Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

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Best time to go: January to March, June to December

9 Nights | from £4,979pp

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Holiday type: Tailor-made

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Take the scenic route to climb Africa's highest peak and tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro, secure in the knowledge that A&K have a dedicated climbing operation and focus on safety, with a 97% success rate.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Climb with the most experienced and attentive guides
  • Camp in igloo tents as you make your way to the top of this epic mountain
  • Abercrombie & Kent supports the Kilimanjaro Porters Association Project (KPAP)
  • Why book Kilimanjaro with Abercrombie & Kent


Day 1 UK / Kilimanjaro
Depart the UK via Amsterdam for your flight to Kilimanjaro arriving in the evening where you will be met by a member of the A&K team and driven to the Lake Duluti Serena for the night.

Day 2 Machame Camp (10, 000ft)
After breakfast, you depart at approximately 08:30 for the Machame village where you begin the trek. From the park entrance gate (Machame), you will walk for about two to three hours through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for lunch will be made halfway to this evening's campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. Walking alongside a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream, and on the right, the Weru Weru. Depending on the pace of the climbers, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 17:00 and 18:00. Your camp is set up near some old metal 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, as there is little to do there. Guides tend to recommend a slow ascent, even at this point, for gradual acclimatisation. Do not try to keep up with your porters, who will usually bound ahead. Instead, take time to admire the beauty of the rainforest.

Day 3 Shira Camp (12, 500ft)
Awake early to a piping-hot cup of coffee or tea. As you leave the camp admire the commanding view of Uhuru Peak. Trek out of the forest up to the Hagenia zone, through a savannah of tall grasses and haunting volcanic lava landscapes. After a six-hour hike, arrive at the Shira Plateau and your camp. At 12,500 feet, it boasts sweeping views across the Masai Steppe to distant Mount Meru and the Shira Needles.

Day 4 Barranco Camp (13,000ft)
The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000ft), where you stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes you along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before. Today's trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 16:30 and 17:30.

Day 5 Karanga Camp (13,000ft)
This morning you begin your hike to Karanga Camp which is on the same altitude as Barranco Camp. You will encounter a bit of a climb at Barranco Cliff and spend the rest of the trek climbing up and down the slopes of the mountain most of the way to camp. The climbing is not considered difficult and you should arrive in time for lunch (approximately 13:00) having trekked for about four hours. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to hike in the Karanga Valley where giant scenecio and lobelia grow; however, you are well advised to rest as much as you possibly can to prepare you for the climb ahead.

Day 6 Barafu Camp (15,200ft)
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 along the way and climbers arrive at Barafu Camp at around 14:30. Climbers who choose to ascend the peak will go to bed very early this night as the next day is the longest one. It will undoubtedly be very cold here, and you will need to wear virtually every item of clothing you have brought along for the climb if you want to sleep comfortably. Also, keep your camera in your sleeping bag to keep it from freezing.

Day 7 Ascent to Summit (19,340ft)/Descent to Mweka Camp (10,200ft)
You will be woken up at midnight and after a light breakfast, start climbing at around 01:00. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult. Here, very few will not be suffering from altitude sickness in some form or another; and climbers should carry as little as possible on this part of the climb. Temperatures will range from -4° to 5° Fahrenheit. Make your way up a path 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 you to the summit. Uhuru stands at 19,340ft 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 section of the journey.

The descent is no easier than the ascent. You will reach Barafu after about three hours (around 11:30). You 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 17:00, you will have trekked a total of thirteen hours today.

Day 8 Mweka to the Gate
On the final day of the journey, descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate will take approximately 5 hours and you'll usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate you will be rewarded with a certificates attesting your success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. A member of the A&K team will meet you and transfer you to the Lake Duluti Serena for one night.

Day 9 Kilimanjaro / UK
Spend the day relaxing before being driven to the airport for your flight via Amsterdam back to the UK.

Day 10 UK
Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Pricing
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. However, as a guide, this 10 day itinerary will cost from £4,979 per person based on two adults sharing with flights from the UK and subject to availability.

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Useful info

tanzania map

Fly to

Kilimanjaro (for Northern Tanzania), Dar es Salaam via Nairobi (for Selous, Ruaha, Zanzibar)

Flying time

11 hours 30 minutes including transit stop

Time difference

GMT +3 hours

Visas

Required for UK passport holders

Health requirements

Yellow fever certificate required

Best time to travel

December - March, July - October

Weather

Due to Tanzania's proximity to the equator the climate is generally warm year round ranging between 25°C to 32°C, there are however regional variations. With two rain seasons, the long rains fall in April and May (into early June) and the short rains falls in October and November. The best times to travel are December, January, February or late June to early October.

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