Sometimes called the Whisky Route. This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Icefields to join the Barafu Route to the summit. An extra day could be added to the itinerary, best spent on the Shira Plateau, where you could walk to the Shira Needles. Strong groups could omit camping at Karanga River. The Mweka Route is used for the descent.
Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.
Arrive at the Keys Hotel, (B&B).
Drive to the Machame Park Gate at 1800m, from where steepening trails lead through natural rain forest to a campsite in a clearing on a ridge, (3000m, 5h.).
The path continues up a moorland ridge through giant heathers. It gradually becomes rocky before levelling out on the Shira Plateau. (3840m, 4-5h.).
A rocky path leads east up towards the Lava Tower, dramatic views of the Breach Wall precipices. Shortly beyond this it descends to Barranco campsite (3950m, 4-5h.).
Scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley campsite (3h, 4000m.), beneath the icefalls of the Southern Glaciers.
The trail ascends a ridge to a campsite by the Barafu Hut, an airy location with little vegetation (3h, 4600m.),
Start just after midnight for the ascent of the screes leading to Stella Point (6h, 5725m.). From here a further 40mins. leads to Uhuru Peak. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and brunch before continuing down to camp at Mweka Hut at 3100m, (11-14h total walking time).
A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park Gate. Drive back to the Keys Hotel (B&B).
Leave hotel after breakfast.