Kilimanjaro - 19,341 ft (5895 m)
|Kilimanjaro from the plains of Africa. AAI Collection|
|Climbing above tree line and in the|
clouds on Kilimanjaro.
Besides its beauty, a benefit of the Machame Route is that it includes two days of "hiking high and sleeping low," a strategy proven to help with successful acclimatization.
Day 1: Arrival/Mbahe Farm HouseYour trip leader will pick you up upon your arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. A private car will take you to Mbahe Village, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, approximately 2 hours from the airport. Accommodations are in cottages at the beautiful Mbahe Farm House.
Day 2: Mbahe Farm House (6,000’)You have the morning to rest and relax. You can enjoy delicious “homebrew” coffee, grown and roasted on the farm, and meals made with fruits and vegetables from the garden. Your trip leader will provide an orientation on the climb and do an equipment check. This is also a day to take a guided tour around Mbahe Village, the Mtuy family farm, and to swim in the waterfall on farm’s land. We will all gather together for dinner.
Day 3: Machame Gate (6,000’) to Machame Camp (9,950’)
|Entering the national park. Shawn Olson.|
Day 4: Machame Camp (9,950’) to Shira Camp (12,620’)Today is an easy paced acclimatization day. We will hike over streams, a river gorge, and moorlands. Camp is located on the Shira Plateau, providing expansive views of Kilimanjaro. We will do a conditioning hike in the afternoon on which you can enjoy clusters of giant lobelia and senecios that grow at this elevation. Quick Stats: 3.5 miles, 2670’ of elevation gain.
Day 5: Shira Camp (12,620’) to Lava Tower Camp (15,230’)Today is another acclimatization day as we have a mostly uphill climb of 5 hours to an elevation over 15,000 feet. We will pass through the alpine moorland zone where plants are extremely hardy and consist of lichens, grasses, and heather, to reach Kilimanjaro’s alpine desert zone. You will have a spectacular view of the steep Western Breach. After an early afternoon rest we will take a two-hour round-trip adventure climb up the Lava Tower. This scramble is fun and will help prepare you for the climb tomorrow. Quick Stats: 4.4 miles, 2690’ of elevation gain.
|The upper slopes of Kilimanjaro still have|
some receding glaciers. Shawn Olson.
Day 6: Lava Tower Camp (15,230’) to Karanga Valley Camp (13,250’)Today we will climb the Great Barranco rock wall - not too steep but challenging for some – which our guides make comfortable and accessible for everyone. We will go pole pole (meaning “slowly” in Kiswahili). You will be able to see the breathtaking Heim Glacier. We descend into the Karanga Valley and then to our camp on a ridge above the valley, where you will be able to enjoy a rest and have refreshing a sponge bath with warm water. Quick Stats: 5.9 miles, 1980’ of elevation loss.
|The upper mountain provides an incredible|
backdrop for our camps. Shawn Olson.
Day 7: Karanga Valley Camp (13,250’) to Barafu Camp (15,360’)As we begin trekking today the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we work our way to Barafu Camp. Barafu means “ice” in Kiswahili. Hiking time is 4 to 5 hours. The Camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our push to the summit. After an early dinner we will go to bed for some sleep. At midnight, hopefully under the stars, we will begin the final ascent. We are going to go pole pole and drink plenty of water and tea along the way, refueling with small snacks regularly to keep our energy high and to help us enjoy this final climb to the summit. Quick Stats: 2.4 miles, 2110’ of elevation gain.
Day 8: Barafu Camp (15,360’) to Uhuru Peak (19,340’) to Millennium Camp (12,530’)
|The roof of Africa. AAI Collection.|
Day 9: Millennium Camp (12,530’) to Mweka Gate (5,380’); Mbahe Farm HouseOur last day is another descent of 7,000 feet with 4 to 5 hours of hiking to the trailhead at Mweka Gate. The trail is steep in places and may be slippery if wet; again we recommend that you use trekking poles. At the gate we will temporarily say goodbye to our mountain crew and enjoy a picnic lunch. The trip leaders will take you back to Arusha for a hot shower and a celebration dinner with the whole team. Depart Tanzania after dinner or remain for rest day or remain for safari. Quick Stats: 8.5 miles, 7150’ of elevation loss.
|Descending after a successful summit bid.|
Day 10: Mbahe Farm House/DepartureToday is a rest and relaxation day at the farmhouse. Optional activities include light hiking, swimming, exploring the village and local school, visiting with the neighbors, drumming, tasting homemade banana beer, and shopping in Moshi Town. For those returning home, you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport to catch your flight (most people fly out in the evening on KLM to Amsterdam). Those continuing on safari will pack lightly for the continuation of your African adventure tomorrow. If you are continuing on safari, you will depart in the morning for your first day of safari.
Kilimanjaro is a great way to enter into the world of high altitude trekking and climbing. It also serves as the first mountain for many climbers interested in pursuing the Seven Summits. Combine Kilimanjaro with a climb on Elbrus or Aconcagua in the same year and you'll receive a discount! For the upcoming climbing season in Africa, you can join trips departing every month from June to October.
|Climbing the upper slopes of Mount Elbrus, Russia.|
|Morning sunlight on Aconcagua, Argentina.|
See you in the mountains soon!
Alaska Programs and 7 Summits Coordinator