Kilimanjaro – Machame Route

Kilimanjaro-Machame Route

Machame Route is the most popular route on Mount Kilimanjaro. it’s also known as the Whiskey route. It is the route of choice for many people because it provides impressive views and a variety of habitats. This route is steeper than the Marangu and Rongai routes and physically more demanding and for that reason better suited for the more determined and fitter climbers.

The Machame Route approaches from the southwest and descends using Mweka, 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 Icefield. The descent occurs on the Mweka route.

The Machame Route climb can be done in a minimum of six days(Five Night) on the mountain. However, it is most often tackled over seven days(six Night), for a better altitude acclimatization schedule.

The trek begins at the southern base of mountain (Machame Gate), within its lush, fertile rainforest. The route heads toward the Shira Plateau, before circling along the southern circuit halfway around the mountain, exposing the climber to great views from all angles. The approach to the summit is made from the east, and the descent follows the Mweka trail.

Below is the day by day itinerary for the 7 day Machame climb on Mount Kilimanjaro:

Day 1 :

We live the Machame Gate, which takes about 7 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then here your stop for the night.

  • Starting Point Machame Gate (1830 m/6000 ft) – Machame Huts(3030 m/9940 ft)
  • Walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles
  • Walking time: 5-7 hours
  • Altitude gain: 1200 m/3940 ft

Day 2 :

Today The trail is much steeper, especially until you reach your lunch stop. Luckily it’s a short day. After lunch it should take only an hour or so to reach the edge of the Shira Plateau, and from there your camp is not far.

  • Machame Huts – New Shira Camp (3850 m/12630 ft)
  • Walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles
  • Walking time: 4-6 hours
  • Altitude gain: 820 m/2690 ft
Machame Route

Day 3 :

Today is a long day. The first part of the day is spent climbing up towards the Lava Tower, a 100 m/300 ft volcanic plug. After a much deserved lunch break near the Lava Tower you descend into the beautiful Barranco Valley.

  • New Shira Camp – via Lava Tower (4640 m/15220 ft) – Barranco Huts (3985 m/13070 ft)
  • Walking distance: 10 km/6.2 miles
  • Walking time: 5-7 hours
  • Altitude gain: 135 m/440 ft (790 m/2590 ft to Lava Tower)

Day 4:

At Morning start hiking from the Barranco camp wall and hike approximately 10km to Barafu camp stopping at Karanga camp for lunch.       

  • Barranco Huts – Karanga Camp (4040 m/13255 ft)
  • Walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours
  • Altitude gain: 55 m/185 ft

Day 5:

Hike 3.3km from Karanga camp to Barafu camp. You can expect to arrive to Barafu by afternoon which will allow much more time to rest, enjoy dinner, prepare your summit gear and rest.

  • Karanga Camp – Barafu Huts (4680 m/15360 ft)
  • Walking distance: 3.5 km/ 2.2 miles
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours
  • Altitude gain: 640 m/2105 ft

Day 6 :

You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers the 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5739m) you will stop for a short rest. you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life!

  • Summit attempt via Stella Point (5752 m/18871 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19340 ft) and descent to Millenium Camp (3820 m/12530 ft) (or to Mweka Hut)
  • Walking distance: 5 km/3 miles ascent + 10 km/6.2 miles descent
  • Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary from 10 – 16 hours)
  • Altitude gain: 1072 m/ 3511 ft (Stella Point) or 1215 m/3980 ft (Uhuru Peak)
  • Descent: 2075 m/6810 ft

Day 7:

After beakfast you set off, down… It’s your last day on the mountain and you may have trouble getting enthusiastic about your surrounds. The day takes you through some really pretty forest with lots of birdlife.

  • Millenium Camp – Machame Gate
  • Walking distance: 20 km/12.5 miles
  • Walking time: 5 hours
  • Descent: 1990 m/6530 ft