KILIMANJARO – MACHAME ROUTE (6/7 DAYS)
This is the most popular of all routes up Kilimanjaro, chosen by around 50% of all trekkers. If we had to describe the Machame route, also called the ‘whiskey route’, in 1 word it would probably be ‘incredible views’. OK that’s 2 words but you get our point! It’s not an easy route, as you’ll need to ascend the Barranco wall and be fit enough for the rather steep summit attempt. Technical climbing skills are however not required, making this route still accessible for anyone in good physical condition. So let’s go on an adventure along what probably is the most beautiful route to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa!
- Most popular route
- Scenic route, offering incredible views and very diverse landscapes
- A good physical condition is required for this route, but no technical climbing skills
- Accommodation in tents at camp sites.
- Good acclimatization thanks to the height profile.
- Possibility to climb in 6 or 7 days, both options offering a ‘climb high sleep low’ acclimatization day. We only recommend the 6 day tour for experienced and very fit climbers.
- Climb over Machame route, descend over Mweka route.
- South/south-west side of the mountain, which makes it less ideal to use this route from mid-March to mid-May because of the weather.
- Total distance: around 62 km / 38 mi.
MACHAME ROUTE ITINERARY
Day 1: Moshi – Machame Gate (1640m/5380ft) – Machame camp (2835m/9300ft)
Hiking time: 5-7 hours
Distance: 11 km / 7 mi Habitat: Rainforest
Day 2: Machame camp (2835m/9300ft) – Shira camp (3850m/12630ft)
Hiking time: 4-6 hours
Distance: 5 km / 3 mi
Habitat: Low alpine moorland and grassland zone
Day 3: Shira camp (3850m/12630ft) – Lava Tower (4600m/15100ft) – Barranco Camp (3900m/12800ft)
Today you hike from Shira camp for about 5 hours to the Lava Tower as the landscape becomes more and more rocky. At this point you might start experiencing the first symptoms of altitude sickness, like headaches and breathlessness. It’s definitely a difficult day, harder than the two previous ones.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: 11 km / 7 mi Habitat: Semi-desert
Day 4: Barranco Camp (3900m/12800ft) – Karanga camp (3960m/12990ft) – Barafu camp (4680m/15350ft)
You’ll arrive here between 4pm and 5pm, get some food and head to bed, as you’ll start your summit attempt later that night. Prepare your equipment and get as much sleep as you can. Tomorrow’s going to be a long, but rewarding day!
For the 7-day trek, day 4 of the 6 days Machame route is split up in 2 days.
You hike to Karanga camp on day 4, and continue to Barafu camp on day 5, having an extra night at Karanga camp. Both hikes only take half a day, meaning you’ll have 2 afternoons to do some extra acclimatization hikes. We strongly recommend this extra day to get better adapted to the altitude, especially for inexperienced hikers that are not in excellent shape.
Day 5 (or 6): Barafu camp (4680m/15350ft) – Uhuru Peak (5895m/19340ft) – Mweka camp (3100m/10170ft)
Weather conditions will determine how long you’ll be able to stay at the summit, combined with the fact that you have to get back to Mweka camp in time. But don’t worry, you’ll get enough time to realize what you’ve just achieved, and fully enjoy the moment, your moment standing top of the largest mountain in Africa!
You’ll walk back to Barafu camp to pick up the rest of your gear and from there on continue to Mweka camp. For the descent, which takes another 5-8 hours, we strongly recommend to use trekking poles. You’ll have a good night’s sleep at Mweka camp, and be able to enjoy the fresh air full of oxygen!
Hiking time: 6-8 hours up to Uhuru peak, followed by 5-8 hours down to Mweka camp
Distance: 4.5 km / 3 mi up and 11 km / 7 mi down
Habitat: Glacial zone and all the previous zones
Day 6 (or 7): Mweka camp (3100m/10170ft) – Mweka gate (1640m/5380ft) – Moshi
Today you keep walking to Mweka gate, which – even though you’re probably exhausted – is a pleasant walk. Once you get there, you get to sign your name into a register, and receive your summit certificate – a green one for those who reached Stella Point, and a gold one for climbers who made it all the way to Uhuru Peak. The day ends with a 1 hour drive back to Moshi, and a well-deserved night in a comfortable bed.
Hiking time: 3-5 hours
Distance: 9 km / 5.5 mi
OUR OFFER – PRICES AND SERVICES
Prices for this climb depend on the size of your group and are as follows:
- 1 person: 2270 USD per person
- 2 people: 1810 USD per person
- 3 people: 1700 USD per person
- 4 people: 1650 USD per person
- 5 people: 1650 USD per person
- 6 people: 1610 USD per person
- 1 person: 2600 USD per person
- 2 people: 2090 USD per person
- 3 people: 1960 USD per person
- 4 people: 1890 USD per person
- 5 people: 1890 USD per person
- 6 people: 1860 USD per person
For this tour, we can try to join you with other guests to form a group. Let us know you want a group tour whilst booking and we will contact you with possible dates, prices and options as soon as possible. Or check out our current open groups to see if there’s an option that suits you.
The cost of your climb explained
- National park fees: entry, camping, forest department and rescue fees
- Transport from your hotel in Moshi to Machame gate and back
- Professional, English-speaking guides and assistant guides, cooks and porters
- Accommodation in tents (5 nights on the 6-day itinerary, 6 nights on the 7-day itinerary). All prices are for 2 people sharing a tent.
- Three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while climbing
- Drinking water
- Oxygen cylinder
- Tips for the crew
- Personal gear and equipment
- Travel insurance
- Flights or other transport to Moshi. We can arrange airport pickup for you.
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Sleeping bag (we can provide one at an extra fee)
- Accommodation in Moshi. If you wish, we can however assist you in finding a place that corresponds to your needs and budget.
- Breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last
- … and all other services that are not mentioned as included above.
TIPS AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
KILI PACKING LIST
OUR OTHER ROUTES
MARANGU (5/6 DAYS)
LEMOSHO (7/8 DAYS)
Beautiful, remote and unspoilt, Lemosho route is one of the longest routes leading to the top of Kilimanjaro. It partly follows the same trail as Machame route, but offers more chances of seeing wildlife, and will take you over paths only a handful other climbers choose to follow.