Machame route is Mount Kilimanjaro’s most popular hike favored by experienced backpackers. We recommend a seven-day Machame variation as the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7-day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested. Below is the day by day itinerary for the 7-day Machame climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 1: Arrival
On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you are met by a member of your guide team and transferred by road to a hotel in Arusha.
Day 2: Acclimatization, Arusha national Park
Day trip to the beautiful Arusha national park
Day 3: Machame Gate to Machame Camp.
- Elevation (m): 1830m to 3100m
- Elevation (ft): 6000ft to 10,200ft
- Distance: 18km
- Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
- Habitat: Montane Forest
The drive to the gate of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park starts at 07. 00hrs.The journey passes through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue ascending up until we reach the Machame Camp late in the afternoon. Picnic lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight at Machame camp.
Day 4: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
- Elevation (m): 3100m to 3840m
- Elevation (ft): 10,200ft to 12,600ft
- Distance: 9km
- Walking Time: 4-6 hours
After breakfast 07.00hrs, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.
Day 5: Shira Camp – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp
- Elevation (m): 3840m to 4630m to 3860m
- Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 12,700ft
- Distance: 15 km
- Walking Time: 5-7 hours
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4876m / 15,997 ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3860m / 12,664. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 6: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
- Elevation (m): 3860m to 4600m
- Elevation (ft): 12,700ft to 15,100ft
- Distance: 13km
- Hiking Time: 8 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley (lunch at 4200m / 13, 779 ft), and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Day 7: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
- Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m (and down to 3100m)
- Elevation (ft): 15,100ft to 19,300ft (and down to 10,200ft)
- Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent
- Hiking Time:6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent
- Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. We head in a north-west and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (5685m / 18,652 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent views you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will require gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. 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.
Trip cost per person is USD 2,130.
- Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents:
- All transfers and 1night accommodation in the hotel.
- Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
- All Park fees
- Rescue fees
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
- Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
- Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Crisis management and safety procedures
- Fair and ethical treatment of porters
Items not included:
- Airport transfers
- Tanzania Visa
- Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
- Meals not listed above
- Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
- Hotel accommodation on BB
- Hiking Equipment
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