Is known as the ‘’Whisky Route’’ and is also popular and quite one of the scenic routes on the mountain.
Duration is 6 days, acclimatization is easier with a high summit success rate.
DAY 1. Machame Gate to Machame camp.
Distance;-18km;-Hiking Time 5-7 hours.
Vegetation; Montane Forest
Drive from your hotel to the Park Gate(Machame Gate). You will pass through Machame village which is located on the lower slopes of the Mountain.You reach the Park Gate for a few minutes registration and other formalities. Thereafter you head Machame Gate for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2. Machame camp to Shira Camp
Distance;-9km, walking Time 4-6 hours.
After breakfast leave the glades of the rain forest and continue ascending across the little valley,walking along a steep rock ridge covered with heather until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Dinner and overnight at Shira Camp.
DAY 3. Shira camp-Lava Tower to Barranco camp
Distance;– 15km, walking Time 5-7 hours.
Vegetation;- Semi Desert.
From Shira, continue to the East up to a ridge passing the junction towards the KIBO PEAK ,Your direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower , after the Tower come to the second junction which brings you up to the Arrow Glacier 4876m/15,997ft.Continue down to the Barranco Hut 3860m/12,664ft.Dinner and overnight.
Although you end the day at the same elevation as you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body to prepare for summit day.
DAY 4. Barranco camp to Barafu camp.
Distance;- 13km, walking Time 8 hours.
Vegetation;- Alpine Desert.
After breakfast leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up Barranco wall, through Karanga valley(lunch at 4200m/13779ft).Continue up to the Barafu Hut.You have completed the South circuit which offers views of the Summit from different angles. The two peaks of KIBO and MAWENZI are to be seen from this position. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 5. Barafu camp-Summit to Mweka Hut
4600m-5895m(and down to 3100m)
15,100ft-19,300ft(and down to 12,200ft)
Distance;-7km ascent/23km descent, walking Time 6-8 hours ascent/7-8 hours descent.
Vegetation;-Stone scree and ice capped Summit.
Very early in the morning(midnight to 2am).Continue with the way to the summit, you head Northwest direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella point on the crater rim.This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see(weather permitting).
From Stella point, you will encounter snow all the way on your 2 hours ascent to the summit At Uhuru peak you have reached the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro and the African Continent. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
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 need clothing for both extremes with you.
From the summit, you now make your descend continuing straight down to Mweka camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will need gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka camp is located in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.
Later in the evening , enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and well earned sleep. Beers and soda may be available for purchase at Mweka Hut.
DAY 6. Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate.
Distance;- 15km, walking Time 3-4 hours.
After breakfast descend down to Mweka Gate, receive your Summit certificate. At lower elevations it can be muddy and wet. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and T-shirts will probably be plenty to wear(keep rain gears and warmer clothing handy).
From the Gate probably the vehicle will be there waiting for you(if the weather permitting) otherwise you will keep walking for another hour to Mweka village where you will meet a vehicle to drive you back to your hotel.