Description & Routing
At its 5,895 m Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and is often known as ‘The rooftop of Africa’. Mount Kilimanjaro towers nearby Moshi in Tanzania.
The Machame route also known as the whiskey route, it is one of the most liked routes of Mount Kilimanjaro, it takes its name whiskey from its difficulty level compared to other routes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The Machame route offers a great varied scenery of the mountain, as it ascends and descends on different sides of the mountain i.e Western and northern sides respectively. In addition to that you will be able to see stunning physical features on this route i.e the Shira plateau, the Lava tower and the Baranco wall.
It is highly recommended to trek the Machame route in 7 days, for better acclimatization, although it is possible to complete Machame route in 6 days. The Machame route has a total trekking length of 62 km.
The Machame route is steeper especially on the first and a half day resulting from the main force of the kibos volcanic activity occurring on the western side. This route is ideal for adventure enthusiasts looking for a more challenging yet rewarding experience.
|From – To
||Machame gate – Machame Camp
||1,790 m – 3,010 m
||Machame Camp – Shira Caves
||3,010 m – 3,840 m
||Shira Caves – Barranco Camp
||3,840 m – 3,960 m
||Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp
||3,960 m – 4,200 m
||Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp
||4,200 m – 4,640 m
|Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp
||5 km Ascent
12 km Descent
|4,640 m – 5,895 m – 3,080 m
||6-8 hrs Ascent
||Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate
||3,080 m – 1,630 m
Day 1: (Machame Gate 1,790 m – Machame Camp 3,010 m):
The adventure to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro begins after breakfast, where our car will drive you will depart for Mount Kilimanjaro National Park to Machame Gate.
Upon registration you will begin trekking up the mountain through the rain forest. This first day of trekking will be 11 km through evergreen rain forest with Kilimanjaro’s unique and sometimes endemic flora and fauna, that definitely can distract one from the steep route. Together with your guide you will find a beautiful spot to enjoy your packed lunch.
At the day’s trek end approximately after 5-6 hours we reach the upper limit of the forest and the Machame Camp, where your porters will already have your tents erected and the cook will be busy preparing dinner.
Day 2: (Machame Camp 3,010 m – Shira Camp 3,840 m):
Depart after breakfast for Shira Camp. Second day of the trek will again be steep, where you will leave the rain forest and enter the second vegetation zone on Mount Kilimanjaro, heath and moorland. The hiking will be a 5 km route and as the altitude will be reaching 3,840 m you will begin to feel the thin air, why taking is slow this day will help acclimatization.
As approaching Shira Plateau the gradient levels out slightly. The final destination of the day Shira Camp, will take approximately 4-6 hrs of walking to reach. As with every campsite on the route, your tent will be erected and snacks will be served upon arrival, followed by a main meal later in the evening.
Day 3: (Shira Camp 3,840 m – Barranco Camp 3,960 m):
Today’s hiking distance will be 10 km and will approximately take 6-8 hrs of walking through the semi desert – the third vegetation zone of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The morning begins with a lengthy crossing of the plateau as we head due east towards Kibo. The beautiful views of the snow capped summit make this part of the walk a rewarding one. Lunch this time is taken near the Lava Tower, at the foot of Kibo.
After lunch, conquer Lava Tower which stands at 4530m before heading to Barranco Camp at 3960m. This fairly steep descent might cause a slight headache upon reaching camp in the evening. This is entirely normal, and only worrying if the symptoms persist. Snacks and then dinner is served in the evening.
Day 4: (Barranco Camp 3, 960 m – Karanga Camp 4,200 m):
An easy going acclimatization day. After breakfast depart begin today’s hiking route going to Karanga Camp. This hiking route will be in the fourth vegetation zone of Mount Kilimanjaro – Alpine desert. We start by descending into a ravine directly at the base of the Barranco wall. This great wall takes over an hour to climb and you may need to use your hands on occasions to haul yourself up the rocks but please don’t be worried – this is not mountaineering and the wall is not dangerous at all.
After Barranco wall, we gently walk our way down into Karanga valley where another steep climb awaits us before we reach camp overlooking the valley. Both lunch and dinner will be served in this camp. Today’s hike will be an 5 km route taking approximately 4-5 hrs.
Day 5: (Karanga camp 4,2oo m – Barafu camp 4,640 m):
After breakfast, we head for a 4 km route through the alpine desert to Barafu huts on a rocky trail that connects with the Mweka trail. We traverse the southern side of Kibo, walking through a spectacular lunar landscape bereft of life on our way to Barafu Camp, on the south-eastern shoulder of Kibo. On reaching camp approximately after 3-4 hrs, we will rest, take lunch and later dinner, and try to get some sleep before the rigors of the night ahead.
Day 6: (Barafu camp 4,640 m – Uhuru peak 5,895 m – Mweka camp 3,080 m):
An early start at around midnight to begin the slow march up to Stella Point (5,745 m) on the edge of the Kibo crater. About an hour from here lays the ultimate goal, the great summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak – at 5,895 m, the highest point in Africa! Here, if we’re on time, we can watch the sun rise over the African continent, take photos and take a breather too! The ascending hike is 5 km and will approximately take 6-8 hours, where hiking in an arctic habitat – Kilimanjaro’s fifth vegetation zone.
After a rest at the top, we continue back down to Barafu where we take breakfast and relax for an hour, before continuing our march down the mountain. Today’s walk takes us back down through the alpine desert, heath and moorland zones until we once more enter the forest zone via Millennium Camp. There, amongst the trees, we find the Mweka Campsite, our final stop on the trek. Today’s descending route has a distance of 12 km and will take around 4-6 hrs.
Day 7: (Mweka camp 3,080 m – Mweka gate 1,630 m):
After breakfast depart for mweka gate, which is a 10 km hike taking approximately 3-4 hrs through the rain forest.
Upon reaching there, we will collect the certificates provided by Kilimanjaro National Park for reaching the summit. Lunch will be served here and a car will be waiting to take you back to your hotel and your trek is at an end.