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Kilimanjaro Machame Route  

Distance covered: 63km

Number of days: 6


The Machame route is often considered the most striking and has spectacular views of the summit, but it is weather dependant. The route faces the wind and is on the southern side of the mountain where rainfall is heavier and the vegetation more dense.

The route is steeper than both the Marangu and the Rongai routes and physically more demanding, but very good for acclimatisation. It joins the Lemosho route from New Shira Camp. Machame route is the most popular route with our guests – about 60% of our guests climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame route. Machame is nicknamed the ‘whiskey route’. You will descend along the Mweka route. This option is generally for slightly fitter hikers.


Pricing for the Kilimanjaro Machame Route 6 days (per person)

1 Person - USD 1760

2 Persons - USD 1560

3-4 Persons - USD 1410

5-6 Persons - USD 1390

7 Persons and more - USD 1350

Day 1 Machame Gate (1790m) – Machame Camp (3010m)

A long first trek that offers a beautiful climb through the mountain forest.

Start: Machame Gate (1790m)
Finish: Machame Camp (3010m)
Altitude: ↑ 1180m
Walking time: 5-7h

The Kilimanjaro National Park gate is only a 45-minute drive from your hotel. You will be picked up after breakfast and make your way there for the start of your climb. Once you have arrived your guide will get started with the formalities (entrance forms) while you observe all the different teams and mountain crew getting ready for their expedition. It’s always a fascinating experience for clients to watch them load all the different items for the trip. As soon as everything is prepared your adventure will begin. The destination for today will be the Machame Camp which you should reach in about 5 – 6 hours. On route you will experience a wonderful rainforest with ancient trees, primeval ferns, liana & lichen to mention but a few. Another favourite to look out for on this day is the black and white thumbless colobus monkeys. Once you arrive at your campsite for the night you have time to relax before enjoying a well deserve dinner prepared by our own cook.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Machame Camp (3010m) – Shira Camp (3845m)

Wonderful views of the Shira Ridge and the Kibos mountain range. The route is shorter than the previous day.

Start: Machame Camp (3010m)
Finish: New Shira Camp (3845m)
Altitude: ↑ 835
Walking time: 4-6h

Although today is a shorter stretch then yesterday you will still have an early start which will allow you to reach today’s destination around mid-afternoon. The landscape changes dramatically from the green mountain rainforest into moor and heath land. You will have a beautiful view of the mountain range from your campsite which is situated at the Shira Plateau. The glacier of Kibo also lights up as the sun sets for the evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 Shira Camp (3845m) – Lava Tower Hut (4640m) – Barranco Camp (3960m)

A longer stage with great views and fantastic vegetation.

Start: New Shira Camp (3845m)
Finish: Barranco Camp (3960m)
Altitude: ↑ 795m  ↓ 680m
Walking time: 6-7h

Today is a good day for the body to acclimatize for the days to follow. You will climb roughly 700m but will sleep on a level not much higher than the night before. We will start at Shira Plateau and make our way up to Lava Tower at around 4640m, after a rest we will continue through the Barranco Valley until we reach our destination for the day the beautiful Barranco Camp. Today’s trek will be approximately 6 – 7 hours, during which time you will experience the alpine desert as well as the Barranco Valley with its small lobelia plants and giant senecio’s. You will sit down for a well-deserved dinner before it’s time to rest in preparation for the next day.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Barranco Camp (3960m) – Karanga Camp (4035m)

The hike  begins with a steep ascent over the Barranco Wall.  Up and down with views of the southern glaciers.  The altitude will become perceptible.

Start: Barranco Camp (3960m)
Finish: Barafu Camp (4640m)
Altitude: ↑ 680m  ↓ 50m
Walking time: 5-6h

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 actually 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 2 – 3 hours climb before you reach Barafu Camp (4640m). Tonight, drink a lot of fluids, try to eat and go to bed early to rest enough before tomorrow’s summit trek.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Karanga Camp (4035m) – Barafu Camp (4640m)

Depart at midnight on a very steep, long climb to Stella Point. Panoramic views of the crater as the sun rises. Continue from crater to summit. Steep, fast and dusty descent.

Start: Barafu Camp (4640m)
Finish: Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3080)
Altitude: ↑ 1250m  ↓ 2810m
Walking time: 10-14h

You will be woken in the midnight hours with a cup of tea and a biscuit. 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 (5895m). 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. Resting for an hour or two, you will continue down to reach Mweka Camp (3080m) for your overnight stay.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Barafu Camp (4640m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3080m)

Easier descent on good paths. The last section passes through the misty forest.

Start: Mweka Camp (3080m)
Finish: Mweka Gate (1630m)
Altitude: ↓ 1450m
Walking time: 2-3h

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 at the Keys Hotel in Moshi hot showers and cold beers wait. There you can revive yourself and celebrate your achievement.

Breakfast, Dinner

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