Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro

A Hike Through The Machame Route

Adventure-seekers from around the world continue to marvel at the beauty of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa. As a proof of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s popularity as a favorite hiking destination by many thrill-seekers, several routes have been officially opened for public use. One of these routes is the Machame Route.

Trekking The Machame Route

The Machame Route is probably the most scenic among the tracks leading up to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit. As a hiking route leading to what is referred to as Africa’s rooftop, this track offers stunning views of Tanzania’s natural treasures. Aside from spectacular landscapes, this track also offers a glimpse of the different ecological zones that thrive within the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. When using this route, it’ll usually take hikers six or seven days in order to reach the mountain’s summit which is the Uhuru Peak.

On the 1st day of the hike, travelers start from the Machame Gate and treks through a montane rainforest. Hikers will know that they have reached the montane rainforest once they notice dense vegetation and several sections of steep treks and climbs along with a muddy track. The 2nd day leads hikers to vast stretches of moorlands preceeded by sparse bushes and trees. This is where hikers will be able to marvel at charming hanging mosses, creating an enchanting atmosphere. The 2nd day ends at the Shira Camp situated atop a plateau.

The next day, hikers trek the moorlands and start to move up into the alpine dessert characterized by sparse vegetation and rocky trails. Once the Lava Tower is reached, hikers descend to the Barranco Valley. Known as the “Garden of The Senecias,” this valley is filled with large Senecio plants. On the fourth day, hikers climb up the Barranco Wall. The trail then leads to the Karanga River and then to the Karanga campsite. Depending on the number of days (6 or 7) hikers chose to finish the entire route, the Karanga Campsite is sometimes excluded in the itenerary.

Hikers trek along rocky trails during the 5th day until they reach Camp Barafu. Early in the morning, hikers trek on the 6th day towards Stella Point which is a landmark that leads to the summit. From Stella Point, it may take hikers less than an hour to finally reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro — the Uhuru Peak.

Things To Consider

Although hiking up to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro requires no mountaineering skills, trekkers should prepare themselves physically and mentally because this route is quite challenging according to the Climbing Kilimanjaro Guide. Hikers should choose a route that’ll match their physical and mental condition since some routes may prove more challenging than other trails. Moreover, accommodations within this route are mostly for those who have tents so trekkers are advised to bring sturdy hiking mattresses and good sleeping bags for a more comfortable experience. Hikers should also bring enough winter gear since Mt. Kilimanjaro is famous for its snow-capped peaks throughout the year.

Accommodation in Kilimanjaro

Hiking the Machame Route can be started fron the city of Arusha. In Arusha there are several lodges and hotels for travellers to choose from. The guided safari tours may include sleeping some nights in tents or mountain huts.

Accommodation example:Arusha Crown Hotel. Makongoro Road, Arusha, Tanzania.

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How to get to Kilimanjaro

The Kilimanjaro can be reached for example by flying with KLM from Amsterdam, Neatherlands, straight to Kilimajaro Airport. Another way to travel is going via cities of Nairobi or Dar-es-Salaam.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

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