You approach the Machame route from the southwest of Kilimanjaro. The route then ascends up through the jungle to Shira camp and then traverses south towards Barranco via Lava Tower. From there you climb up the Great Barranco Wall before arriving in base camp at Barafu. The final climb is via Stella point and the descent is on the Mweka route.
The Machame route is a camping trek and your gear, food and tents will all be carried and set up for you by our dedicated team of porters. We employ fully qualified chefs to cook all your meals and you have the option of eating outdoors or in our large dining tent. Kandoo guides are all first aid trained and have trekked the mountain hundreds of times to ensure you're in the safest hands possible. None of our guides are outsourced and we take great care in training our staff to meet our exceptionally high standards.
All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) – see here for detailed flight information. From JRO you can either catch a taxi to your hotel in Moshi or we can arrange an airport transfer for you. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local Kandoo representative and potentially your Kandoo guide, and have a full pre-climb briefing.
Elevation (m): 1800m to 3000m, Distance: 11km, Time: 5-7 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest
Transfer from your hotel to Machame Gate for registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent along the forest trail to Machame Camp.
Elevation (m): 3000m to 3850m, Distance: 9km, Time: 4-6 hours, Habitat: Moorland
After breakfast, we start walking, leaving the rainforest behind, and continue our ascent, crossing a small valley and up to a steep rocky ridge, covered with heath. Our route now turns west onto a river gorge until we reach Shira 1 Camp.
Elevation (m): 3850m to 4600m to 3950m, Distance: 12 km, Time: 6-7 hours, Habitat: Semi-desert
Today we will climb up to 4600m to the base of the Lava Tower for lunch and acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may, for the first time, feel the altitude. After lunch we will descend again by almost 650m to Barranco camp, following “walk high, sleep low” golden rule of acclimatisation. Our descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall
Elevation (m): 3950m to 3930m, Distance: 7 km, Time: 4 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert.
A short, but fun day, starting with a scramble, to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. We will stay overnight at Karanga campsite.
Elevation (m): 3930m to 4600m, Distance: 6kms, Time: 3 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
We leave Karanga campsite behind to meet the junction connecting with the Mweka descent Trail. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for summit night. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.
Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m to 3100m), Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent, Time: 6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent, Habitat: Stone screed and ice-capped summit.
You will be woken at 23:30 with tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers through heavy scree up to Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop for a short rest and hopefully be in time to witness the magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). We are now only an hour away from the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose scree going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Elevation (m): 3100m to 1800m, Distance: 10 km, Hiking Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Forest
Your final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. Transfer to your hotel.
After a much need shower and rest, you will either make your own way back to your onward destination or if you have arranged airport transfers / a safari through us we will collect you for the next part of your adventure.
- All transport to and from the mountain
- All National Park entrance and camp site fees.
- All food - 3 hot meals a day and drinking water
- A fully supported climb (average ratio of support staff to climber is 4:1 in open groups)
- A private portable toilet
- High quality mess and sleeping tents with a comfortable foam mattress
- Access to emergency oxygen and first aid kit
- A certificate documenting your summit ascent
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Crew tips
- Airport transfers
- Personal trekking gear
- Snacks and personal medications
- Visas and vaccinations