Machame Route – 6 days

Machame Route – 6 days

Machame Route – 6 days

About the route

The Machame route is also known as the “Whiskey” route, nowdays the most popular route on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The walking days on the Machame route are longer and often steeper, compared to the Marangu route, but the scenery is stunning and the landscape is quite interesting. This route is known to be challenging, which is why it is best suited for people who have previous experience hiking and backpacking.

The Machame route is scenically beautiful and diverse, but due to its a popularity often very crowded. It approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route. Hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view of the extensive Shira plateau and an optional scramble up Lava Tower. A climb up the Great Barranco wall and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field are also bonuses on the Machame route.

Climbers sleep in tents at designated campsites; meals are served outside when the weather is favorable, or inside a large dining tent when it is not. The meals are prepared by the Bless Africa staff, as well as putting up and taking down the tents.

This route has highly successful rate for reaching the summit. On Machame you will climb high and sleep lower, due to the positioning of the campsites, which helps tremendously with your acclimatization and increases your chances of reaching the summit.

Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania

Transport will be provided from the Kilimanjaro International Airport to your accommodation in Moshi. You’ll have some rest before meeting your guides, who will brief you about the climb and Mt. Kilimanjaro, followed by equipment check to ensure that all you have all the essentials. If some of your equipment is missing or is in a bad shape, you can rent from us. You’ll have dinner and spend the night here in preparation for the adventure awaiting you.

Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame Hut

You will be picked from your hotel in Moshi at around 8:00 A.M. and transferred to Machame gate, a journey that takes you through Machame village, located on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. After finishing sign in formalities at the gate, you’ll be provided with lunch boxes and water. The Bless Africa crew will organize all the luggage and food, weigh them, and then get the necessary permit.

You will then begin your hike through the rainforest on a twisted path up the ridge. The trail can be muddy and slippery, so the gaiters and trekking poles could come handy. You will have lunch along the way, as we continue with our trek to Machame Hut campsite.

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

Day 3: Machame Hut to Shira cave Campsite

Hike to Shira Cave Campsite begins after breakfast. The rainforest will be left behind, and we’ll cross the little valley and walk beside the rocky ridge. Lunch will be served along the way, followed by final hike to Shira cave. Later, in the afternoon,  acclimatization walk commence to help you get used to the altitude. Dinner will be served at Shira cave, where you will rest for the day.

  • 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

Today’s trek to Barranco campsite starts after breakfast, and our path will be towered by  Lava Tower (4600meters), which is also called the Shark’s tooth. Your lunch will be served at the Lava Tower, as you’ll spend some time at this altitude to get used to it. Then we’ll head to Barranco camp, nested at 3950m, and here you will have dinner and spend the night. Despite the fact that this day will end at the same elevation at which it begins, it is very important for acclimatization of your body 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

We’ll begin our trek over steep ridge at the base of Barranco wall toward Karanga Valley campsite, where you will be served with picnic lunch.You will then leave Karanga and continue hiking to Barafu Hut. At Barafu hut you will have a good view of the summit from different angles, and also have a magnificent sight of two peaks – Kibo and Mawenzi.. You can rest and prepare for the summit. Dinner will be served early.

  • 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

Hiking to the summit will begin short after midnight, at around 12:30 A.M., as our path twists through heavy scree towards Stella Point at the crater rim. This part of the hike is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the ascend. Once we reach Stella Point, you will rest and refresh with warm cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by the views of the magnificent sunrise coming above Mawenzi. Going further up, you might encounter snow storm, although it is dictated by the season you are taking for the hike. The summit, Uhuru Peak – the highest point on Kilimanjaro and all of Africa, is just an hour ascend from Stella Point.

From the summit, you will start trekking down to Mweka campsite. Lunch stop will be at Barafu camp, where you can take some rest, before we continue our descend towards Mweka Campsite, which is located in the forest. Here, you will have your last dinner and overnight on the Kilimanjaro.

  • 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

Breakfast will be served before we begin hiking down to Mweka Gate, where you’ll receive summit certificates. Path on the lower elevations can be rather wet and muddy, so the gaiters and trekking poles might come handy. There will be a vehicle waiting at the gate to take you back 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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