Sometimes referred to as the Smart Route, the fourth day on the Machame/ Mweka Route involves the task of scaling the daunting Barranco Wall. The climb of over 300 meters appears much tougher than it actually is, and the majority of climbers succeed in conquering the wall without too much difficulty. After the wall, the trail evens out for a while before descending sharply into the Karanga Valley. Following the Karanga Valley, the path heads upwards once again towards the fourth campsite known as Barafu Camp. Barafu is situated on a rocky outcrop close to the edge of the mountain, so it is vital that climbers become accustomed to the layout of the campsite before nightfall. This will ensure that they are able to avoid becoming disorientated and injuring themselves on the sharp ridges in the dark.
The penultimate stage of the Machame Trail begins at around midnight on the fifth day. After pressing on upwards through the icy darkness, climbers will be rewarded by the site of the African sun rising to greet them from behind Stella Point. From there, the final push to Uhuru Peak takes approximately three quarters of an hour. Although technically simple, the last few meters are nevertheless both physically exhausting and an immense test of willpower for even the most seasoned of climbers. According to most that succeed however, the sight of the whole of Africa spread out at ones feet is well worth any effort expended on the ascent.
After a few moments abreast the crown of Africa, it will be time to begin the descent. Unlike on the Marangu Trail, the journey down the mountain in this case follows a different path to the one on the ascent, hence the Machame Route also being known as the Machame- Mweka Combination Route. Hikers can expect to feel slightly wobbly in the knees and rather exhausted by the time that they reach Mweka Camp, a good 2795 meters below Uhuru.
After a good night's sleep, the final decent of the trip will begin. After passing through the canopied forests of Kili once again, climbers should reach the Mweka Park Gate around midday. From there they will transfer to one of the guesthouses in one of the nearby towns such as Kibo, Moshi, Rongai, Marangu or Arusha.