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Mt Kilimanjaro, at 5,896 m, is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain & Africa’s tallest peak located at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. There are several routes to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. For this expedition, we will be taking the Machame route.
The 58 Km Machame trail on the Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition is the longest and one of the difficult routes but is much more rewarding and provides a holistic experience. You get more time to acclimatize and enjoy the journey to the top of the African continent.
We will be trekking through the forest, walking above the clouds, traversing through the moorland zone, and passing through the ice fields and the glaciated steep vertical cliffs of Kibo’s south face. On the approach, you get the magnificent views of the ice fields and the Kilimanjaro summit. You can descend via the Mweka route a steep yet beautiful trail that takes you through dry mountain desert and lowland forest. You get to see the different sides of the mountain through this and get to experience more on this expedition.
Each day has a different scenery and views to offer, starting from the magnificent rain forests, high alpine deserts, ice fields to the vast glaciers and the views into the horizon from the top.
Welcome to Tanzania. Moshi is the base camp for the start of Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition. Once you arrive at the Kilimajaro International Airport, your vehicles will meet you and drop you off at Moshi.
Once you arrive in Moshi, rest and refresh. You will briefed about your expedition on the same day and meet your team and fellow climbers. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure, and explore around. The overnight stay will be in a hotel.
We will start the day by having a delightful breakfast and prepare ourselves to start the trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro summit. We will be meeting the local guide and porters today. We will drive to the Machame Gate in a shared taxi. Machame Gate is the road head for the start of the Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition. It takes around an hour to reach Machame gate from Moshi.
We will start our trek after having an early lunch. It is a gentle trail through the magnificent rain forest where you can spot several vibrant colored bird species. Keep your cameras handy.
We will reach Machame camp by evening where snacks and tea awaits you. Relax in the tents.
On the trail today, we will emerge out of the rain forest and ascend over the steep ridge into the lower alpine moorland. The vegetation from here becomes scarce, the color of the ground changes as we move above the tree line over to the Shira Plateau.
At this altitude and harsh environment, only the strong and dominating species of plants such as giant groundsel and lobelia survive. The campsite at the edge of the plateau offers the spectacular sunset views with the golden glow over the snow covered Kibo peak.
Overnight stay at Shira camp.
Today, we will be continuing our ascend to the more rugged and difficult section of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The slow ascend through the constantly changing landscape and deep river valley helps in the acclimatization process by slowly adjusting your body to the higher altitude and lower atmospheric pressure.
The overnight stay will be in Barranco Camp.
Today we will be following the trail to Barranco wall and then to the Kibo south circuit. It is important to get acclimatized to the altitude before we push for the Kilimanjaro summit. If the weather is good and clouds are clear on the day, you can see the stunning views of Kibo’s southern glacier.
We will reach the camp by lunch where the hot and nutritious meal awaits us. Post lunch we will spend our time relaxing and resting to rejuvenate ourselves. Drink enough water and eat nutritious food.
You can enjoy the evening and relax while having the great views of the river in the Karanga valley.
We will start a little early today for the Barafu campsite so that we can reach the Barafu camp site by noon and have enough resting time before our final summit push very early next morning.
From Karanga valley camp, follow the trail up to the intersection of the south circuit and Mweka route. From the intersection, we need to ascend towards the Barafu hut. Barafu means ice in Swahili language. It is named aptly as it gets very cold during the nights! Try to get sleep and rest before the final summit push of the Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition.
We will have the briefing session for the final summit push.
Today is the most important day of your expedition. At midnight, our guide and trek leader will wake you up with hot tea, biscuit, and an early breakfast. You’ll need to eat enough at this hour to get enough energy for the challenging climb to the summit.
It is a long, arduous climb through the scree and snow to Stella Point (5780 M). You need to traverse this giant Rebmann glacier and try to reach Stella Point before the sun breaks. The sunrise view from the Stella point is spectacular with the crater and the glistening glacier under the beautiful morning sun.
Take some rest at the view point and eat some chocolate/snack for quick energy. It is another 1 hour trek along the rim of the crater to the summit of Uhuru Peak (Mt Kilimanjaro), at 5,895 M, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain & Africa’s tallest peak located at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. From the summit, you can see the crater, ice fields and the vast east African plains into the horizon. Let the views imprint on you and capture these unforgettable beautiful moments.
After we successfully summit the peak and celebrate at the top of the mountain, begin descending to the lower camps. We will rest at Barafu camp and have our hot and nutritious lunch after the challenging climb. After lunch, we will start descending to the Mweka camp where we’ll camp for the night and get a well deserved delicious dinner and rest.
After breakfast, we’ll continue gradually descending from the mountain and traverse the alpine meadow and the rain forest till we reach the Mweka park gate. We will descend around 1300 M from the Mweka camp.
We will check out from the Mweka park gate and enjoy our lunch. The transport will take us back to the hotel where you can have a relaxing shower after spending several days out in nature and after the physical and mental exertion.
We will have a team get together and debriefing session where you can share your experience and memories of the last one week on the highest mountain of Africa.
After breakfast, you can check out from the hotel and your vehicles will drop you off at the airport. If you want to continue your travels in Africa, you are free to depart for your respective destination.