Why this itinerary?
Generally we recommend the 7 day version of this route but for very fit people the advantage of this route over an Umbwe 6 day or Rongai 6 day trip is the chance to see the area near to the Shira Plateau. It is also easier to access and so a better value trip as well.
This is a 6 day Kilimanjaro hike starting at Machame gate, ascending through afromontane forest and then into the heath zone and on to the edge of the remnants of the Shira volcano. The route then circumnavigates the main peak, Kibo, anticlockwise on route passing some spectacular features such as giant steps and glacial valleys. The key difference between the 7 and 6 day version of this route is that this 6 day hike misses a night camping at Karanga camp and so the section from Barranco to Barafu camp is long. This means if you do not acclimatise well or are unfit, this is very tough. The final ascent is from Barafu camp. It is a night time ascent to Uhuru Peak via Stella Point. The descent is via the Mweka route.
Kilimanjaro: afromontane forest, Shira plateau, glacial valleys and aline dersert, views of Mawenzi, ascent of Kibo and possible views of Kibo caldera and ash pit. Glaciers and the roof of Africa!
Itinerary in full
DAY 1: KILIMANJARO – MACHAME
After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro. At the gate your crew finalise packing and after finishing with formalities you start of from Machame gate. Today’s hiking is through verdant afromontane forest to Machame camp and on route you have a picnic lunch. Look out for pretty endemic flora and a graduation of forest zones! Overnight Machame Camp -Alt 3,000m,9,843ft(full board).
DAY 2: KILIMANJARO – SHIRA
From Machame camp you hike to Shira Camp. The first section is relatively steep and altitude is gained rapidly. A picnic lunch is taken on trail today. The zone you pass through today is known as the heath zone where attractive helichrysum and lobelia plants become apparent. Various geologic features can be seen today from lava tubes to glacial valleys. Overnight Shira Camp -Alt 3,850m,12,631ft (full board).
DAY 3: KILIMANJARO – BARRANCO
Today is a walk high sleep low day. You ascend into alpine desert and for those that are feeling strong you can even head up to Lava Tower before decending to Barranco camp. Lunch is taken as a picnic lunch on route. This is long day but pays dividends later on – great acclimatisation day! Overnight Barranco Camp -Alt 3,910m,12,828ft (full board).
DAY 4: KILIMANJARO – BARAFU
From Barranco camp, famous for its’ giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga camp. Lunch is taken at Karanga valley before heading to Barafu in the afternoon. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening slendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening.Overnight Barafu Camp – Alt 4,600m,15,092ft (full board).
DAY 5: KILIMANJARO – SUMMIT / MWEKA
Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a realtively short final section to Uhuru peak-Alt 5985m, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down and your goal today is to reach Mweka camp before dusk. Overnight Mweka Camp – Alt 3,100m,10,171ft (full board).
DAY 6: KILIMANJARO – END
After breakfast you decend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to your accommodation.
END OF SERVICES