Machame Route (6 Days)
6 Days 5 Nights
About this tour
Machame Route or the “whiskey route” is one of the most popular routes due to its picturesque views and varied landscapes. However, climbing through Machame Route is a bit difficult as compared to Marangu route. Even though the walk on the Machame route is steeper and longer, still the success rate is higher than the Marangu route.
Machame Route is not technically difficult, but the climb is more exhausting as it has many ups and downs crossing a chain of valleys and ridges. Therefore, the route is best suited for people with some hiking or trekking experiences and for those who love adventures. For first-timers the climbers, the route can be tiring.
Machame Route starts from the south, heading towards the east, navigating beneath the southern ice fields ahead of summiting. Usually, the minimum days to summit Kilimanjaro through this route is six, but seven days is recommended.
- Visit Moshi (Kilimanjaro Region)
- Visit Kilimanjaro National Park
Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Distance: 11 km | 7 miles
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.
Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: 5 km | 3 miles
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 2 Camp.
Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the 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.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for Acclimatisation and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Today’s stretch starts with the climb of the Barranco Wall. Safety is paramount and your guides will assist you wherever necessary. Following the ridge as it traverses up and down, you can enjoy the splendid views of the south glacier of Kibo. In the Karanga Valley you will have lunch, followed by a 2 to 3 hours climb to Barafu Camp. Once at the camp, you can relax, have dinner and call it an early night.
Hiking time: 12 – 15 hours
Distance: 3 miles to Summit; 7 miles descent
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction 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 (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. 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.
Elevation: 10,000ft to 5400ft
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 6 miles
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent 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). From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.
- All Entrance fees and Government taxes
- Airport Transfers (upon Arrival and Departure)
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Fair wages for the mountain crew.
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Rescue Fees and all taxes.
- Salaries for Porters, Cook, and Guides
- Oxygen Tanks, Pulse Oximeter, and First Aid Kit
- Transfers from Hotel to Kilimanjaro entrance gate and from Kilimanjaro exit gate to the hotel.
- International and local airfare.
- Yellow fever vaccinations
- Passport, Visa, and Travelers Insurance
- Local transportation before and after the climb.
- Personal expenses eg. Laundry, beverages, etc.
- Tips for the support team
- Private Toilet and hot shower tent
- Bed, Sleeping Bag, and walking Poles.