Kilimanjaro Machame Route – 7 Hiking Days + 2 Nights Hotel
Take the pilgrimage to the Roof of Africa
Kilimanjaro Machame route is, arguably, the most scenic and most beautiful route of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The trek begins on the southwestern side of the mountain at the Machame Gate and descends down the Mweka route in the South East, thus offering climbers the most varied scenery. Additionally, the Machame route takes you through stunning sights such as Shira Plateau, Baranco Wall, and Lava Tower.
Machame route is known as the “Whiskey Route” in comparison to the Marangu route (“Coca-Cola Route”) because it is considered a more difficult route, and trekkers sleep in camping tents—as opposed to mountain huts. This also makes it the second most popular route.
Kilimanjaro Machame route is ideal for those who want a more intense experience, and are confident in their abilities to hike for long periods of time over somewhat steep terrain. The route takes a minimum of six days to complete--our choice is now a seven-day expedition to allow adequate time to rest before the summit push. The descent is down Mweka, on the southeastern side of the mountain.
Note: The Kilimanjaro summit push and subsequent descent is a highly physically and mentally exerting hike. The high elevation gain, coupled with inadequate sleep, low oxygen, and harsh weather, immensely impacts your performance. For this reason, we require pre-qualification through high-altitude endurance training.
KILIMANJARO MACHAME ROUTE 8 DAYS SUMMARY
Commute Day 1: Nairobi – Moshi (Overnight stay in hotel)
Hiking Day 1: Moshi – Machame Gate (1800m) – Machame Camp (2835m) – 11km
Day 2: Machame Camp (2835m) – Shira Cave Camp (3750m) – 6km
Day 3: Shira Cave Camp (3750m) – Lava Tower (4600m) – Baranco (3900m) – 10km
Day 4: Baranco Camp (3900m) – Karanga Camp (3995m) – 6km
Day 5: Karanga Camp (3995m) – Barafu Camp (4673m) – 4km
Day 6: (Summit attempt – 5km) Barafu Camp (4673m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Barafu Camp (brief rest) – Mweka Camp (3100m) – 17km
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1640m) – 10 km – Moshi (Overnight stay in hotel)
Commute Day 2: Moshi to Nairobi
2023 Dates: July 25 – August 2, November 28 – December 6
Kilimanjaro Machame Route Itinerary
Day 1 – Commute Day: Nairobi – Moshi
We leave Nairobi at 6:30 a.m bound for Moshi, Tanzania, where we will meet our mountain guides for briefing and gear check. Thereafter, we shall have dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.
Hiking Day 1: Machame Gate – Machame Hut (2835m ASL)
After breakfast, we'll be picked up from the hotel and to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Machame for entry registration and then start the trek to Machame Camp through the thick rain forest.
We shall have packed lunch at a picnic site along the trail. At the camp, we shall freshen up, have dinner and retire for the day at Machame Camp.
Distance: 11km | Elevation Gain: 1,035m | Hiking Time: 5-7 hours | Terrain: Rain Forest | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira Cave Camp (3750m ASL)
After breakfast, we ascend through ridges and valleys heading to the next stop at Shira Cave Camp. We shall have packed lunch at a picnic site along the trail. Later on, after getting to the camp, we shall explore the Shira Plateau and caves and then introduce ourselves to the entire crew, sing, and dance, before retiring to our tents for the night.
Distance: 6km | Elevation Gain: 915m | Hiking Time: 4-6 hours | Terrain: Moorland | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 3 – Altitude Acclimatization Day: Shira Cave Camp – Baranco Camp (3900m ASL)
We head eastward to a junction where we continue to Lava Tower Camp (4600m), then descend to Baranco camp, thus allowing your body to adjust to altitude change. We shall have packed lunch at a picnic site along the trail.
Distance: 10km | Elevation Gain: 850m | Hiking Time: 6-8 hours | Terrain: Semi-desert | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4&5 – Baranco camp – Barafu Camp (4673m ASL)
After breakfast, we hike the great Barranco Wall, by the Kissing Rock, upon Jiwe La Picha, then across the Karanga Valley, and up to Karanga Camp (3,995m) where we shall have hot lunch and pitch camp for the night. The following morning, we shall continue to hike to the base camp, Barafu camp. Here, we shall take the rest of the day’s rest, ready for the hike to the summit later.
Distance: 10km | Elevation Gain: 773m | Hiking Time: 8-10 hours | Terrain: Alpine desert | Difficulty: Strenuous
Day 6 – Barafu Camp – Summit Attempt: Stella Point (5,750m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3,100m)
We arise and have a cup of coffee or black tea and start the midnight trek to the summit via Stella Point. We hope to reach the summit, Uhuru peak, at daybreak, celebrate our moment, have a short break, and then descend to Barafu camp for breakfast. We shall rest a little, have brunch, and then continue down to Mweka Camp for the last night’s rest.
Distance: 5km ascent and 12km descent | Maximum Elevation Gain: 1,222m | Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent & 4-6 hours descent | Terrain: Arctic | Difficulty: Strenuous
Day 7 – Mweka Camp – Moshi
We walk down to the Mweka Gate (1,640m) where we will bid the guides and porters farewell. We shall have packed lunch on the way to our hotel in Moshi. Thereafter, enjoy a leisurely afternoon and your celebratory dinner.
Congratulations on conquering yourself on the Roof of Africa!
Distance: 10 km | Hiking Time: 3-4 hours | Terrain: Rain Forest | Difficulty: Easy
Day 9: Commute Day 2 – Home Sweet Home!
Kilimanjaro Machame Route Itinerary Notes
We’ll travel together as a group from Nairobi in pre-procured public shuttle services. Departure is from Nairobi Riverside Shuttle Terminus opposite Jeevanjee Gardens on Monrovia Street, with drop off at the hotel in Moshi, Tanzania.
- You will be guided by our expert Kilimanjaro guides, who speak English and Swahili, and are familiar with the flora and fauna, culture, and geography of Tanzania.
- Our mountain climbing guides are knowledgeable on altitude-related sickness and are experienced in handling related incidents.
- The Outdoorer team accompanying you includes a skilled paramedic to administer basic first aid in case of injury or ailments.
- Oxygen tanks are provided depending on the group size to be used in case of altitude-sickness-related emergencies.
- You are required to procure an emergency air evacuation cover with AMREF ahead of travel and avail the same to us ahead of travel.
- Kilimanjaro National Park Rescue team has a VHS communication system to convey messages to all stations on the mountain and also provides wheeled stretchers for ground evacuation.
- Our guides use mobile phones to contact the offices throughout the climb.
- Regular porters are hired to carry your climbing gear and other supplies.
- Accommodation in hotels and tents is on a sharing basis (two people in a room, tent). Meals at the hotel are on Bed and Breakfast.
Due to the high exertion levels linked to this expedition, we may only accept participants who:
- Completed the Outdoorer Rookie Program or Beginner to Mt. Kenya Program within the past year and undertook at least two preparatory hikes in the Roadmap to Kilimanjaro Program in the quarter preceding this expedition; or
- Are advanced hikers who satisfactorily completed at least two events in the Roadmap to Kilimanjaro Program in the quarter preceding this expedition.
Required Travel Documents
- Passport or temporary permit
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate
- COVID-19 vaccination certificate
- Kenyan & East African Citizens - US $740
Trip Includes & Cancellation Policy