The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.
Day 1 Machame Gate
- (1490 m) - Machame camp (2980 m), Hiking time: 7 hours, Distance: About 18 km’s - Habitat: Montane forest.
- The drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes.
- The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
- As we leave the park gate, we walk through the dense rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 2 Machame camp
- (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m), Hiking time: 6 hours. Distance: About 9 km’s – Habitat: Moorland
- You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast, you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone.
- After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau.
- By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers.
- You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike, you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m.
- The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner.
- The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
Day 3 Shira
- (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m), Hiking time: 7 Hrs, Distance: About 15 km’s - Habitat: Semi-desert
- We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation.
- We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft.
- Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.
Day 4 Barranco to Karanga Valley - Barafu camp
- (4550m), Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: About 13 km’s - Habitat: Alpine desert
- Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge.
- Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents.
- The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night.
- Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt.
- This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well.
- To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.
- Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.
Day 5 Barafu camp (4550m)-Uhuru Peak
- (5895m)-Mweka (3100m), Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka, Distance: About 7 km’s ascent - 23 km’s descent, Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.
- Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit.
- This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
- The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme.
- We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak.
- Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
- From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch.
- The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful.
- 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.
Day 6 Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
- Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft Distance: 10 km/6 miles Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Rain Forest
- On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates.
- At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy.
- From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village.
- A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (before & after climb)
- Transportation from Moshi to/from the starting/finishing point on the mountain
guides withmountain crew
- National park fees
- Tents and sleeping mattresses
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Return Airport transfers to Kilimanjaro international Airport
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Boiled water on the mountain
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Emergency oxygen