This is the most popular of all routes up Kilimanjaro, chosen by around 50% of all trekkers. If we had to describe the Machame route, also called the ‘whiskey route’, in 1 word it would probably be ‘incredible views’. It’s not an easy route, as you’ll need to ascend the Barranco wall and be fit enough for the rather steep summit attempt. Technical climbing skills are however not required, making this route still accessible for anyone in good physical condition!
Day 1: Machame Gate – Machame Campsite.Elevation: 1830m to 3030m.
Distance: 13 km.
Hiking time: 5-7 hours.
Habitat: Montane forest.
After breakfast our vehicle will pick you from the hotel drive to Machame gate. Here you will do the required registration procedures then you will start the trek through the rainforest to Machame camp where you will find the tents are already setup for you.
Dinner and overnight at Machame campsite.
Day 2: Machame Hut Campsite to Shira CampsiteElevation: 3030m to 3800m
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
After breakfast leave the glades of rainforest and continue ascending by crossing little valleys and steep rocky ridge covering with heather plants to the western side of the mountain where the camp is situated. At this camp you will be able get the spectacular view of Mount Meru, Shira Plateau, Kibo Peak and beautiful sunset. then dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Shira Campsite to Barranco Campsite via Lava towerElevation: 3800m to 3950m.
Hiking time: 5-7 hours
This is long and important acclimatization day so you will be having an early breakfast then continue trekking east to a junction leading to Lava tower rock 4600m for acclimatization. Afterwards you will continue down to Barranco camp. The camp location is in the bottom valley of Barranco wall where you will stop for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Barranco campsite to Karanga campsiteElevation: 3950m to 4040m
Distance: 6 km
hiking time: 4-5 hours.
Today is short day walk. In the morning you will start climbing Barranco wall and reach 4200m for acclimatization and continue crossing ridges and valleys to Karanga campsite for hot lunch. After lunch you will have a bit of rest and get another acclimatization of trekking up the slopes towards the southern ice field. You will then return to the camp for soup and overnight.
Day 5: Karanga campsite to Barafu hutsElevation: 4040m to 4680m.
Distance: 8 km.
Hiking time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert.
On this day, the trek up to the Barafu ridge campsite is tough because of altitude. The walk takes few hours because of the short distance but does step need a slow pace to avoid fatigue. You will trek across an alpine desert. Chances are that a strong, cold wind will be blowing from Kibo peak and its ice. You will have an early dinner at 1700hrs then rest until midnight when we you will attack the summit.
Day 6: Barafu Hut Campsite / Uhuru Peak / Millenium Campsite Elevation: 4680m to 5895m to 3820mDistance: 15km
Hiking time: 10 – 12 hours
Habitat: Desert and ice.
Wake up at midnight to a light breakfast and then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. The trails is a series of switchbacks up steep or possibly snow, and reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 4 and 5AM. At this point you will be having the views of the fabled crater and its glaciers facing you. Then after 1 hour of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro true summit, Uhuru Peak. Here you will spend some times for taking photo’s but it will depend on how you feel. After your summit activities done, you will descend back to the Barafu campsite, for lunch, rest, collect your equipment, and continue down through moorland to Millennium campsite for overnight.
Day 7: Millennium campsite to Mweka gate: 3820m to 1990mDistance: 9km
Descending time: 5 hours
Habitat: Montane forest.
Today is your last day on the mountain. After breakfast you will descend down to Mweka gate walking across montane forest. This descent will take 5 hours. At the gate you will sign out and get ready to board the vehicle for the transfer back to the hotel for your certificate presentation and a well-deserved celebration.