10-Day Itinerary - 7 Days Climbing: $4,260
Machame is one of the more popular routes on Kilimanjaro. Our initial approach is from the south. It is a slightly shorter climb than the Lemosho Route. You start your summit ascent at sunrise, enjoying the climb in full daylight -- not during the dark, like other outfits.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you transfer to our hotel in Moshi, spending two nights here, at the foot of Kilimanjaro. You meet your Tusker mountain guides for a detailed climb orientation and final gear check.
10,600-ft/2,972-m • 7.2 miles/11 km • 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we drive to the Machame gate, and sign into the national park. After your guide takes care of the paperwork, we start our climb. The track narrows, and then leads us uphill through the tropical rain forest to Machame Camp.
Our camp crew will have camp set up for you when you arrive, so all you have to do is move in and enjoy the natural beauty.
12,480-ft/3,804-m • 3.1 miles/5 km • 7-8 hours
We start out after breakfast and leave the last glades of the rain forest behind. On a clear day you can see your first close-up of Kibo Peak - from 20 miles/12 km away. Passing through fields of heather, we see the mountainside gradually opening up. You now begin to feel the effects of the altitude, and we hike slowly.
After 9,000 ft. you pass the first lobelia, protea and giant Senecio, and reach Shira in 7-8 hours.
12,950-ft/3,950-m • 6.2 miles/10 km • 7-8 hours
We hike uphill, past the Lava Tower, and slowly trek downhill through the giant Senecios toward Barranco, around Kibo's spectacular south-facing glaciers. The view of the towering peaks are spectacular.
After descending through the heather and lobelias we arrive at Barranco Camp.
13,200-ft/4,033-m • 3.6 miles/5.8 km • 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we head up the Barranco Wall. This is one of the more spectacular days, with great hikes up and down the valleys.
Kibo Peak hovers over your left shoulder, and Mawenzi looms front of you to your right.
14,950-ft/4,556-m • 2.1 miles/3.4 km • 4 hours
The air starts getting quite thin, and you will be running short of breath. It's a tough, but a rewarding uphill climb to the rocky, craggy slopes at the camp. "Barafu" means, "ice" in Swahili, and it is extremely cold at this altitude.
There is a buzz of excitement in the air, as climbers anticipate the toughest day just ahead. The clouds move in and out, revealing the eroded peak of Mawenzi, rising from the plains below.
Summit: 19,340-ft/5,895-m • 2.75 miles/4.5 km • 7-9 hours
Barafu: 14,950-ft/4,556-m • 2.75 miles/4.5 km • 3 hours
We start climbing at sunrise, so we climb during daylight hours on the steepest and most demanding part of the mountain, reaching the Crater rim after lunch.
Mawenzi Peak is a thrilling sight, with the Kibo saddle still in darkness beneath you, and the crater's ice-walls looming ahead. We now continue to Uhuru Peak (1-2 hrs.) This is the highest point (19,340 ft) and the best view in Africa. The descent is invigorating. We continue back down to Barafu Camp where we spend our last night on the mountain.
Mweka Gate: 5,500-ft/1,676-m • 9.3 miles/15 km • 9 hours ~ Drive Moshi
After breakfast it's a 4-5 hour hike to Mweka camp where you stop for lunch and say goodbye to your porters. Then a 4-hour hike through the rainforest takes you down to the gate where you sign out of the national park.
From the gate you drive with your guides back to the hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.
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