Machame route


One of the most trekked routes of the Kilimanjaro

 Machame route is sometimes called the “Whiskey Route” in contrast to the “Coca-Cola Route” (Marangu route), due to its reputation for being more challenging and adventurous. Climbers on the Machame route typically spend around 6-7 days on the mountain, which provides a more immersive experience compared to the quicker ascent options.

Highlights of Machame route

Very scenic:

You go through all 5 climatic zones. You will witness montane forest, Shira plateau, waterfalls, and so much more.

Barranco Wall:

This is a 257 meters rock wall that you scramble to climb it. It is one of the best experience on Kilimanjaro.

Minimum trekking days:

You can do it in 6 days. We recommend you do it in 7 days to allow your body to acclimatize well.

High success rate:

You’ll have a chance to climb high and sleep slow low as you trek towards the base camp.

7 days Machame Route

Day 1 : Machame Gate (5,380) to Machame Camp (9,350 ft)

In the morning we drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 45-50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. After all gate procedures we start our climb. 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. We have chances of see hornbills, some birds and baboons in the first day.

Machame Gate to Machame Camp

  • Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
  • Distance: 11 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 2 : Machame Camp (9,350 ft) to Shira 2 Camp (12,500 ft)

We wake up early next day and heading to Shira Camp after Breakfast, We now leave the rainforests to shorter vegetation’s and stony land. In this day we start to feel the climb and the body starts to cope with the environment.On the Shira Plateau, we pass through heather and open moorlands, then cross a large river gorge to Shira 2 Camp.

Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp

  • Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

Day 3 : Shira 2 Camp (12,500 ft) to Lava Tower (15,190 ft) then Lava Tower (15,190 ft) to Barranco Camp (13,044 ft)

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 Scene Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the slight difference in elevation of about 500 ft, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for habituation.

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

  • Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
  • Distance: 3 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 4 Barranco Camp

Day 4: Barranco Camp (13,044 ft)  to Karanga Camp (13,106 ft)

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. Once more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization. Baranco is among most of climber’s memorable area.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Karanga Camp at Mount Kilimanjaro - Tansania, Africa

Day 5: Karanga Camp (13,106 ft) to Barafu Camp (15,331 ft)

We leave Karanga Camp and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka descending Route. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are well viewable from this position.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Distance: 4 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu Camp (15,331 ft) to Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft) then Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft) to Mweka Camp (10,065 ft)

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenger 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 (Independence Peak) – the Africa’s highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro. People will be taking photos for memories here and shout of joy for accomplishment.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

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.

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Descending Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
Day 7 Mweka Camp

Day 7: Mweka Camp (10,065 ft) to Mweka Gate (5,380 ft)

On our last day, we continue the descent, at lower elevations it can be wet and muddy to Mweka Gate, The summit certificates will be awarded for our summit conquers upon the Gate.

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

From the gate, we continue  for about another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to your hotel in Moshi Town.


  • Itineraries are flexible and we customize them according to your needs. 
  • Airport pick up and drop off are optional, meaning if you are already in Moshi or Arusha or you can arrange your own airport transfers, we can take them out of the price for this tour.
  • Pre- and post-climb accommodations are optional.

Trekking Packages

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Inquire Machame route trek

Machame treks start at $2,200 per person. Inquire for a quote below.