenic wonders, from late afternoon sunsets at Shira to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco wall. An added benefit to this camping route is the most valuable commodity on the mountain acclimatization.
DAY 1 After breakfast at your hotel drive 45 minutes from Moshi to 1490m high Machame gate where guides and porters prepare and pack your supplies and equipment at the gate. Shortly after going through the gate, you enter the rainforest where its likely to rain and make the trail soggy, muddy and slippery. After a lunch stop, continue to the 2980m high Machame camp area where your porters, arriving before you do will have erected your tent. In the evening they will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire for campsite.
DAY 2 4 hrs hiking about 8 km. After breakfast climb to the top of the rainforest and then at a gentler gradient, through the moorland zone. After a short rest and lunch, continue up a rocky ridge to Shira plateau (3840m) to see the western breach before dinner. Temperature will drop to well below freezing tonight.
DAY 3 5 Hrs hiking about 10km. After trekking through semi-desert, ascend the rocky scream path to lava tower to an altitude of 4630m. At this point, the toughest day so far, some climbers start to feel symptoms of breathlessness irritability and headaches. After lunch, as you descent 100m to the camping area, you will appreciate the acclimatization benefit of today. From the breach and the Great Baranco wall, watch the sunset, while dinner is prepared.
DAY 4 6 hrs hiking about 13km through Alpine desert up the imposing Great Baranco wall, which is not as a were some as it looks. As you top out just below the glacier hem. You will appreciate how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Iaranga valley, the last water stop on the route over intervening ridges and valleys before it joins up with the Mweka, the preferred route down the summit. Barafu is the Swahili word for ice and you ascend up to ridge to 4550m high Barafu camp, to spend the night exposed to the over present gates, in tents pitched on a narrow and stony ridge.
DAY 5 6 hrs hiking about 6km to Uhuru Peak, then 7hrs hiking about 17 km to descend to Mweka. Leave around midnight to ascend through heavy screen to Stella point (5568m) on the crater rim, stop for a short rest and weather permitting to experience the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Then start your summit attempt, ascending for about 2 hrs to Uhuru Peak at 5895m, the highest point in Africa. Enjoy stunning views of the ice walls, then descend back to barefoot to rest, before heading down to Mweka camp (3100m) to overnight in the upper rainforest.
DAY 6 3HRS walking about 15kms on a scenic route back to Mweka gate where climbers who reached Stella point and Uhuru Peak are awarded with certificates. Then transfer back to your hotel for a long overdue hot shower with time to relax.