- Dreaming of Reaching the Roof of Africa. Stop dreaming and Start Climbing!
- The Machame Route of Mt Kilimanjaro is probably the most scenic route
The Total hiking distance of the Machame route is approximately 100 km, distributed over 6 days of trekking up and down Kilimanjaro. The Machame Route is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame, also referred to as the"Whiskey route", better suited to the slightly more adventurous and authentic hiker.
Being an adventurous route the Machame route rewards you with a scenic splendor, not seen on the Marangu route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic "slide show" over 6 days.
The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days, and there is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain - acclimatization. The Machame route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m), a secret to successful acclimatization.
We kindly refer to the Itinerary for a Day-to-Day description. We look forward to giving you an experience of a lifetime. Please do write to us if any questions at all, or if you're looking for a customised trek offer.
Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
from Machame Gate and travels upwards through the montane rainforest, characterized by dense vegetation, a muddy trail, and short sections of steep climbs. The first campsite, Machame Camp, is right after the dense tree cover in an area with lower but still thick bushlands.
Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
Distance: 5 km
•Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
The second day continues through increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorlands. The day finishes with Shira Camp, which is on a small plateau in the high moorlands, and features views of Kibo in the northwest and Mount Meru towards the east.White necked ravens can be seen throughout the day. There is also a set of small caves a short walk from the campsite known as the Shira Caves.
Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert
The third day starts in the moorlands and moves into alpine desert, with fewer trees and more rocks. The highest point is the base of the Lava Tower, after which the trail descends into the Barranco Valley. More vegetation is present in this zone, especially the area just before the campsite. This area is called the “Garden of the Senecios”, which features many of the huge senecioplants. Shorter lobelia plants are also present.
Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 15,300ft
Distance: 9 km
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
The fourth day starts with the ascent of the Barranco Wall, which is considered a scramble in climbing terms. The trail continues with many up and down sections across small streams and rivulets and crosses the Karanga River to the Karanga campsite continue follows the path up and across a rocky zone, finishing at the high camp Barafu.
Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Summit is usually attempted on the very early morning of the sixth day (around midnight). Barafu is also used as a summit campsite for the Umbwe route. Trekkers typically take somewhere between five and seven hours to ascend, using headlamps and cold weather gear. Making the ascent on a full moon or shortly thereafter can make the headtorch unnecessary. The first milestone, generally reached shortly after dawn, is Stella Point (18,652 feet (5,685 m)), which is on the crater rim. Following Stella Point, the trail continues for another 60 minutes to Uhuru Peak, the summit.
The descent back to Barafu takes roughly four hours. Some trekkers slide down the slope, which entails skidding/running down the loose gravel at medium speed. From Barafu, trekkers typically take a short break, and continue downwards through the alpine desert and ensuing moorlands to Mweka Camp.
Mweka Camp to Moshi/Arusha
Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
The sixth and final day has trekkers continue through the montane forest to Mweka Gate.
End of trekking