Known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular route on the mountain. Compared with Marangu, the days on Machame are longer and the walks are steeper. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous folks and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The route begins from the south, then heads east, traversing underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field before summiting. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is recommended.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to the heavy crowds, it loses some of its spendor.
Machame gate to machame camp
Meet your tour guide at 8 a.m. and drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (50-minute drive).
Pass through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
Take a walk through the rainforest and follow a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Trek till you reach the Machame Camp.
Elevation (ft): 5,400 ft to 9,400 ft.
Distance: 11 km.
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours.
Habitat: Rain Forest.
Machame camp to shira camp
Have breakfast and leave the glades of the rain forest.
Take an ascending path and cross the little valley, walking along a steep rocky ridge covered with heather. The route now turns west onto a river gorge.
Take rest, have dinner and stay overnight at the Shira campsite.
Elevation (ft): 9,400 ft to 12,500 ft.
Distance: 5 km.
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours.
Shira camp to lava tower to barranco camp
Trek from the Shira plateau to the east up a ridge and pass the junction towards the peak of Kibo.
Arrive at the second junction, which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000 ft.
Go down to the Barranco Hut located at an altitude of 13,000 ft. Take rest, enjoy dinner and stay overnight here. This day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for the summit day.
Elevation (ft): 12,500 ft to 13000 ft.
Distance: 10 km.
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours.
Barranco camp to karanga camp to barafu camp
Have breakfast and leave Barranco.
Continue on a steep ridge and pass the Barranco Wall to reach the Karanga Valley campsite.
Leave from Karanga and hit the junction, which connects with the Mweka Trail.
Proceed to the Barafu Hut. This is the completion of the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from various angles. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from here.
Make camp, take rest, enjoy the dinner and prepare for the summit day.
Elevation (ft): 13,000 ft to 15,000 ft.
Distance: 9 km.
Hiking Time: 8-10 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert.
Barafu camp to summit to mweka hut
Trek to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers very early in the morning (midnight-02:00 a.m.).
Take an ascent towards Stella Point (18,600 ft) on the crater rim.
Stop for a short rest and get rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to witness (only if the weather permits).
Continue the trek and reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
Descend and continue straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site. On your way, stop at Barafu for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.
Enjoy your last dinner on the mountain in the evening and stay overnight at the Mweka Hut camp site.
Elevation (ft): 15,300 ft to 19,345 ft (and down to 10,000 ft).
Distance: 5 km ascent/12 km descent.
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent/4-6 hours descent.
Mweka camp to moshi
Have breakfast and continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive the summit certificates.
Proceed to Mweka Village, which will take around 1 hour.
Board the vehicle at Mweka village and drive back to the hotel in Moshi.
Elevation (ft): 10,000 ft to 5400 ft.
Distance: 10 km.
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Rain Forest.
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