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Kilimanjaro is a popular climb because Kili requires no special expertise or mountaineering equipment. In fact, it is not a climb, it’s a hike. You can walk all the way to the top. That sounds easy but isn’t! Read about training for Kilimanjaro and beating altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro. Arusha * Kilimanjaro (Machame/Mweka) Often called the “Whiskey Route” this is a scenically beautiful trail, longer and much gentler than Umbwe or Marangu (the “Coca Cola Route”). Our itinerary provides valuable acclimati-sation by having extra, but shorter walking days during the trek.
Meet at arrival point JRO and transfer to your lodge for pre-safari briefing.
KARAMA LODGE (Dinner)
From Arusha drive to the Machame Park gate, then a gentle climb up through the original montane forest, carpeted with unique "busy lizzie" flowers, begonias and ferns. First camp amongst the giant heather at 3,000m. Ascent of 1,182m and 5-6 hours walking. MACHAME CAMP (Lunch, Dinner)
Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp by the Shira Cave at 3,840m. Herds of eland up here (& occasional lion!) and there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half hour option-al walk in the afternoon. Ascent 808m and 5-6 hours walking.
SHIRA CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
From Shira, climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders. Skirt-ing around its base and under the imposing Western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley for mid-way camp at 3,900m. 7-8 hours walking and only 70m total ascent - but having climbed higher and dropping back down assists acclimatisation.
BARRANCO CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Up the steep Barranco Wall with some sections of very easy scrambling and drop down again to the Karanga Valley. This is a short walking day, around 3 hours, and again you climb about 300m but drop back down again to around 4,100m. There’s an optional further acclimatisation hike in afternoon up onto the scree below the glaciers.
KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Up to a new camp about 100m above Barafu Hut perched high on a rocky bluff at 4,330m. Fantastic views across to Mawenzi peak, and a bit less to climb tomorrow morning! This is another short walking day, about 4 hours with a 230m height gain, and time for a good rest in the afternoon immediately before the hard sum-mit day.
BARAFU CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hike: 17.4 km 4330m-5895m-3075m 13-15 hours
A bracing 1am start to climb the steep frozen scree. This is unavoidable on any route but we aim to reach Stella Point on the crater rim for sunrise - another 40 mins and you’re at the highest point on the continent, usually in warm sunshine. We return on the Mweka descent route. Walking time 7 hours and 1,300m ascent to the summit, 6-8 hours and 2,800m descent to our camp in a clearing amongst the giant heather at Mweka. This is a long and hard day - you’ll feel tired but absolutely ecstatic after you’ve done it.
MWEKA CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
A 4-5 hours descent through the forest to Mweka Gate to collect our certificates and meet our vehicle. Return to Arusha, arriving early to midafternoon.
KARAMA LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch)
Transfer to airport for: Depart JRO TBA
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