Mt. Kilimanjaro Machame Route

7 Days

This program travels the scenic Machame Route, with some game-viewing and bird watching opportunities along the first days’ path.  Hike up across the Shira Plateau through the Grand Barranco Canyon and on to the top. This route one Covers 65kms, regarded as one of the most popular route for Kilimanjaro climbers…   One Option is short 6-days on the Mountain, a programme that we recommend only to those with climbing experience, reasonable level of fitness and a yearning for a challenge.  For the 6 Days the main difficulty lies in an altitude gain of over 2,000m (6,600 feet) in 24hrs including summiting, resulting in a 7% drop in success rates. We recommend the 7-day program whose success rates is 85% due to gradual acclimatization and will suit anyone aspiring to climb Kilimanjaro.


Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip. Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.

The origin of the word “travel” is most likely lost to history. The term “travel” may originate from the Old French word travail, which means ‘work’. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century.

It also states that the word comes from Middle English travailen, travelen (which means to torment, labor, strive, journey) and earlier from Old French travailler (which means to work strenuously, toil). In English we still occasionally use the words “travail”, which means struggle. According to Simon Winchester in his book The Best Travelers’ Tales (2004), the words “travel” and “travail” both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instrument of torture called the tripalium (in Latin it means “three stakes”, as in to impale).



Drive to Machame Gate (1,640 meters or 5,380 ft) and Climbing to Machame Camp/Machame hut (2,850 meters or 9,350 ft)
Hiking hours: 5-6 hours.
Distance: 11 Km or 7 miles.
Zone: Rainforest
The drive to the gate of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The journey passes through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame hut Camp.

Climbing from Machame Camp to Shira Camp 2 (3,810 meters or 12,500 feet)
Hiking hours: 5-6 hours.
Distance: 5 Km or 3 miles.
Zone: Low Alpine Zone
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.

Climbing from Shira Camp 2 via Lava Tower (4,630 m 15, 190 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,976 meters or 13,044 feet)
Hiking hours: 8- 9 hours.
Distance: 10 Km or 6 miles.
Zone: Low alpine zone to High alpine zone.
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4876m / 15,997 ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3860m / 12,664. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Climbing from Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp (3,995 meters or 13,106 feet)
Hiking hours: 3 hours.
Distance: 4 Km or 2 miles.
Zone: High alpine zone
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite where we stop for Lunch. A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga Camp (13,100 ft), the last water point on the way to the summit

Climbing from Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp (4.673 meters to 15,331 feet)
Distance: 4 Km or 2 miles.
Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After Lunch, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the early morning final ascent.

Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Habitat: Arctic
We start our ascent by torchlight about midnight so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (18,800 ft), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,345 ft), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast from the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site,. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
From the gate, a Private transport Transfers you back to hotel in Moshi.

The Trip Cost Includes

  • • 6 nights’ Accommodation on the Mountain, Camping in Tents 2 persons per tent
  • • Kilimanjaro Park Entrance Fees, and government taxes and Levies.
  • • Services of a professional English speaking Mountain guide and Driver guide, Porters to carry Luggage on the mountain, Services of Cooks to Prepare and serve meals on the Mountain.
  • • Private Transport from Moshi Hotel to Mountain Gate or Trail Head before trek and return transfer to Hotel after the trek.
  • • All Meals while on the Mountain
  • • AMREF. Flying doctors service (Evacuation Insurance)

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • • Tips to the Mt guide, porters, cooks
  • • Accommodation in Moshi before the Trek
  • • Expenses of personal nature.
  • • Kilimanjaro Park Fees
  • • Personal Medical / Travel Insurance.
  • • Any other services other than those mentioned above as inclusive.
  • • Personal Mountain Clothing and Sleeping Bags
  • • Covid / Yellow Fever Certs if Required at the Boarder Point
  • • 1st and last night after and before the climb.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro Machame Route