Machame Route

The Machame route is nick-named as the “Whiskey Route” as it is considered to be more challenging than the Marangu route. Technically it is not more difficult, however, it is covering much more distance and is steeper with daily trekking times of six to eight hours. The route involves a lot of ups and downs but by walking high and sleeping at a lower altitude, it provides greater acclimatization opportunities which results in a higher success rate.

On this route the mountain is approached from the south-west and joins with the Lemosho route from Shira plateau. It is a very scenic route with incredible vistas and stunning places like the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower and the Barranco Wall; and as ascent and descent take place on different trails. However, it is an extremely popular choice to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which results in more traffic – especially during peak season.

Tour Duration

7 days, 6 nights (start: day of your choice)

Overnight

camping at designated campsite
includes camping and dinning tent
shared bathroom facilities

Ascent & Descent

ascent via Machame / descent via Mweka

People Traffic

high

Acclimatization

medium

Interested? Talk to an expert!

Sandra

As an adventurous European travel is in my blood! Tanzania is a fascinating country with so much to explore! It’s a pleasure to share my insider knowledge and offer first-hand advise. I take the time to listen to your ideas and create a unique safari adventure out of these – tailored to your indivudal requirements and designed just for you!

Not sure if this itinerary is suitable for you? You have questions or missing a particular activity? Don’t worry we are here to assist!

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Phone/Whats App +255 788 391 600

Not sure – Talk to an expert

Michael

Let me show you my stunning home country and discover the true Tanzania – authentic and first-hand with a native at your side! As a Tanzanian myself, I am intimately familiar with the local conditions. With my experience in the bush and my passioan for wildlife, I will happily design an itinerary based on your travel interests.

You have any questions or are unsure if Tanzania is the right travel destination for you? Get in touch for a first chat to discuss your requirements!

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Phone/Whats App +255 787 298 159

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival Day

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). After you have passed the passport control, you will be met by your professional safari guide outside the terminal and transferred to your accommodation in Moshi (driving distance depending on your overnight choice between 45 minutes to 1 hour). Mountain briefing, equipment check and welcome dinner with a relaxing evening before starting your Mount Kilimanjaro adventure on the next morning.

Day 1: Start Trek – Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Start: Machame Gate (1,790 m)
Finish: Machame Camp (3,010 m)
Distance: 11 km
Walking Time: 6 to 8 hours
Climate Zone: montane forest
Highest altitude: 3,010 m

Transfer from your hotel to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. After the park formalities are completed at Machame Gate, you will start trekking through the lush and green montane forest. The dense forest on this side of the mountain is often referred to as “rain forest”, not because it is an actual rainforest, but because it receives a lot of rain. Proceed to the first camp on your trail for dinner and overnight at the shared campsite Machame.

Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira Camp

Start: Machame Camp (3,010 m)
Finish: Shira Camp (3,845 m)
Distance: 6 to 7 km
Walking Time: 4 to 6 hours
Climate Zone: heather and moorland
Highest altitude: 3,845 m

Today’s trekking distance is not that far; however, it is a fair bit of height. You will transit into the grassy heather and moorland zone with the vegetation opening up. After climbing up a steep ridge you will ascent further to Shira plateau – the ancient remains of Kilimanjaro’s third peak. If it is a cloudless day you can enjoy breathtaking views of Kibo and sometimes even Mount Meru in the distance. After a rest and if weather allows you can option to visit Shira cave.

Day 3: Shira Camp – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp

Start: Shira Camp (3,845 m)
Finish: Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
Distance: 10 to 11 km
Walking Time: 6 to 8 hours
Climate Zone: semi desert
Highest altitude: 4,600 m

The day begins with a gentle climb out of the heather and moorland zone. You will soon enter the semi desert with a rocky landscape and proceed your trek to eastern side of the Lava Tower – an important, but strenuous hike for acclimatization. After your picnic-lunch stop you will descent into the Barranco valley and on to the shared campsite Barranco. This was a long day, but by climbing high and sleeping low, you give your body the best chances to adapt to the attitude.

Day 4: Acclimatization Day: Barranco Camp – Barranco Wall – Karanga Camp

Start: Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
Finish: Karanga Camp (4,035 m)
Distance: 5 to 6 km
Walking Time: 3 to 5 hours
Climate Zone: alpine desert
Highest altitude: 4,220 m

Today’s challenge is the steep climb up the Barranco Wall. Many climbers are worried about this section of the climb; however, it is not a technical climb. Here and there you will need to scramble and use your hands to steady yourself. But once you make it over the final ridge you are met with a spectacular view of Kibo. The trek proceeds over gravel rocks through the Karanga Valley beneath the Heim, Kersten and Decken glaciers and onwards to the shared campsite Karanga for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

Start: Karanga Camp (4,035 m)
Finish: Barafu Camp (4,640 m)
Distance: 3 to 4 km
Walking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Climate Zone: alpine desert
Highest altitude: 4,640 m

After breakfast you follow an easy, but steep path across the alpine desert to the Mweka junction. From here you continue further up on a dry landscape to the shared campsite of Barafu. Did you know that the Swahili word “Barafu” means ice? Barafu Camp is the last camp before summit and the rest of the day is dedicated to resting in preparation for the summit attempt. Enjoy the splendid views of Mawenzi and Kibo peak and head to bed early.

Day 6: Barafu Camp – Summit to Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp

Start: Barafu Camp (4,650 m)
Finish: Mweka Camp (3,080 m)
Distance: 20 km
Walking Time: 14 to 18 hours
Climate Zone: arctic (stone scree and ice-capped summit)
Highest altitude: 5,895 m

Wake up around midnight for your attempt to conquer the summit. Today marks one of the most challenging days of your Mount Kilimanjaro trek – both mentally and physically. The cold weather in this high altitude together with the wind can be extreme. Our motto remains “Pole, Pole” – one tiny little step after the other! A rocky zigzags path on volcanic scree leads to Stella Point at 5,730 m. From here it is another 165 m in height to Uhuru Peak.

If you feel strong enough to continue, it is a two-hour round trip along the crater rim to the highest point of Africa. Finally, you reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m. Congratulations – there are no words to describe the feeling of reaching the top of Mount Kiliamanjaro! After a few moments, you will descent via Barafu Campsite down to the shared campsite at Mweka for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Moshi/Arusha

Start: Mweka Camp (3,080 m)
Finish: Mweka Gate (1,680 m)
Distance: 10 km
Walking Time: 4 to 6 hours
Climate Zone: montane forest

This is your final day of the trek. After breakfast you continue your descent onto Mweka Gate. Your driver/guide will transfer you back to your lodge for a well-earned shower and rest.