Beginning in the South, this is one of the best routes to take due to the chances of reaching the summit and in recent years it has become one of the most travelled routes on the mountain for many trekkers. The route is known to be physically more demanding in comparison with the “Coca Cola” route, hence its nickname the “whiskey route”. The route has beautiful landscapes, and can be quite physically demanding. The chances of reaching uhuru peak increases with a recommended extra day for acclimatization, which additionally reduces the number of hours of walking the day before allowing the body time to relax and prepare for final summit attempt.
Accommodation is only in campsites in K-way basecamp 3 person tent.
Ascent is via Machame route and descent is via Mweka route.
This route can be trekked within minimum of 6 days, however an additional day for
acclimatization is highly recommended.
Success rate is high.
Traffic is very high.
ITINERARY 6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS
Day 1-Machame gate (1800m) – Machame Camp (3000m)
5-7 hours trek – 9km
Montane forest, heather & moorland zone
The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once we reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, firewood, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. The guides will be pleased to assist with any additional information. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail to the first camp, which is located at an altitude of 3,048 meters. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Hut. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy our dinner, and overnight. e have now reached an altitude of 3,000 meters.
Day 2- Machame Camp (3000m) – Shira Camp (3845m)
5-7 hours trek – 7km
Heather & Moorland zone
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge at 3,658 meters. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite. For acclimatization purposes, some parties stay here an extra night.
Day 3 – Shira (3845m) – Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco Camp (3960m)
6-8 hours trek – 10km
Heather & Moorland zone
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction, which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4,876 meters. We now continue down to the Barranco camp at an altitude of 3,860 meters. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation, as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4 – Barranco Camp (3960m) – Barafu (4600m)
7-8 hours trek – 8km
Heather, Moorland & Alpine desert zone
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley (4200m), and the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue to the Barafu Hut, which is located at an altitude of 4,600 meters. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position. This section can also be divided into 2 separate days, where an in between camp will be made in or near the Karanga valley. This makes the summit day a lot easier…
Day 5 – Barafu Camp (4600m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3100m)
13-15 hours trek – 19km
Alpine desert, snow, heather & moorland zone
Early morning, we continue our way to the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5,985 meters. This part of the climb takes about 6 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. At Uhuru Peak, we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut campsite at 3,100 meters. This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 6 – Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka gate (1800m)
3-4 hours trek – 10km
Heather, Moorland & Montane forest zone
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep raingear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi and celebrations.
Recommended additional day for acclimatization Karanga Camp 4035m is on day 4 of the 6 days climb. Crater camp can be visited as an additional to those trekkers who want to explore the ash pit.