Kili Machame trekking
Kilimanjaro Climb, Machame Track
The Massif of Kilimanjaro, mythical summit of the African continent, dominates by 5000 meters the surrounding plains. This huge volcano with a very characteristic shape, consists of three different craters, Shira to the west, Mawenzi to the east and Kibo in the middle. The Uhuru Peak summit, the final goal of the climb, rises to 5895 meters. This isolated volcano lies 60 km from east to west, and 40 kilometers from north to south.
The Machame route is probably the most beautiful of all. It is taken by trekkers looking for better acclimatization and wishing to avoid the crowd on the normal tracks departing from Marangu. The return by a different track allows to further increase the variety of landscapes in which the view is often spectacular: dense rainforest where lianas intermingle between rubber and giant trees among which live blue monkeys, colobus monkeys with long white tail, various antelopes and colorful birds; grass, giant groundsel and lobelia in the moorlands which are flown over by several species of raptors such as the crowned eagle: the high altitude desert is finally dominated by glaciers and the eternal snow. The nights are spent in tents.
MACHAME / MACHAME HUT
Departure for the Chagga village of Machame, starting point of this trek. 6 hours of walk through dense and inextricable rubber forest, giant ferns, begonias and ficus. As we gradually take altitude, the vegetation changes. The rainforest leaves place to the tall grasses and giant heathers. The camp is established near the metal huts of Machame Hut (3050 m).
MACHAME HUT / SHIRA
Leaving the camp, with, if the weather is clear, a wonderful view of Uhuru, a path leads through a tall grass savanna, volcanic rocks and bearded lichen heathers ...Then the first giant groundsel, such as sentinel guardians of an untouched territory. This steeper path snakes through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, streams ... until the Shira Plateau. And three quarters of an hour later, the Shira camp at 3690 m (6-5 hours of walk).
SHIRA / BARRANCO
Leaving the Shira bivouac, the itinerary points towards the Kibo. The climb is regular up to the Lawa Tower pass located at 4570 m. The descent towards the Barranco Camp leads to the edge of a huge canyon, The Great Barranco, where groundsel, very watered by countless small converging waterfalls, grow in abundance. Installation of the bivouac at 3940 m (6 hours of walk).
BARRANCO / BARAFU
6 hours of walk are needed to reach Barafu Camp at 4550 m. Impressive ascent of the Great Wall of Barranco, with no difficulty, but the wall is impressive. After a long crossing, all made of ups and downs on the flanks of the Kilimanjaro and a lunch break in the Karanga Valley, climbing of a moraine until Barfu camp. To the right, the majestic Mawenzi. Overhead, the goal, the Kibo ...
BARAFU / UHURU PEAK / MWEKA
Departure around midnight – 1 AM. Cold temperatures between -10 and -15 °C. The climb winds on the slopes until the foot of Ratzel and Rebman Glaciers, between which engages the track. The slope is steep, the atmosphere surreal in the middle of the hanging glaciers. After 6 hours of walk, at the first light of dawn, arrival on the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer peaks. It still takes half an hour to an hour of walk on the volcano's crest, usually snowy, to reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895 m). Then an hour to return to Gillman's Point and an hour and a half until Kibo Hut. Here, it is recommended to rest and drink, then go back to Mweka Hut reached in the afternoon, after 3-4 hours of walk.
Direct descent to the park gates. 6 to 7 hours of downhill walk (28 km) with a lunch stop. Back to Mweka Gate where a diploma (attesting of your success) is given.