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Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Climb Africa’s highest mountain via the ever popular Machame Route supported by some of the most experienced guides on the mountain. Machame is generally perceived to have the best acclimatisation and most attractive scenery. The only drawback is its popularity, but with solid prospects of reaching the summit that is a sacrifice worth making.

Small Group 6 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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Itinerary

Overview

Kilimanjaro rises out of the African plains to the majestic height of 5,895m. There are several routes up Kili and Machame recently overtook Marangu (Coca-Cola route) as the most popular. Starting at Machame Gate, the trek passes through striking rainforest, mountain desert and afro-alpine terrain before tackling the summit via Stella Point. The Machame route offers great scenery, arguably the best altitude acclimatisation of any and is available all year round. There are no huts on the Machame route, evenings are spent at the designated camp sites.

The Machame Route starts in the forest zone and heads North for two days until reaching the Shira Plateau at 3900m. Shira Camp offers incredible sunset views over the jagged peaks forming the southern edge of the Shira Plateau. The route really comes into its own from Lava Rock onwards with fantastic scenery, a varied trail and incredible Afro-Alpine vegetation between Barranco and Barafu. This trek includes airport transfers and a night’s accommodation either end of the trek in Arusha.

Adventurous trekkers can choose the outstanding Excel crater camp option, which includes an extra night after summiting, camping in the crater. It will be cold and the effects of altitude are strong, but the reward is a once in a lifetime experience in a truly alien environment of glaciers, ash-pits and wilderness. Details and photos from crater camp are available here.

Day-by-day

The standard option. High level of support with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. Mess tents will be used and three course hot lunches will be served most days. (NOTE: This is a 6 day trek, but encompasses 7 nights including the nights before and after in Arusha)

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This is a very exciting series that spends the night with a small lightweight support team in the crater at 5729m after summitting Kilimanjaro. The following morning we launch excursions to a number of fascinating and rarely seen features within the crater from the Reusch Ash Pit at the crater's centre, to the rapidly retreating edges of the northern and eastern ice fields, where health and strength permit.

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Details

Getting there

This trek includes airport transfers to and from Kilimanjaro Airport.

It is not possible to fly direct from London to Kilimanjaro. KLM is the only major international airline to fly directly into Kilimanjaro. Flights are from Amsterdam which has connections from most major International Airports (including Heathrow). This would always be our first recommendation availability allowing.

The next best option is usually to fly Kenya Airways to Nairobi and then on to Kilimanjaro (the second leg by Kenya Airways subsidiary Precision Air on a small prop plane). British Airways and Ethiopia Airlines also offer this route.

The cheapest available fares from the UK vary throughout the year from £590 - £800

For those short of time it is possible to arrive on the KLM flight landing 2045 in Kilimanjaro and start your trek the very next day, you can then depart on an evening flight on the last day of your trek (with a day room in a hotel convenient for the airport to freshen up)

Price includes

The following are therefore our all-inclusive package prices. These cover the following:
- Pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your hotel in Arusha
- A night’s accommodation both before and after your climb*
- All climb costs, salaries, food, fees, etc (excluding tips)
- All transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel again
- Transfers back to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flights
*Accommodation is on B&B basis in our standard range hotels, ie either at the Outpost Lodge, Arusha Naaz Hotel, or Le Jacaranda. If you wish to upgrade to either a mid-range or luxury option a surcharge is payable.

Significant additional cost considerations are as follows:
- Flights or overland transfers to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha town if approaching from Nairobi
- Visas
- Tips to the mountain staff (guideline aprox $200-$250 per person for the whole crew)
- Meals other than breakfast while in Arusha
additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
- Hotel upgrade costs if you decide to request an alternative hotel to the standard
- Items considered to be non-essential, such as alcohol, beverages, cigarettes, snacks, etc

When is best?

There are no black-out dates on Kilimanjaro and you can pretty much trek any time of the year. Most people do avoid the rainy season (April, May and November) for good reason but these months aren’t without their advantages. The remainder of the year is all fair game:
*****December – March is typically dry, with clear skies (great views) but colder with a higher chance of snow on the mountain. The 2 weeks around Christmas and New Year can be the busiest of the year on Kilimanjaro.
** April – May suffer from the long rains. Expect to encounter rain, cloud and mist as you climb Kilimanjaro. Trails will be muddy and only the Machame and Marangu gates are accessible. The upside though is a mountain devoid of crowds with beautiful snow cover on the peak.
**** June – October is dry but the months of July and August tend to be busy (coinciding with the Western school holidays). June is a great month to trek, whilst October is similarly quiet it can suffer from low lying cloud cover (which effects your views of the scenery around Kilimanjaro).
** November is the short rain season. As with the long rains from April to May, expect to encounter rain, cloud and mist as you climb. Trails will be muddy and only the Machame and Marangu gates are accessible. The upside though is a mountain devoid of crowds with beautiful snow cover on the peak.

Is it for me?

Machame is a good safe bet on Kilimanjaro and the usual rules that apply to Kilimanjaro apply similarly to Machame. See our advice on health requirements for Kilimanjaro. For those who value mountain wilderness and solitude, then Machame is probably not a good idea during the peak season. Instead, Lemosho or TK Rongai (LINK) are good bets.

Although Machame is sometimes offered as a 7 day trek, we tend to encourage trekkers go for the 6 day Machame trek (with an extra night in Crater Camp as an option) as it offers sufficient acclimatisation for most fit trekkers.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 641 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.

    Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.

    They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.

    The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.

    On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.

    I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.

    The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.

    Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!

    MissingMartha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018

  • The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
    Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
    When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
    Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.

    MissingInga Olafsdottir reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018

  • The highlights for us were the accommodation choices - we loved each place we stayed and for quite different reasons.

    We found the food really delicious at all the places. We were really impressed. We ended up eating dinner every night at Dar Housnia, which was really tasty but a bit expensive but we loved the convenience of it and loved everything else about the place.

    My 9yr’s favourite place was Douar Samra - he liked the rooms and all the meals. We all like the communal meals there. It was good to get to know other travellers. But my husband and I really loved the Douria Suite at Dar Housnia as it was great to the have space and down time by ourselves there. We spent some hours just lazing on the terrace after walking around Marrakech for hours.

    We also thought Kasbah Ellouze was really lovely too. They were super helpful accommodating the kids. They made sure we could celebrate NYE dinner with the kids as they go to bed early. It was really kind of them.

    We had a Hussain as our guide for trekking and he went with us on the road trip. We really liked him: friendly & kind, and not too loud & talkative (our family is on the quiet side!). Hussain was great with our two boys. He made them feel comfortable, kept them safe on the treks (ie speed walking ahead with them when they wanted (our 4yr old loved this!) and holding them securely on mules over the rough terrain) and he played football with them too!
    We had two different drivers who were both good - helped out when our 9yr old vomited from car sickness and were happy to drive slowly as needed.

    Also we thought your organisation of everything and choice of accommodation & guides was excellent. We had no complaints. We had a splendid, relaxed and easy holiday - we didn’t have to think of anything & it was all great.

    MissingHelen Newman reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks on 30 January 2018

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