8 days Machame Route Climb Kilimanjaro

Route Description

The Machame route also known as Whiskey route is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. However this route is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter climb. Therefore, it is better suited for more people that are adventurous or those with some high altitude experience.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.


    DAY 1:

    Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and drive to Moshi or Arusha and stay in hotel.

    DAY 2:

    • Machame Gate to Machame Camp
    • Elevation: 1840m to 3100m (ft) 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
    • Distance: 11 km/7 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    The drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave the park gate, we walk through the dense rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge until we reach the Machame Camp.

    DAY 3:

    • Machame Camp to Shira cave Camp
    • Elevation: 3100m to 3840m  (ft) 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
    • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
    • Habitat: Health

    We leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path up to a steep, rocky ridge. On the Shira Plateau, we pass through heather and open moorlands, then cross a large river gorge to Shira cave Camp.

    DAY 4:

    .Shira Cave to Moir Hut Camp

    .Elevation: 3740m to 4100m (ft) 12,500ft to 13,100ft.

    .Distance: 4km/2miles

    Hiking Time: 3-4 Hours

    Habitat:Alpine Desert.

    This is very short hiking day and path shira camp 2 to western side of the mountain but after lunch you can go hiking for acclimatization.

    • DAY 5:
    • Moir Hut to Lava Tower
    • Elevation: 4200m to 4630m (ft) 13,800 ft to 15,190 ft
    • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert
    • Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
    • Elevation:  4630m to 3920m  (ft) 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
    • Distance: 3 km/2 miles
    • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We begin the day climbing up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

    DAY 7:

    • Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
    • Elevation: 3920m to 3995m (ft) 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
    • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

    DAY 8:

    • Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
    • Elevation: 3995m to 4673m (ft)13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
    • Distance: 4 km/2 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

    DAY 9:

    • Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
    • Elevation: 4673m to 5895m  (ft) 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
    • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
    • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
    • Habitat: Arctic
    • Uhuru Peak to Millenium Camp
    • Elevation:  5895m to 3700m (ft) 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
    • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

    From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Millenium Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Millenium Camp is situated in the upper camp and mist can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

    DAY 10:

    • Millenium Camp to Mweka Gate 
    • Elevation:  3700m to 1640m (ft)10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
    • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    On our last day, we continue the descent to Millenium Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the Gate A vehicle will meet us at Mweka and drive to Moshi or Arusha.

    DAY 11:

    -Drive to Kilimanjaro international airport and fly back home.

    Items included:

    • Meeting at Kilimanjaro International Airport;
    • Transfer to the hotel  to Moshi or Arusha
    • Accommodation prior to the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room);
    • Transfer to the starting point.
    • Professional mountain crew. All guides have “Wilderness First Responder” and “Wilderness First Aid” certificates, along with over 10 years of experience in climbing. Each participant will be provided with a porter (who can carry up to 15 kg of personal baggage)
    • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees;
    • Camping/hut fees;
    • 3 square meals daily. The menu includes different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian options are available upon request;
    • Oxygen systems and pulse oximeters;
    • First aid kit;
    • Group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery and cutlery);
    • Meeting the group at the National Park exit and transfer to the hotel;
    • Accommodation after the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room);
    • Comfortable sleeping pads.
    • Return transfer to Kilimanjaro airport.

    * Basic tour package price includes sharing a twin room. If you need a single bed accommodation only, you should inform us before the tour.

    ** During the climb you will share a tent with 1-2 other climbers, depending on the number of participants. If you need an individual tent, please, contact us. Single accommodation at sleeping huts on Marangu is impossible.

    Items excluded:

    • Airline tickets;
    • Visa fee;
    • Lunch and dinner at the hotel
    • Personal gears
    • Tips for the mountain crew and Safari Driver.
    • Travel insurance.