The Machame route is our most popular and successful route leading to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by porters. The Machame route is a very scenic and beautiful route, which can be completed in 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days, allowing for more time to acclimatise. The key to the success of the Machame route is its topography, allowing hikers to climb high and sleep low, helping towards better acclimatisation. There are however two drawbacks on this route: • Firstly hikers will need to pass an area just before the Shira ridge and hike the Barranco Wall, both of which are physically demanding and also present a potential problem for hikers with a fear of heights. • The second problem relates to the route’s high success rate, compounded by the fact that other routes join the Machame route from day 3 onwards – higher numbers of hikers can be therefore be encountered on this route. The route utilises the Mweka route as a descend route.
- DAY 1: Arrival in Tanzania
Arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and meeting with my representative who will pick you up and drive you to Silver Palm Hotel for your overnight.
- DAY 2: Machame Gate – Camp Machame
Transfer from the Hotel by car until the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. We sign up at the Park’s office, at the gates of the Park. Then we get ready to start climbing. We go by a rain forest, a winding trail takes us up on a ridge until Machame Camp, our camping site for tonight.
*Altitude change: from 1800 m to 3000 m (+1200 m)
*Distance: 11 km
*Time: 5-7 h
*Environment: Montane Forest
- DAY 3: Camp Machame – Camp Shira
We have breakfast and then start our walk, during which we leave behind the rain forest. We continue ascending, traversing a valley and going up a rocky ridge, quite steep and covered in heath. Then we turn west, to the river’s gorge. We end the day at the Camp Shira, where we have dinner and spend the night.
*Altitude change: 3000 m to 3850 m (+850 m)
*Distance: 9 km
*Time: 4-6 h
- DAY 4: Camp Shira through Lava Tower – Camp Barranco
Today is crucial for acclimatisation, our bodies are getting prepared for the summit day. It’s an intense day and you may feel the altitude symptoms. We ascend until Lava Tower (4600m), where we have lunch and rest. Then we go down to Barranco campsite, where we will sleep. This camp is located in a beautiful valley under the Breach and the Great Barranco Wall. and the sunset here is memorable! It’s a special place to photograph.
*Altitude change: 3850 m to 4600 m to 3950 m (+750 m)
*Distance: 12 km
*Time: 6-7 h
- DAY 5: Camp Barranco – Camp Karanga
The day begins with a fun scramble, quite short, until the top of Great Barranco Wall. Then we cross over the scree to Karange Valley (3930 m), located under the icefalls of Kersten, Heim and Decken Glaciers. We spend the night at the camp Karanga.
*Altitude change: 3950 m to 3930 m
*Distance: 7 km
*Hiking Time: 4 h
*Environment: Alpine Desert
- DAY 6: Camp Karanga – Camp Barafu
Leaving the Karanga camp behind, we reach the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail for descent. Then we continue until the Barafu Hut. This marks the completion of the Southern Circuit. From here there are views of the top from different angles. We will camp, rest and enjoy some dinner. From here we can clearly see the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks.
*Altitude change: 3930 m to 4600 m (+670 m)
*Distance: 6 km
*Hiking Time: 3 h
*Environment: Alpine Desert
- DAY 7: Barafu Camp until the Summit – Hut Mweka
We will wake up at 11:30PM, quickly have some tea and cookies and start the hike. The destination is the summit located between the Ratzel and Rembman glaciers. Heading to the north-west, we go up through scree to Stella Point, on the rim of the crater. This is probably the most challenging portion of the hike, both physically and mentally. At the Stella Point (5732 m) we have a short stop to rest, and the sunrise here will likely be the most marvellous you have ever seen, if the weather permits. At the Uhuru Peak (5895 m), we reach the culminant point both of Mt Kilimanjaro and of Africa.
It can get really cold during the night. But it’ll be very warm at the end of the day of hiking. From the peak, we go down until the Hut Mweka campsite, via Barafu, where we have lunch. We need trekking poles for the loose gravel heading down to Camp Mweka (3100 m). Later in the day, we enjoy the last dinner on the mountains and a well-earned rest.
*Altitude change: 4600 m to 5895 m (+1295 m) (and down to 3100 m)
*Distance: 7 km ascent /23 km descent
*Time: 6-8 h ascent /6-7 h descent
*Environment: Stone scree, ice-capped summit / Alpine desert.
- DAY 8: Mweka Camp – Silver Palm hotel
We go down until the Mweka Park Gate where you receive the summit certificate. At lower altitudes it may be muddy and wet. Gaiters and trekking poles will be helpful. It’s convenient to have t-shirts and shorts for this part, but keep your rain gear and warmer clothes at hand.
*Altitude change: 3100 m to 1800 m
*Distance: 8 km
*Time: 3-4 h
*Environment: Montane Forest.
We will meet at Kilimanjaro airport.
The first night you will stay in a hotel and then we will camp.
Tips: The typical tip is $15-20 day for guides, $10-12 day for assistant guides, $10-12 day cooks, $6-10 day porter This is from the whole group, not per hiker.
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