Kilimanjaro by the Machame Route
It is a popular one as it combines the beautiful a nd varied scenery with plenty of opportunities to acclimatise. A steep and fine route providing superb views on the traverse below the Southern Icefields.
An extra day could be added to the itinerary, spent either at Shira, where you could walk to the Shira Needles, or camping in the Karanga Valley.The final ascent is made very early in the morning from the Barafu Hut.
The Mweka Route is used for the descent. Accommodation on the mountain is in tents; you will need a sleeping bag and sleeping mat. The porters do not pitch the tents for you but will help if you wish. This is a strenuous walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. Ski sticks or ice-axe are useful when ascending the scree to the summit.
Arrive at the hotel for overnight.
After breakfast drive to Machame village. The climb begins at the end of the tarmac road. Walk through shambas then forest to the Machame hut (3000m, about 6 hours).
Continue along the steep ridge going on to rock ridges and through heather. The route turns west into a river gorge, reaching Shirahut at 3800m, 5 hours
Continue east towards Kibo passing the junction, then east towards the Lava Tower. Shortly after this, you reach Barranco hut (3940m, 4 hours).
A short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m, 3 hours), beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. After climbing out of the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut, a bleak location with little vegetation at 4600m, (3 hours walking).
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east.
Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.
A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the park gate and your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel.
Depart after breakfast.
Machame route then Uhuru Point by Arrow Glacier This is a really steep, hard but short route to the summit from Arrow Glacier Camp. From December to February crampons and ice axes may be needed.