Route & Itinerary
The Classic Way Up...
To climb Kilimanjaro on our 10 day Machame itinerary you can join one of many Group trips – and even climb over New Year for a celebration with a difference! This 6 day trek is our shortest – and very achievable if you’re in reasonable shape. It heads in from the south through the dense rain forest – acclimatises by heading up to the ‘Lava Tower’ & down to Barranco Camp – approaching the summit of Kibo via the Barranco Wall, Barafu Camp, Stella Point and finally up to Uhuru Peak at 5895m.
Day 1 Departure from UK
Your flight departure will be from London.
Day 2 Moshi
On arrival we transfer approximately hotel and meet our team of local guides. In the afternoon there is the chance to relax before the welcome briefing, and kit check. Then we enjoy an evening meal together before an early night.
Day 3 Machame Camp
After breakfast we transfer to the Machame Gate, where we meet the rest of our Kilimanjaro support team, including guides, cooks and porters. Our bags are weighed to ensure it’s within the 15 kg limit – and finally the moment we have all been waiting for! We begin our Kilimanjaro trek through lush vegetation of the humid rainforest, the ascent is steady – and we have some short breaks en route, with a picnic lunch before reaching our camp in the afternoon which lies above the forest. There is some time to relax before dinner, and then it’s our first night under canvas.
Day 4 Shira Caves Camp
Our first full day trekking – with over 1,000m of ascent. It’s a tough day, but a great way to kick start the process of acclimatisation. We soon enter the Moorland zone, with shrub like trees and unique flora. Today includes moderate to steep slopes up onto the Shira Plateau, ascending along a broad ridge with spectacular views. A slow and steady ascent allows for our bodies to acclimatise, so we allow plenty of time for breaks to ensure everyone remains well fed and hydrated. Upon reaching the Plateau it is just a short walk to our second camp – and views on the Shira Plateau are different as we’ve ascended into the High Alpine Desert zone. Our local Kilimanjaro crew will have camp ready, and fantastic food cooked for us for dinner.
Day 5 Barranco Camp
Today is one of the most scenic – and prepares our bodies for the Kilimanjaro summit push in 2 days time. We head east across beautiful barren moon-like landscape and around craters that scar the earth. We trek in the shadow of mighty Kibo, with it’s southern ice field visible above us, until reaching the Lava Tower where we stop for some lunch and the highest point of the day – at 4,630m. This afternoon we descend through ravines into a scenic valley with a wonderful micro climate and flora unique to Kilimanjaro. We reach our camp late in the afternoon. This ascent up to Lava Tower, followed by the descent to a lower overnight camp aids the acclimatisation process – and Baranco Camp is perhaps the most scenic on Kilimanjaro. Cliffs and glaciers tower above us, with views down into the forested Umbwe Valleys below.
Day 6 Barafu Camp
Our first challenge today is a climb and scramble over the volcanic rock of the towering Barranco Wall. This is a real highlight of the challenge, breathtaking views and a real sense of achievement! On reaching the top, we have a well-earned snack break and enjoy fantastic views over to Barafu and Mount Meru, this is a brilliant spot for a group photo. We then head onwards to Karanga Camp, first through undulating terrain and then across the steep-sided Karanga Valley. At Karanga camp it’s a full cooked lunch; we need as much fuel as possible to prepare for our Kilimanjaro summit push that starts at midnight (on this day!). The afternoon is about getting up to our high camp feeling as good as possible – and that means moving at a slow and steady pace, and staying hydrated. It is a steady climb up to Barafu, reaching camp late afternoon. After a good meal, it’s extra layers to keep warm and try to relax and sleep in preparation for our early morning Kilimanjaro summit bid.
Day 7 Summit
And so to the Kilimanjaro summit day! We awake just before midnight – and after a hot drink & snacks we begin our climb. For the next 6 hours we trek the steepest and most demanding part of the route by torch light. This is a long and gruelling trek to reach Stella point (5,730m) at Kilimanjaro’s crater rim. After a short rest we make our final traverse to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the African continent at 5,895m. The rising morning sunlight gives us spectacular views across the plains below and of Mount Meru in the distance – and we feel on top of the world! After some photos we have a tough decent back to Kosovo Camp where we stop for a rest and brunch, before continuing down to Millennium Camp at 3,950M. After a long and exhilarating day we can finally rest our tired legs and get a good night’s sleep!
Day 8 Moshi
After an early breakfast we continue our descent of
Kilimanjaro back through the rainforest to Mweka Gate. The warm and oxygen rich air is most welcome! The descent is long, but trekkers develop a spring in
their step as the finish line is finally within reach. The gate marks the end
of our unforgettable time on Mount Kilimanjaro. A final farewell to our local
support team includes singing and dancing, and an emotional goodbye. A short
transfer takes us to our hotel, where we can finally take off our walking boots
and enjoy a hot shower! We have the afternoon to relax by the pool with a
drink, and this evening we enjoy a fantastic dinner to celebrate our remarkable
achievements – and for those who have the energy we can party into the night!
Day 9 Departure Date
We can enjoy a free morning either by the pool or exploring the local area before transferring to the airport for our overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 10 Arrive Home in the UK
The Challenge brochure details the full itinerary, inclusions, dates & prices – download for a full run down of the challenge details.