Taking in all stunning scenery that Africa's highest mountain has to offer, Summiting to Uhuru peak at sunrise via Stella Point, Camping along the way.
One of Africa's most magnificent sights, Mt Kilimanjaro, stands at a majestic 5895m above sea level. This nearly perfectly shaped volcano is Africa's highest peak and the ambition of trekkers from around the globe! The Machame considered by many to be the most scenic of its paths. Climb through magnificent forests and moorland, and emerge into the high alpine deserts as you catch glimpses of immense mountain walls, glaciers and ice fields—all en route towards our final goal—the peak!
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After an hour drive to the start of the Machame trail (1490m), hike through the lush lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Slowly gaining altitude while admiring the diverse flora and fauna of the rain forest, you’ll arrive to your first campsite, the Machame Camp, situated at 3000m above sea level. (Hiking time: 5-7 hrs).
Rise early and climb steeply through the savannah, and continue up a gentler ascent through the lower alpine moorland, which is notable for beautiful wild alpine flowers and the unique Giant Lobelia and giant groundsel (senecio) plants. Traverse across the Shira plateau west towards a river gorge; if it is a clear day, you will have direct views of Kibo, the peak and ultimate goal of your adventure. Here you’ll camp at Shira Campsite, at 3840m, (Hiking time: 5-7 hrs).
Today we turn east and continue to climb “pole pole” (slowly, slowly) through increasingly rocky and barren terrain. We have lunch and ascend the rocky scree path to the Lava Tower (4630m). From the Lava Tower, we descend steeply for 2 hours, more than 600m, into the Great Barranco Valley. This descent affords fantastic views and some great photo opportunities of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. You will feel the benefits of this acclimatization day as we lose altitude down to the camp, situated at 3950m. (Hiking time: 7-8 hrs).
Tackle the Great Barranco Wall – an imposing face above your camp. A steady climb up the eastern wall takes us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some awesome views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley. Beyond the valley, we climb the trail through this empty and dry landscape up to Barafu Camp. The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can been seen from our camp, Barafu, perched at 4550m. Here you'll familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark, and prepare your equipment and thermal clothing for the midnight start of the summit attempt. (Hiking time: 7-8 hrs).
Wake up before midnight. In the cover of darkness, you begin the most difficult though most rewarding day of the trek – your hike up to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After several hours of slow but strenuous hiking, you will reach the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5685m. Continue on through the scree and snow-covered trail to Uhuru peak, which is the highest point in Africa, at 5895m. Take a few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment, and start back down the same trail. Head down the rock and scree path into the Heather zone, reaching the forest, and eventually arriving at Mweka hut in the late afternoon. (Hiking time: 14-17 hrs).
Enjoy the forest and higher oxygen levels of the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro as you complete this adventure. Upon arrival at the Mweka gate, successful hikers will receive their summit certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village for lunch, normally a muddy 1-hour hike. Upon arrival to Moshi in the afternoon, relax, or have that much-deserved shower and congratulatory beverage. (Hiking time: 4-5 hrs).
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