Machame route is a challenging and at times steep trek with stunning scenery as it traverses through Kilimanjaro 5 diverse climatic zones. This route provides the opportunity to “trek high and sleep low” which is considered important in minimizing the potential for altitude sickness.
The climb starts above the picturesque mountain village of Machame to the south of Kilimanjaro. After passing through the Machame forest and into the moorland zone, we scramble up and over some rocks and eventually emerge onto the Shira Plateau. We then advance counter-clockwise traversing below the southern face of Kibo, climb Lava Tower for magnificent 360 degree panoramas, ascend the Great BarrancoWall, a challenging and exhilarating rock scramble, and approach Uhuru Summit from Barafu or Kossovo Camp and the ridge that abuts the Southeast Valley. The climb from Barafu offers incredible views of Mawenzi Peak and Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.
Arrival – Day 0: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be welcomed by our driver-guide who will transfer you to a hotel in Arusha city. At the hotel you will be introduced to your mountain guide and his assistants who will brief you of your trek/ climb that will be taking off in the next morning. The briefing includes checking your parking list and climbing gears, measuring the weights of your luggage and day-park also a review on few important climbing tips. You are advised to make reference to our recommended climbing gears.
Day-by-day Machame route Itinerary
Machame Route (a popular and well profiled Kilimanjaro route)
Of the seven main routes used to climb Mount Kilimanjaro Machame or another known as Whiskey Route is one of the most popular for Kilimanjaro climbers. About 50% of all climbers, and most seasoned climbers, choose the Machame route. The 7-day itinerary on Machame offers success rates above 85% due to gradual acclimatization and will suit anyone aspiring to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Machame is known as the Whiskey route, given its reputation for being a tough climb, in contrast to the easier Marangu route, which is known as the Coca Cola route. Unlike the gradual incline and hut accommodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents. Despite its toughness this route provides impressive views and a variety of habitats and most important high possibilities for a regular climber to summit at the highest point of Mt. Kilimanjaro – the Uhuru peak.
Day 1: Arusha – Machame Gate – Machame Camp
After early breakfast at the hotel you will take a drive for about 1.30hourto Machame gate which is at 1,640metres above sea level (ASL). Your trek starts from here. The first day trek on the Machame Route is a long one approximately 11km / 7miles) and takes up to 5-7 hours to complete. You will be provided with a packed lunch on route and 2-3 litres of bottled drinking water. The day’s trekking ends at Machame Camp (2,835m ASL) which sits near the border of the rainforest zone and the low alpine zone. By the time you arrive your porters will have already setup your camp and tents, and dinner will be served.
Day 2: Machame Gate – Shira Camp II
On this day you will wake-up early for breakfast and prepare for the trek from Machame Camp to Shira CampII (3,850m ASL). The trek is relatively steep as you enter the low alpine zone which is characterized by moorlands and grasslands. Shira Camp II sits on a plateau which provides you with the first views of Kibo (the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro) in the North-West and Mt. Meru in the East. This trek takes approximately 4-6 hours and covers a distance of 5km / 3miles.
Day 3: Shira Camp II – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp
On this day after breakfast you will embark to a long and tough trek heading eastern off the Shira Plateau through the ‘Garden of the Senecios species’, up to Lava Tower (4,600m ASL) and then descending back to Barranco Camp (3,900m ASL). The route is approximately 11km / 7 miles in length and takes 5-7 hours to complete. Although you end the day at a very similar elevation to when you started from Shira Camp, it is arguably one of the most important days on your trek as it gives you a chance to ascend high and sleep low which is important for proper acclimatization.
Day 4: Barranco Camp–Karanga Camp
On fourth day morning following breakfast you will start to challenge a rocky climb (not technical) at Barranco wall popularly known as Breakfast wall, which mark the boundary from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers then heading towards the Karanga Valley. It will take you only 3-4 hours to make to Karanga camp. At this camp is where you will spend your night and take advantage of acclimatizing and adapting such high altitude climate before continuing on to base camp in the following day. Altitude 4,040 m/13,255ft ASL; and walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles.
Day 5: Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp
You will start your day around 09am with a short hike of 2-3 hours toward Barafucamp; you will eat your lunch at the camp then rest until early dinner time before starting the challenge to the summit at mid night. It is highly recommended to get rest and have early dinner regaining more energy for the summit from midnight. The altitude at Barafu Camp is 4,680 m/15,360ft ASL; with an estimated walking distance of 3.5 km/ 2.2 miles.
Day 6: Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak [5,895m/19,340ft] – Mweka Camp
You will startthe summit challenge at midnight by having a cup of tea/coffee or hot chocolate with a light snack. Walking up to the roof of Africa start with a rocky part then to zigzag part until you are up to the crater rim at Stella point 18’864 feet above sea level, on your way you will have a view of the second tallest peak at Kilimanjaro which is Mawenzi peak while the sunrises below your feets. From Stella point you will have an hour to your final destination of Uhuru peak 5,895m/19,340ftASL. Few more minutes to spend at the highest point of Africa taking some pictures and short celebration before you start your hike down/ ascending back to Barafu where you will have your breakfast and short rest before heading down to Mweka camp 3020m/ 9842 feet ASL. This will be long day with a walking time of 8-14hours from Barafu camp to Uhuru peak and back to Barafu camp. From Barafu camp we will have a physical challenge of going downhill with a total time of 2-4 hours to Mweka camp. Summit Certificates are offered to anyone who gets at Stella Point and Uhuru Peak.
Day 7: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate
After breakfast, you will continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate where you will receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy as you leave the camp).
From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. Our vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Arusha for relaxation and celebration.
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel in Arusha (before and after the climb)
- First night includes Dinner and breakfast
- Last night includes dinner & breakfast
- Transportation from Arusha to/from the starting/finishing points respectively
- Airport transfers
- Qualified guides with mountain crew
- National park fees
- Tents and sleeping mattresses
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Rescue fees
- Pulse oxi-meters
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Hot water on the mountain
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Single room supplement at the Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
- Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included