Machame Route 6 Days

Route Description

The Machame route, also known as the “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 adventurous people 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:

    Arrival Kilimanjaro airport and drive to Moshi or Arusha Stay in hotel Recommend.

    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: Heath

    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 Camp toBaranco camp via Lava Tower
    • Elevation: 3740m to 3920 (ft)12,500.ft to 13,044.ft
    • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
    • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation Which is 4620m and 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 5:

    • Baranco Camp viaKaranga Camp to Barafu Camp
    • Elevation: 3920m to 4673m (ft) 13,044.ft to 15,331.ft
    • Distance: 9 km/5 miles
    • Hiking Time: 6 -7 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 BarrancoWall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley.

    One more steep climb up leads us to KarangaCamp.And we stop for hot lunch and then continue to 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 6:

    • 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 Mweka Camp
    • Elevation:  5895m to 3060m (ft) 19,341.ft to 10,065.ft
    • Distance: 12 km/7 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 Mweka 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. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain 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 7:

    • Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate 
    • Elevation:  3060m to 1640m (ft) 10,065.ft to 5,380.ft
    • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka 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 and stay Park view inn hotel.

    DAY 8:

    Drive to Kilimanjaro 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.