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MACHAME ROUTE   7 DAYS

DAY OF ARRIVAL    We will pick you up when you arrive in our area and take you to your hotel.. After a rest, your guide will meet with you at a previously determined location for a briefing concerning your trek up the mountain.  This is the best time for you to get all your questions answered, so be sure to have them written down!   Later, we will go over all your gear to be sure nothing is missing.  If so, your guide will be sure to have replacements in the morning.  Be sure to get a good night’s sleep, as you will be very busy tomorrow!  Lala salama.

DAY 1    Your guide will meet you at your hotel and after packing all the gear, we will head out for Machame Gate.  On the way, we will pass through Machame Village where you will see coffee plantations, banana plantations, and lots of other natural flora and fauna.  We will stop at a local shop to buy some water, juices, fruit, or other items you may want to take with you.  When we arrive at Machame Gate, you will check in, then have a lunch box and enjoy your final rest before we begin hiking to Machame Camp (9300 feet), our first overnight location.  On the way, you will see the fabled Kilimanjaro Everlasting, a gorgeous flower that grows only on the flanks of this mountain.  Also, look for the displays of Spanish Moss, colorful birds, and other life in this unique rainforest, our second vegetation zone.  When we arrive, we will enjoy a tea and popcorn party before dinner.  You will fall asleep serenaded by the sounds of the forest.

DAY  2    After breakfast, we will continue our journey out of the rainforest and into the moorland, our third vegetation zone.  On the way, we will see the Red Poker flower, Lobelia, Senecia, and other unique specimens.  As we gain altitude, the trees become shorter, the rocks get bigger, and the valley you will see is gorgeous.  Be sure to take your camera this day.   We will take a short break at Picnic Point followed by some rest time, then continue up to Shira Camp (12,600 feet),  There, we will do some exploring in the area, including Shira Cave, a wonderful view of Mt Meru at sunset, the Shira plateau, and it is a good place to see the rest of the mountain including the western breech and take unforgettable photos.  It is cold here, so after our welcome hot meal, be sure to put on your warmest socks and thermal underwear before nodding off.  Sleep tight!

Day 3 Option 1   Today will be an easier day.  After breakfast we will have a short, half day of hiking through the traverse across valleys which have been gouged out by glaciers.   We will be traveling at a slower pace in order to allow for gradual acclimatization.  We will reach our next camp, Lava Tower (15,000 ft) around lunch time.  After lunch, we will take a short rest, and then climb to the top of the Lava Tower.  The views from the top are unbelievably spectacular!  If you choose, you can ascend to Arrow Glacier for further acclimatizing.  We will return to the dining hall for dinner, then to bed for lala.  Lala salama!  (OPTION)  You can descend down to Baranco camp site in 2 hours, but you may lose some acclimatization benefits.

Day 4     After breakfast, we will descend the steep trail into the Great Baranco Valley.  Here you can find some rare plants such as the Groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari) and Giant Lobelia.   We will start climbing the Baranco Wall (not a technical climb), then descend to the Karanga Campsite (13,743 ft).  There we will have a hot lunch, and spend the afternoon relaxing, studying the flora and fauna, or even catching up on your journal with a cup of tea.  We will go out on the trail again later, when you can see the beautiful sunset over Mt Meru.  We will return to the camp in time for dinner and another short trip to a wonderful place to see Moshi Town with its lights at the bottom of the mountain.  Lala salama!

Day 5     This day, we will continue to Barafu Camp, (15,088 ft) passing through the desert zone and seeing the closest view yet of the great mountain.  On the way, we will cross easy rocks and snow (winter season).  We will have a nice lunch at the camp followed by a short trek in the area.  We will have an early dinner after which your guide will tell you what to expect on the final ascent to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft).   You will have time to ask questions before heading for bed.  Lala salama.

Day 6     We will wake you at 11 PM with some hot tea and cookies as you prepare for your final ascent.  We will all gather at the assigned site at midnight to begin our hike.  Do not forget to take a good long look at the night sky as the stars are the big attraction at the beginning.  You will be excited as you make your way up through the cold mountain air.  As the sun rises, your views of Mt Meru and Mawenzi Peak will be spectacular over the summit with Kili’s huge glacier.  We have completer the final ascent to Uhuru Peak.  After a short stay there, we will descend to Barafu Camp where we will stop for a lunch of hot soup, bread, fruit and juice.  You will have enough time for a short rest.  We will resume our hike to overnight in Mweka camp (10,168 ft).  This is a long day of hiking and you will be rewarded with a hot meal and long awaited sleep. 

Day 7     After breakfast, we will be descending through the beautiful rain forest (be sure to look for the famous blue and colobus monkeys.)   Also be sure your guide points out the famous Kilimanjaro Everlasting, which is one of the most beautiful flowers on earth.  Our trek will end when we arrive at the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park Gate to receive your certificate.  Congradulations!!! You have accomplished one of the greatest adventures in the world.  After lunch, you will return to your hotel for your long awaited hot shower.

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