Machame Route Overview:
Despite being considered steep, challenging due to its shorter itinerary, the most popular route on Mount Kilimanjaro, also referred to as “Whiskey”, offers a vast diversity of sights, sceneries, and unforgettable trekking experiences.
The route is beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. Then, it ascends from the south through the rainforest to Shira Plateau, heading to the east, crossing underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern ice field towards Barranco via Lava Tower, summiting from Barafu. Finally, the route descends along the same way back to Barafu, making your way via the Mweka route.
You can trek the Machame route on a six or seven-day climb. But seven days is highly preferred and recommend to improves acclimatisation.
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Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Moshi Town
Upon your arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and driver, and you will be taken to a hotel in Moshi Town. In the evening, you will enjoy a quick briefing conducted by our professional Mountain Guide about your trekking and to ensure you are ready for climbing—dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Machame Gate (1790 m) to Machame Camp (3010 m)
After breakfast, you will be collected from the hotel and taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park, a 1-hour drive. While your guide is registering, you can watch the mountain team preparing it is always impressive ‘what’ and particularly ‘how’ everything is carried up the mountain. Once this is all packed up, your adventure will begin; after a few minutes, you will be deep within the forest with ancient trees, ferns, mosses and black and white colobus monkeys frolicking in the treetops. After 5-7 hours, you will reach Machame Camp situated just above the forest line at 3000 m. Arriving here, the porters have already set up your tents, and warm water for washing is ready.
Day 3: Machame Camp (3010 m) to Shira 2 Camp (3845 m)
After an early morning start, the path steepens, and the vegetation changes into a moorland with shrubs such as hardy Ericas. Today’s stage is shorter than the previous day, and by mid-afternoon, you will arrive at the campsite at the Shira Plateau. You will have breath-taking views of the mountain and evening light on the rock face and glacier of Kibo as the sunsets from the camp.
Day 4: Shira 2 Camp (3810 m) to Lava Tower Hut (4640 m) - Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Today will be a day for ups and downs. You will ascend almost 700 m but descend again after reaching the imposing Lava Tower (4640 m). This will help with acclimatisation as you will reach a height of over 4500 m. You will move through different vegetation zones. After reaching Lava Tower, the path traverses Barranco Valley dotted with the weird-looking Senecio. Barranco Camp is reached after 6-8 hours. Considered the most beautiful camp on the mountain, the camp is situated just below the imposing Barranco Wall. Rest and refuel tonight.
Day 5: Barranco Camp (3960 m) to Barafu Camp (4645 m)
The first section of today’s route is to scale the ‘Barranco Wall’. Use your hands and feet. Safety is paramount, and you will be secured if necessary, but it looks more daunting than it is. The trail continues with many up and down sections, crossing a few streams, winding and climbing, stopping for lunch in the Karanga Valley. After lunch, there will be another 3-4 hours climb before you reach Barafu Camp (4640 m). Tonight, drink many fluids, try to eat and go to bed early to rest enough before tomorrow’s summit trek.
Day 6: Barafu Camp (4645 m) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Mweka Camp (3080 m)
You will be woken in the midnight hours with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Then, dressed warmly and geared with a headlight and your daypack, you will set off in the darkness. After 5-7 hours of ‘pole pole’, you will reach the rim of the crater, Stella Point. Another one to two hours of going slowly along the crater’s edge, and you will arrive at the summit – Uhuru Peak (5895 m). Looking down over the surrounding landscape below in the early morning light will make you feel on top of the world. You have now reached the ‘Roof of Africa’.
The descent should be easy but dusty, as the volcanic ash will now have defrosted. Returning on the same route, you should arrive at Barafu Camp within a few hours, where the porters are waiting with food and tea. Then, resting for an hour or two, you will continue down to reach Mweka Camp (3080 m) for your overnight stay.
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3080 m) - Mweka Gate (1640 m)
Last day on the mountain. After breakfast, the crew will celebrate your achievement with a traditional song as part of their farewell ceremony. You will present them with their tips. Setting off and descending into the moist green forest, it should take about three hours to reach the gate. Back to the hotel for a hot shower and cold beers wait. There you can revive yourself and celebrate your achievement.
Day 8: Moshi Town - Kilimanjaro Airport
After getting some rest and refreshment at the hotel, your driver-guide will take you to the Kilimanjaro International Airport, ready for your flight back home. Alternatively, you can extend your trip to Tanzania and go on a wildlife encounter safari or relax at the tropical islands and turquoise water of the Indian Ocean.
USD 2,183 Per Person Sharing
- Two nights bed and breakfast accommodation in Moshi Town
- Full board accommodation on the mountain
- All park fees
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables)
- Oxygen cylinder - only for emergency
- English speaking guide
- Mountain crew (cook and porters)
- First aid kit and pulse oximeter
- Bottled drinking water
- Mentioned transfers
- Sleeping bags
- Travel insurance
- Visa fees
- International Flights
- All meals and drinks in Moshi town