Machame Route 7 Days
Also known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular ascent route on Mt Kilimanjaro. Compared with the Marangu route, the walking days on the Machame route are longer and the walks are steeper. However, the scenery is spectacular and landscape interesting. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to its popularity there are increased numbers of trekkers, it loses some of its splendour. The Machame route approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival
After you’re transported from the Kilimanjaro International Airport to your hotel, we’ll gather in the evening for a quick equipment check and briefing before your adventure begins! Relax and prepare for tomorrow’s extraordinary expedition in the comfort of your hotel lodge.
Day 2 : (6-8 hours walking)
After breakfast we will drive from the hotel to reach the Machame Gate – located at 9,800 ft. altitude – where we’ll begin our climb. After passing through lush forest terrain we’ll stop for lunch at the Halfway Clearing before continuing to ascend through the woodland and then through heather grasslands that will lead up to the Machame Hut campsite.
Day 3 : (4-6 hours walking)
The next morning after breakfast we’ll continue hiking up the steep trail to Picnic Rock, which is a small crescent cliff showcasing gorgeous views of Mount Kibo and the Shira Plateu’s rugged edges. We’ll continue towards the Shira Plateu and camp for the night at the Shira Hut – located at 12,800 ft. altitude. The breathtaking views you’ll experience of the Shira Plateu’s rock formations, Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro will be mesmerizing!
Day 4 : (5-7 hours walking)
We’ll continue gradually ascending out of the moorland plateu and hike up to the lave ridges shadowed by the glaciers of the Western Breach. We’ll stop for lunch near the Lava Tower junction – located at 14,900 ft. – before descending to the valley of the Great Barrango – located at 12,800 ft. altitude, where we’ll camp for the night.
Day 5 : (4-5 hours walking)
We’ll begin hiking up the steep Barranco Wall that will lead up to a winding trail on the southern side of Mount Kibo. The trail will take us across a variety of gravel and foliage terrains, leading us to the Karanga campsite – located at 13,100 ft. altitude – by the afternoon. You’ll have time to rest and enjoy the scenery or take a brief optional hike to continue adjusting to the altitude.
Day 6 : (4-5 hours walking)
We’ll continue ascending up a short, but steep trail from the Karanga campsite towards the Mweka Junction – located at 13,615 ft. altitude, where we’ll enjoy lunch and a brief reprieve. We’ll continue up the trail until we reach the Barafu camp – at 15,091 ft. – and proceed to the valley at the bottom of the South-Eastern Valley – situated at 15,748 ft. altitude. We’ll turn in early for the night to rest and recuperate before the final arduous day of hiking that is to follow.
Day 7 : (11-15 hours walking)
Our ascent to the peak will begin at 1 am in order to reach the Crater rim by sunrise. Using torches to light our way, we’ll begin the steep, steady hike across loose volcanic gravel up to Stella Point – located at 18,816 ft. altitude. After enjoying the spectacular panoramic sunrise views for a short rest interval, we’ll continue along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak – located at 19,345 ft. altitude. We will be standing on the peak of the highest freestanding mountain in the world!
The ensuing descent is a welcomed reprieve, and after we enjoy lunch at camp Barafu we’ll continue descending to arrive at the Millennium Camp where we’ll rest for the night at 12,500 ft. altitude.
Day 8 : (4-6 hours walking)
This easy downhill trek will take us through lush rainforest terrain inhabited with beautiful vegetation and botanical growth. The trail leads us down to Mweka’s National Park’s gate at 5,400 ft. altitude where we will board a vehicle that will take us to the lodge to relax and unwind!