Tanzania·June - September
Transform your life with this incredible trekking expedition to the highest freestanding mountain in the world via the 7-day Machame route.VIEW DATES
This incredible expedition will follow the 7-day Machame route to the summit and back via Mweka camp to complete a transformational and life changing adventure experience. You will make your way to Kilimanjaro airport to be collected and transported to the team hotel. This forms day one of your trip with Aspire Adventures. We then check kit, make plans and get excited for your expedition of a lifetime. Tonight we spend in a hotel and get to know each other a little more. Day two is transport to Machame gate where we meet the extended team and get all the permits and kit ready. On this day we walk for 5-6hrs to Machame camp with around 1,100m of ascent over 11km. Tonight is our first night in a tent until we get back. Day three we walk to Shira Cave camp which is around 4-5hrs with around 800m of ascent and 5km in distance. Day four we take in some ascent to help with the acclimatisation with a walk to Lava Tower for lunch and then ascent to Barranco camp. We reach an altitude of 4,600m and then descend to 3,900m. Total distance walked is around 10km with 800m of ascent and then 700m of descent. Day five we attack the Barranco Wall and then on to Karanga camp. The wall is around 200m of height gain and then we have some gradual ascent and descent in to Karanga camp. Day six is a short walk to Barafu camp with 700m of ascent over 5km of walking. Here we rest for the afternoon before the ascent push. Day six and seven is the summit push and walk to Mweka camp. We generally start at midnight and aim for 6-8hrs to the summit and then 3hrs back to Barafu camp. We then rest, have lunch and sort kit before the 4hr walk to Mweka camp. Day eight is a short stroll to Mweka gate for a beer, sign out from the mountain and head back to our hotel for a well deserved shower and celebration meal with certificate ceremony. Day nine is depart. Above timings are all subject to change according to speed of team and overall safety. Example meals could be - Breakfast: Eggs, porridge, fruit, toast with jams and spreads. Lunch: Pasta, fruit, vegetables, soup. Dinner: Chicken, chips, meat, spaghetti, soup, fruit, veg. All food requirements can be catered for. Cost includes: 2 x hotel nights B&B, guides, porters, tent use, food on the mountain, safety oxygen, access to medical kit, doctors on standby, transport to/from airport. Cost excludes: Tips, visa, insurance, personal items, international flights.
You're collected from the airport and we gather at the team hotel to check kit, sort plans and get excited for the journey ahead. We have a team briefing in the evening where you'll find out everything you need to know and can ask any last minute questions.
Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation: 1.800m to 3.000m –Distance 11 km –Trekking-Time 5-7 hours –Rainforest
At 8am you will be met by the rest of our guides and porters. Following a final cross-check of equipment and supplies, our staff will drive you to the Machame Gate. Anything you do not want to take with you on the mountain can be left at a lock up in the hotel. Once at the gate you will be given a packed lunch and after registration with the Kilimanjaro Park office your climb will begin with ascending into the rainforest.
During the day at about half way up we will have a break and you can enjoy your packed lunch. We will reach the Machame Camp in late afternoon.
After your arrival and registration at Machame Camp you will be taken to your camp and tent which has already been set up by the porters who ran ahead, where you will have greeted with boiled drinking water and hot washing water. Once you have freshened up and settled in, a hot dinner will be served in the mess-tent.
Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation: 3.000m to 3.850m –Distance 9 km –Trekking-Time 4-6 hours –Moorland
You will be woken up after your first night on the mountain with a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate at 6:30am in your tent. After breakfast we leave the rainforest and continue our ascent crossing a small valley into open moorlands where the vegetation is sparse with small shrubs and up to a steep rocky ridge. After a short break, our route turns onto a river gorge and up towards Shira Plateau where you will catch your first glimpse of the Western Breach and its stunning glaciers. Continuing on to Shira Camp, where the cook will welcome you with boiled drinking water and hot washing water. You can then put your feet up with some snacks and a hot lunch. After lunch, there is plenty of time to explore the Shira Caves, take pictures, write your journal or just relax and rest until being served your hot evening meal. Due to the camp being very exposed it can get very cold and sometimes windy.
Shira Camp –Lava Tower (4.600m) –to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 3.850m to 4.600m to 3.950m –
Distance 12 km –Trekking-Time 6-7 hours –
Your daily morning wakes up with a hot drink will be followed by a hot breakfast and then we pack up leave Shira Camp for a 4-5-hour trek to the well-known land mark of Lava Tower (4.600m) for acclimatization. Once reaching Lava Tower we will have a short break for lunch for some bonus acclimatization before starting a 2-hour descent by 650m to Barranco Camp. This is following the golden rule of acclimatization „ climb high and sleep low”. This will be our toughest day so far but the climb offers multiple terrific opportunities for photos. As we descend through the valley, the amazing sight of the Giant Groundsels is bound to stop you in your tracks. Barranco Camp gives you a beautiful view of the Western Breach and Breach Wall and be prepared with your camera while you are waiting for dinner for what could be one of the most spectacular sunsets you have ever seen as the sun drops down into the valley.
Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) to Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft)
Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 820 feet Distance: 7 Kilometers
Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places, you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatisation.
Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft)
Elevation Gain: 400 meters, 1,320 feet Distance: 6 kilometers
After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo's glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Try to go to bed early, and try to get more hours of precious sleep. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike.
Barafu Camp –Stella Point –Uhuru Peak (5.895m) –Mwenka Hut
Elevation 4.600m to 5.732 to 5..895m to 3.100m –Distance 7 km ascent 23 km descent –Trekking-Time 6-8 hours ascent and 7-8 hours descent –stones creed and ice field–glaciers
The wake-up tea will be served at11:30pmwith the departure at midnight. After a hot drink and some biscuits, we will start the challenge for the summit. Our initial 6hour climb begins in the dark with only our headlamps and guides to show us the way through the thick scree and winding pathways of Ratzel and Rebmann Glaciers until we reach Stella Point. Many say this is the most challenging part of the entire climb but you will be rewarded with what is perhaps the most emotional and beautiful sunrise you have seen nor ever will see in your life. After taking some pictures at the sign, and a short rest we will join the last part of the Marangu route to continue 1 -2more hours to reach your ultimate goal-the summit –the highest peak of Africa –Uhuru Peak at5.985 m. Congratulations!! You are now standing on the “Roof of Africa”. Our guides will take pictures of you at the world-famous Uhuru sign and post it on Facebook for your family and friends at home. After a few minutes spent at the summit, due to the altitude and cold, it is important to start our descent. We will descend through sliding scree and winding pathways for about 3 hours back to Barafu camp.
On reaching Barafu Camp the rest our team will congratulate you and welcome you with a hot lunch. You will have the chance for a longer break before we start the next descent to Mweka Camp. Trekking poles are very useful in this part of the descent. In the camp you will have a last fantastic view on the summit–finding it hard to believe that only a few hours ago you were stood at the top. And after this long day, you can enjoy your dinner and your last day on the mountain.
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation 3.100m to 1.800m –Distance 10 km –Trekking-Time 3 -4 hours –Rainforest
Once again you will be woken for your final celebratory breakfast where our team will thank and congratulate you in their unique, special way! This is also the opportunity for you to say thank you for their support and encouragement and show your appreciation by giving a tip to each of them or to the team. We will then set off for the final 3hour scenic descent to Mweka Gate. At the gate you will get the chance to have a celebratory beer/champagne plus Hot Lunch while the equipment is loaded in the van and then it is off to your Hotel in Arusha for certificate of achievement and celebrations.
Today is the day we say goodbye to people either heading off for your safari or hope to regale loved ones with your adventurous stories. We look forward to seeing you on another Aspire Adventures expedition or adventure.
Water on the mountain
Doctors on standby
Tent use (shared)
Transport to/from airport
Food on the mountain
Two nights hotel (twin or double sharing)
Wow, just wow!!! This experience was so incredible I can barely find the words to describe it. The organisation was excellent, the team brilliant and I felt so well looked after. Now, what to book next year with Aspire Adventures? Oh, if you get a chance, go on the safari!
You will be hard pressed to find a more amazing expedition than this. I say that having done Everest Base Camp with Aspire Adventures also. The food is great and plenty of it. The team, superb. It's hard work but so rewarding. Thank you Team Aspire.
As a father and son expedition it exceeded all expectations. Not only was it the greatest experience to stand on the summit together but we had so much fun as well. Everything was better than we could ever have expected. Other teams on the mountain looked on in total envy. I can't wait for the next trip.
Stuart and Will
If you look in the information section you'll find some example meals that are served. Importantly, if you have any food intolerances or needs, they can be catered for.
The team obtain water and ensure it's purified before being given to us. There is more than enough to keep you hydrated. Some people bring things like berocca or hydration tablets to add some flavour.
Generally wake up between 6am and 7am (depending on the day) with tea/coffee delivered to your tent. Then we pack our personal kit and head for breakfast in the mess tent. After that we walk for either the morning or the day, stopping for lunch or getting to camp in time for food. Every evening we tell you in detail what the next day is like.
Altitude is very individual but at it's simplest level it's about a steady pace, lots of rest, hydrate and eat as much as you can. The body can adapt but it needs time, hence move steady. The route is designed to help acclimatise and we have experts on hand (plus meds) to deal with all scenarios.
Kilimanjaro isn't about being super fit it's more about listening to the team and being really well organised. When you book you get a 3-month training plan plus a free 30mins online PT assessment to help you get ready.
It's okay, this is normal. We have got your back. If things become too overwhelming please do email the team and someone can give you a call back to discuss your apprehensions. Some nerves are good, it focuses the mind, and just imagine how it will feel after when you've completed this exciting expedition!