DAY TO DAY BREAKKDOWN FOR THIS EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME
Climb to the 'roof of Africa' along the magnificent Machame route, and visit the communities inspired by Kilimanjaro, the 'Mountain of Greatness'.
Day One: To Moshi
You made it! Did you see that massive white-capped mountain on your descent to Kilimanjaro airport? You will be up there in just a few days! Relax and enjoy the ride to Moshi- the pastoral landscapes you'll pass should set you right into relaxation mode. Feel free to take the rest of the evening to relax and acclimate.
Day Two: To Machame Camp
Following breakfast, we will head out towards Machame gate going through registration before commencing our climb. From the park entrance gate, it will be a two to three hours trek through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for hot lunch will be made halfway to this evening's campsite. As we continue the ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. Depending on the pace of the climbers, arrival at Machame Camp is schedule for late afternoon. The camp is set up near some old metals huts, which were once used for shelter. This initial stage of the climb is tranquil and relatively easy. There is no point in rushing to get to the camp, and a slow ascent is recommended to acclimate to higher elevation.
Day Three: To Shira Camp
For the subsequent mornings, wake-up call is at 6:00 am, where you will be greeted with a steaming cup of Tanzanian coffee. Today's trek takes us up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. We will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams. Lunch will be taken just below the Shira Plateau, about three to four hours from Shira Camp. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly and resting about every half-hour. Some may feel a bit lethargic or have headaches by the time they reach camp. Guides advise those with symptoms of altitude sickness to drink tea and sleep a lot -- and there is no better advice to follow at this stage.
Day Four: To Barranco Camp
After breakfast we will start crossing the Bastains stream, descending towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes us along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, we will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before.
Day Five: To Barafu Camp
The scenic climb to Barafu is mostly on a moraine with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seemingly just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Lunch will be taken half way. All climbers are advised to go to bed very early tonight, as the next day is the longest one.
Day Six: Summit Day!
This is the day we have all been waiting for! Awakened at midnight, we will take a light breakfast, and commence the climb. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult. Here, very few will not be suffering from some symptom of altitude sickness; and climbers should carry as little as possible on this portion of the climb. Temperatures will range from -4 to 5 Fahrenheit. Making your way up a path that is flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, you will climb for about six hours before reaching the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of climbing brings us to the summit. Uhuru stands at 19,340 feet and is the highest point on the continent of Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy. Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this portion of the journey. The descent is now easier than the ascent. We will reach Barafu Camp after about three hours (around 11:30 AM). Climbers will be given the opportunity to rest and have some refreshments before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around late afternoon, we will have trekked a total of thirteen hours today.
Day Seven: Back to Moshi
After breakfast continue to go down to Mweka gate where we will sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Uhuru Peak are issued with a golden certificate. After clearing the park gate and receiving our certificates, we will head over to our new (non-tent) accommodations for a well-deserved shower. After some time for R&R, followed by dinner and a unique cultural experience as a community-based vocational school.
Day Eight: St. timothy's School
Enjoy a free morning in Moshi, exploring the town or simply lazying about after an intense few days. This afternoon we'll head over to St. Timothy's school for a unique hands-on local culinary demonstration, and enjoy dinner with the staff and kids of the school. Impact never tasted so good
Day Nine: FInal Goodbyes?
Free morning for last minute souvenir shopping. For those traveling back home, you'll be picked up at the hotel for your transportation to the airport.