Kilimanjaro Climb - Machame Route and Kenya Safari
printable version (259 KB)
Day 1 Rivertrees Country Inn, Usa River TZ
Arrive Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Met for transfer to Rivertrees, a delightful
small inn on Usa River.
Day 2 Rivertrees Country Inn, Usa River TZ
Relax and recover. From Rivertrees you can walk down the Usa River for
several kilometers along a dirt road passing local homes and small farms,
while enjoying a great variety of birdlife, or you can visit a coffee farm,
local villages, waterfalls, etc. Horse riding can be arranged or you can
drive into Arusha for its market, curio shopping, Old German Fort and museum.
Better still, you can simply relax, stroll around the gardens or lie by
Day 3 Arusha National Park – Marangu Hotel
On a morning game drive up into Arusha NP you’ll see pristine forests
and wildlife on Mt Meru’s slopes, which you’ll see often as
a backdrop during your climb. After a picnic lunch you will drive to the
quaint Marangu Hotel, home base to the oldest and most experienced of Kilimanjaro
climb operators. You will have a thorough briefing, equipment check, and
dinner. Sleeping bags, ground mats, and any forgotten items can be borrowed.
Two-man bivouac tents are provided.
Day 4 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
After a 2-hour drive through Tanzanian rural life you register at the 6,000
ft (1,830 m) Machame Gate to climb the route considered the most attractive
way up the world’s highest free-standing mountain. The 5 to 6 hour
hike to Machame Hut is often muddy with fairly steep sections up through
a lush tropical rain forest which provides 70 per cent of the mountain’s
water. Wonderful 100-foot Olea trees form a canopy for Colobus monkeys and
Hartlaub’s turacos. Tiny colorful Impatiens Kilimanjaro shine out
from the undergrowth as you hike along a ridge between two streams. After
6.2 mi (10 k) you reach the forest’s edge at 10,200 ft (3,100 m.)
grateful to find tents erected and dinner prepared. The food is always wholesome
and plentiful, and the tea hot and sweet!
Day 5 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
early breakfast, hike 3 to 4 hours through high montane forest up a steep
ridge towards Kibo Peak, often obscured by midmorning as clouds begin their
gentle march up from the forest below. Views of nearby volcano Mount Meru
(15,000 ft /4,565 m) provide a backdrop to yellow-bearded trees and everlasting
flowers. At 11,810 ft (3,600 m) the path drops into a river gorge before
you climb more gently onto the moorland of the Shira Plateau with grand
views of the old Shira Crater. After 4.4 mi (7 k) you reach camp near the
Shira Hut at 12,800 ft (3,900 m) whilst the ubiquitous ravens circle expectantly
Day 6 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
Your path continues up the ridge towards Kibo, climbing steadily to 14,850
ft (4,530 m). Vast fields of lava boulders and everlasting flowers, offering
occasional bursts of color, herald the Alpine desert where alpine chats
hop about. After about 4 hours the path descends past meandering glacial
streams into the Barranco Gorge. Giant Senecia and lobelias with blue flowers
hidden within their spikes provide a foreground to dramatic evening views
of Kibo Peak. Lava Tower, standing high off to the left, offers a challenging
interlude for those who wish! Without that detour, 6.2 mi (10 k) and 6 to
7 hours will bring you to your camp near the Barranco Hut at 13,000 ft (3,900
m) - the twinkling lights of Moshi far below.
Day 7 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
A crisp clear dawn will see you cross the Barranco Valley’s frozen
streams, screes and ridges. Scramble up the Barranco Wall - not technical – to
join and follow the Kibo south circuit trail, enjoying wonderful views of
Kibo’s glaciers if the weather is clear. Arrive after 4 to 5 hours
to camp next to the river in the Karanga Valley 13,450 ft (4,100 m). Trek
about to acclimatize, should you have a little extra in reserve!
Day 8 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
A gentler day for acclimatization. After trekking 2 hours out of Karanga
Valley you join the Barafu Path, part of the Mweka Trail. Two more hours
over undulating lava scree terrain brings you to camp near Barafu Hut (14,200
ft /4,330 m) and a first view of Mawenzi’s craggy, virtually unscaleable
peak (16,893 ft /5,149 m). You may trek to a higher camp at 15,200 ft (4,635
m) – colder and harder to sleep, but not as far to go the final morning.
Immediately you will put on warm clothes, have early dinner, and go to sleep.
The nervous tension is palpable.
Day 9 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
at 11:15 pm for tea and biscuits, leaving camp at 12:30 am for
the night climb to summit. After a steep climb over frozen scree and rock,
passing along the Rebmann Glacier and seeing Ratzel Glacier far away to
the right, arrive at the crater rim near Stella Point (19,010ft
/5,795m) hopefully at dawn (6-7 hrs). It is just one hour and a half more
around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft /5,895 m) with wonderful
views of disappearing yet still impressive glaciers, with all of Africa
beyond. Though tired, you will enjoy the thrill of having conquered Kilimanjaro!
Then descend 1 to 2 hours - often skiing on volcanic scree – back to Barafu Camp
for a meal, short rest, and perhaps a lammergeyer soaring overhead. (It
will scarcely seem long enough before you are off again.) Continue down
the newly-restored Mweka Trail for 3 to 4 hrs to Rau Camp, just above the
rainforest. A very long day!
Day 10 Kilimanjaro Climb on Machame Route
Descend from Mweka Camp through beautiful rainforest to Mweka Gate for
3 to 4 hours to check off the mountain. A vehicle will return you to the
Marangu Hotel where you’ll tip and bid farewell to your guides and
porters, feeling eternally grateful for their invaluable contribution to
your achievement. Then head to the best bath you ever had, and a well-earned
Day 11 - Day 13 Rekero Tented Camp, Maasai Mara, Kenya
After a good lie-in, transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flights to
Nairobi Wilson and on to the Maasai Mara to start your safari amongst some
of the greatest concentrations of game anywhere on earth. Met upon arrival
at 3:00 pm for a game drive to Gerard Beaton’s luxury tented camp.
A trip to Africa without nights under traditional canvas is simply not complete!
Their new tents are positively luxurious with flushing loo and shower attached.
Rekero Tented Camp is beautifully set on the Talek River in an
area visited by few other tourists. Your hosts have lived in the area for
years and have close relations with the local Maasai people who will introduce
you to their culture. Your days will be spent game driving and taking walks
amongst amazing wildlife. Your evenings will be around a campfire listening
to night sounds under unforgettable African stars. An early morning hot
air balloon ride, floating over the Mara, is possible.
Days 14 - 16 Lewa Safari Camp / Lewa Downs Conservancy, Kenya
Depart 8:30 am from the Mara on a charter across the Great Rift Valley
to Kenya’s Northern Frontier District. Land 10:00 am at Lewa Downs,
a 55,000-acre ranch, home to the Craig family since 1924 and a diverse array
of wildlife living amongst some of Kenya's most spectacular scenery. The
snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya (17,058 ft /5,199 m) dominate views south
over the dry cedar Ngare Ndare forest. To the north, are breathtaking views
of Ololokwe, the Samburu’s sacred mountain, and the Matthew's Range.
A cedar-wood lodge overlooks a floodlit waterhole where rhino, elephant
and numerous other species of wildlife come to drink. The permanent tents
are private and comfortable, with walls of local lava rock and thatched
with papyrus collected at Lewa. Tents have electricity run by a generator,
flush toilets and hot showers!
The Lewa Downs Conservancy is a rhino breeding sanctuary, supporting a
myriad of semi-desert plains game. The endangered Grevy's zebra,and reticulated
giraffe are common. Beisa oryx and the rare greater kudu are seasonal visitors,
while gerenuk and Somali ostrich are resident all year. The Lewa Swamp is
a sanctuary for semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope and leopard. Bird life is
rich, and on night drives leopard are frequently encountered, as are bush
babies, aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, caracal, mongooses, genets and civets!
The Lewa Downs Conservancy is involved in vital community development projects.
You can visit one of the schools, the dispensary, and a Maasai cultural
center at nearby Il Ngwesi. At Lewa you can ride on horseback and take guided
walks amongst the wildlife.
Day 17 Departure to the U.S.
Depart Air Kenya 11:00 am to Nairobi Wilson, arriving 12:15 pm. Met on
arrival by a driver for an afternoon seeing the sights and shopping if you
so wish. You may visit the Karen Blixen House, the National Museum of Kenya,
or the Railway Museum. Your driver will take you to a restaurant of your
choice for early dinner. Nairobi has many fine restaurants to choose from:
the world-famous Carnivore Restaurant, the Tamarind known for its seafood,
or one of many restaurants offering delicious Indian cuisine. After dinner
you will be transferred to JKIA airport for check in at approx. 7:30 pm
for your flight home to the U.SA. You will relax on board, having had the
best trip of your life!
"In August 2003 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro myself with a Safari Experts team - enjoy the story! ."
Safari Experts' Kilimanjaro Team Ascent - Machame Route
Read this article Published in the New York Times October 10, 2004
"I was going to attempt Mount Kilimanjaro. Here I was turning 65, and there was Kilimanjaro. As the tallest mountain in Africa, it is one of the so-called seven summits..." read more