- Climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world
- Magnificent views from various viewpoints
On this trek, we will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa through the Machame route.
The route known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular ascent route on Mt Kilimanjaro. Compared with the Marangu route, the walking days on the Machame route are longer and the walks are steeper. However, the scenery is spectacular and landscape interesting. The Machame route is considered a difficult route and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to its popularity, there are increased numbers of trekkers. The Machame route approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field.
This is a 7-day trip in total. Please go through the itinerary section to fin out what you'll be doing each day.
Day 1 : The climb to Machame Camp
Your 7 days Machame route climbing starts with driving you from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate which takes about 45 minutes. After paperwork, the journey starts passing through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue for a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
•Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
•Climbing Time: 5-6 hours
Day 2 : Machame Camp to Shira Camp
After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.
•Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
•Walking Time: 4-5 hours
Day 3 : Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to move east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft).
Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for the summit day.
•Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
•Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 4 : Climb Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.
•Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
•Climbing Time: 34 hours
•Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5 : Climb Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.
•Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
•Climbing Time: 3-4 hours
•Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 6 : Climb Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. We head northwest and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
At Stella Point, you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. When you get to Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!
From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.
•Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
•Down to 3090m/10,150ft
•Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
•Climbing Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
•Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Day 7 : Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate and then drive to Moshi
After breakfast, we continue descending down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
Our vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka Gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). This brings us to the end of our 7 day Machame route climb.
•Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
•Climbing Time: 3-4 hours