Machame Route – 6 days

Machame Route – 6 days

Machame Route – 6 days

About the route

The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. Because it is a popular route there are increased numbers of trekkers. It 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.

Climbers sleep in supplied tents at designated campsites, and eat meals either outdoors (when it is warm outside and the sun is up) or inside a large dining tent, depending on weather conditions. Our staff will prepare all meals and set up and take down the tents.

The Machame route is a highly successful route to the summit as you climb high and sleep lower because of position of the campsites. The climb high sleep low approach aids acclimatization and increases your chance of getting to the summit.

After arrival at your accommodation in Moshi, you will have the opportunity to rest. Later there will be a meeting with the tour guides for a briefing about the trek and Mt Kilimanjaro. Importantly we also run an equipment check to ensure that every participant is as well prepared as possible. If you have any important gear missing, you can rent it from us.

Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your accommodation in Moshi town, you will meet your guide for brief of your trekking and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain equipment, Rent the missing equipment if needed. Dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame hut

Around 8am, you will be picked up from your accommodation in Moshi and drive 1 hour to Machame gate.

The journey passes through Machame village which it is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. At the gate, you will need to sign in, passport number is needed. You will be provided with lunch boxes and water and our crew will organize all the luggage and food, weigh and then get the permit.

You will begin your trek and walk through the rain forest on the winding trail up a ridge, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea.

You will have lunch on the way. You will continue a short distance until we reach Machame campsite.

  • Elevation 1800meters to 3100meters
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 3: Machame hut to Shira cave Campsite

After breakfast, you will begin your trek to Shira Cave Campsite.

You will leave the glades of rain forest and continue trekking crossing the little valley walking along the rocky ridge. You will have lunch on the way, after which you will continue trekking to Shira cave campsite.

Later in the afternoon you will go for acclimatization walk which will help you get used to the altitude.

Dinner and overnight at Shira cave campsite.

  • Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • Elevation 3100meters to 3840meters
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

Day 4: Shira Cave Campsite to Lava Tower to Barranco Campsite

After breakfast, you will begin your trek to Barranco campsite via Lava Tower (4600meters), called the Shark’s tooth.

You will have lunch at the Lover tower and spend time at this altitude so that you can get used to the altitude. You will continue down to Barranco campsite at altitude of 3950meters where you will have dinner and overnight.

Although you will end the day at the same elevation as where you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and it will keep your body ready for summit day.

  • Elevation 3840meters to 4600meters to 3950meters
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 8-9 hours
  • Habitat: Semi Desert

Day 5: Barranco Campsite to Barafu Hut

After breakfast, you will begin your trek on a steep ridge passing Barranco wall to Karanga Valley campsite, where you will have a picnic lunch.

After lunch you will leave Karanga and continue the trekking to Barafu hut. At Barafu hut you will have a good view of the summit from different angles, rest, prepare for the summit and dinner will be served early. Also, you will have a good view of two peaks – Kibo and Mawenzi.

  • Elevation 3950meters to 4600 meters
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu hut to Uhuru peak to Mweka campsite

You will begin your trekking to the summit very early in the morning (midnight at 12:30am).

The trail zigzags up through heavy scree towards Stella Point at the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella point you will have a rest for a hot drink (tea) to warm up your body while enjoying the magnificent sunrise. From Stella Point you may encounter snow but this depends with the time. It is 1 hour ascent to the summit, Uhuru peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and in Africa.

After the summit you will start trekking down to Mweka campsite but you will stop at Barafu to have lunch and a short rest. After resting you will continue trekking down to Mweka campsite which is situated at the forest, last dinner and overnight at the campsite.

  • Elevation 4600meters to 5895meters (and down to 3100meters)
  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitat: Arctic

Day 7: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate

After breakfast, you will start to trek down to Mweka Gate to receive your summit certificates.

At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help.

A vehicle will be waiting at the gate to take you to your accommodation in Moshi.

  • Elevation 3100meters to 1800meters
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Book This Tour

Map of the Route

What’s Included

  • Park fees, camping fees and rescue fees
  • 18% VAT on tour fees and services
  • Transport to and from the park gates.
  • Certified English-speaking guides for all routes.
  • Recommended salaries for porters and Guides.
  • All meals on the mountain
  • Two nights accommodation in Moshi {Pre-and post climbing accommodation}
  • All camping equipment:vaude tents, chairs, tables and sleeping mats
  • Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport

What’s Excluded

  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Mountain climbing equipment and clothes (but they are available for rent)
  • Transfer to the airport
  • Alcohol
  • Portable manual flush toilet is extra
  • Gamov Bag is extra

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