7 nights in Tanzania including Moshi, Machame, Shira, Baranco, Barafu and Mweka
Day 1: Moshi – Ameg Lodge
Arrival at your hotel. If you need to hire any extra gear, advise the hotel this evening. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel – they will lock them up for you.
Pack your bag carefully for the climb – remember the weight limit of 12kg. Leave some ‘bin bags’ in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag. Keep one out for your personal backpack too!
Dinner and overnight at Ameg Lodge DBB.
Day 2: Machame – Machame Camp
Driven to Park Gate (approx one hour) where you will meet your guide and porters. The guide has an amount of paperwork to do at the gate, as well as organizing the porters – these things take time (African time!) – please relax, sit down and enjoy the scenery – don’t get anxious about starting off – it will only get you stressed out!! The larger the group, the longer it will take – be prepared to wait for anything from 1 – 2 hours.
A five-hour walk through the spectacular forest will bring you to Machame Hut at 3000 m. This Daywear your hiking boots and ensure you keep your wet weather gear with you. Shorts and t-shirt will be sufficient. There are patches on the route where it is VERY wet and muddy, and you may end up with pretty wet boots this evening.
Ensure your boots are waterproofed, and that you have spare lightweight shoes to wear in camp this evening. ALWAYS keep your boots and water bottles INSIDE the tent at night – otherwise they will freeze. Fill up your water bottle at night, and purify it – allowing some of the chlorine fumes to dissipate. Take it SLOWLY toDay; you will encounter some steep parts on the climb – but generally its not too strenuous.
The porters walk ahead and sometimes with you – make sure every Day, that you have all your personal gear needed with you, as you will not have access to your bag. The porters will set up Camp and the guide will prepare your meals. Conditions are difficult on this route, and your guide / porters will do everything they can to make your climb pleasant and as comfortable as possible. Eat well – at higher levels your appetite will diminish.
Dinner and overnight at Machame Hut LDBB.
Day 3: Shira – Shira Hut
Ascend to Shira Hut, 3 800 m. A short descent from Machame Hut followed by an hour or so of hard uphill to the top of the forest, then 2 hours at a more gentle angle through the lower moorlands brings one to the top of a rocky bluff. Lunch is normally taken here.
From here, descend 50 ft then start traversing westwards, up towards Shira Cathedral. The last sections of this route is relatively flat and easy – but once again, take it very slowly. Take a jersey with you toDay, as it cools down considerably during and after lunch. Again, keep your wet weather gear handy, and some snacks for the route. Drink plenty of water.
To Day you should take Diamox (if planning to) – in the morning. You may experience tingling fingers, toes and nose from this drug. As it is a diuretic, it is most important to keep your fluid intake high. Camp at Shira – it’s a pretty cold campsite, you may get rain or sleet, and in the morning the ground and tents will be frozen over. Tonight you may experience headaches and breathing problems
Dinner and overnight at Shira Hut LDBB
Day 4: Barranco – Barranco Camp
From Shira you will set off to Barranco (3 900 m), skirting just below Lava Tower – you are now walking at approx altitude of 4 000 m, around the southern side of the mountain.
A few steep sections and valleys, a small section of scree and rock, some sand ‘dunes’ – it’s a long and fairly tiring Day.
This is part of your acclimatization – walking in height from 3 800 m up to 4 800 m, and then overnight at 3 900 m. Once again, pace yourself to graduate slowly. Tonight you may experience further headaches, nausea and breathing problems. Night temperature – again cold (night frosts).
Dinner and overnight at Barranco Hut LDBB
Day 5: Barafu – Barafu Hut
Continue from Barranco across and up towards Barafu Hut (4 600 m). ToDayyou will cross the Barranco Wall – it’s a climb over rock – not technical, but tiring and hard/long – ending up in the valley for lunch.
After lunch you start to ascend – to Barafu – again you will probably get more headaches / nausea, some sections of sand/scree. It’s a long Day- your guide will set the pace. Learn to pace yourself with your breathing – do not try to rush to catch up with anyone, go at your own, most comfortable speed and you will arrive at base camp relatively comfortably. Listen to your guide/s, they will help you.
It will be very cold to Day- especially when you stop for lunch and rest – dress warmly, again you may expect some sleet on this Day. You will be walking through the cloud. After supper, drink as much tea as possible; settle down for an early night. You are likely to have a pretty bad headache at this stage.
If you are vomiting, or hallucinating, talk to your guide. He will make the decision as to whether you are able to continue. If you plan to take Decadron, do so before going to bed. Drink plenty of fluids, as you are in a ‘desert’ area – albeit cold, and tomorrow will be a long hard Day
Dinner and overnight at Barafu Hut LDBB
Day 6: Mweka – Mweka Camp
To Day is a very long and strenuous Day. Drink lots of fluid before you start, you will be very thirsty by the end of the Day- if you manage, carry 3 litres of fluid with you to Day.
You will be woken at about 00h30 or 01h00 with tea and a biscuit. Put on all your clothing ready for the final ascent. You will be climbing up scree for approximately 4-5 hours. The guide will stop frequently to rest and check on his group. It is very important to listen to your body and breathing and try to get into a rhythm.
Because of the slowness of your walk, your fingers and toes are likely to get extremely cold – three pairs of socks should be considered for to Dayand two pairs of gloves (inner and warm outer). The views from the mountain (on the way up) are spectacular – you gain incredible height over a short distance
You arrive at Stella Point (5 750 m), just at the top of the crater, have a rest – the sun should be shining! From here continue on a relatively easy path up to Uhuru peak (5 895 m), the highest point in Africa. Your water bottle is probably frozen at this stage, and on reaching the summit there will be a certain relief amongst the group. You will descend from Stella to Barafu.
Depending on the timing of your summit, you will be able to have a short rest here (maybe a sleep) and something to eat, before continuing down the Mweka Route, which has recently re-opened after extensive re-furbishing being done by National Parks. You will travel down quickly on the scree gasping in more oxygen, step by step.
This is a long descent, and Mweka always seems to be on the ‘next hill’ – never arriving. It is likely you may experience seizure of joints – particularly knees to Day- keep a support bandage with you for this descent, and perhaps some anti-inflammatory pills/cream. Arrival Mweka (3 100 m), late afternoon, on the edge of the rainforest, overnight camping. Time to reflect on the Day’s achievements
Dinner and overnight at Mweka Hut LDBB
Day 7: Moshi – Ameg Lodge
A three to four hour pretty descent through the rainforest to the Park Gate, where the vehicle will meet you. There are generally beers and cokes for sale at the park gate. Transfer by vehicle to the Hotel in Moshi
Dinner and overnight at Ameg Lodge DBB
Day 8: Depart
Breakfast at your hotel. Depending with the mode of transfer and time, you will be picked from your hotel and transfer to your respective destinations