The Machame route is one of the most beautiful routes to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. The climb begins in the lush rainforest and follows a path that offers occasional views of Mt Meru, Shira Ridge as well the main summit of Mt Kilimanjaro – Kibo. The Machame route contains more steep passages and higher altitudes than the Marangu and the Rongai route and is slightly more demanding.
Machame route is one of the highest summit success rates given the topography and nature of the route which allows climbers to “trek high & sleep low” hence making it a more favorable route for acclimatization. This route offers some of the most spectacular scenery while on the mountain. The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, traversing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes just after the Shira cave camp.
Day 1: Arrive to Moshi
Day 2: Moshi to Machame gate to Machame camp
Day 3: Machame camp to Shira camp
Day 4: Shira camp to Lava tower to Baranco camp
Day 5: Baranco camp to Barafu camp
Day 6: Barafu camp summit to mweka camp
Day 7: Mweka camp to Mweka gate to hotel
Day 8: International departures or proceed to safari
Your program in Tanzania starts the Moment you land at Kilimanjaro international Airport, You will be met by our staff at the airport and transferred to our partner lodge in Moshi in the peaceful surrounds of our comfortable pre and post trek accommodation in Honey Badger, or Q wine hotel. Guide will perform a gear check for you after dinner so that next morning you will be ready for your tour start.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 18 kilometers
Habitat: Montane forest
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from Moshi and driven to the Machame Village. In the village, you can buy mineral water and will receive a packed lunch. From the village, depending on the road conditions, you will either continue to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.
Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 9 kms
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfastyou 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.
Hiking time: 7h
Distance: Approximately 15 kms
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). This is definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunchyou descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.
Hiking time: 7h
Distance: Approximately 13 kms
Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left upthe ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.
The last water stop on the route is the KarrangaValley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise 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.
Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 – 8h to descend to Mweka
Distance: Approximately 7 kms ascent – 23 kms descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers, this 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and 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. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear. The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.
Hiking time: 3h
Distance: Approximately 15 kms
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for three hours back to Mweka Gate. The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Stella Point (5685m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, hikers will descend into the Mweka village for 1 hour (3 kilometers). You will be served a hot lunch then you will drive back to Moshi for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Included in the price:
- Meeting at Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Transfer to our partner lodge Honey Badger - Moshi, Ameg lodge – Moshi or Vijiji Center - Arusha
- Accommodation prior to the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room)
- Transfer to the trail head gate on hiking start day
- Highly trained mountain guides. Our guides have “Wilderness First Responder” and “Wilderness First Aid” certificates because safety is of our priority.
- Friendly and really helpful porters. Each participant will be provided with a porter. Kindly note that the maximum weight porter can carry is 10kgs per person.
- Kilimanjaro National Park permits;
- Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees;
- Camping/hut fees;
- 3 square meals daily. The menu includes different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian options are available upon request
- Modern quality tents
- Regular check of your body oxygen level while on the mountain
- First aid kit
- Warm and comfortable sleeping pads (2 inches thick);
- Group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery and cutlery);
- Pick up from the gate to the lodge.
- Accommodation after the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room)
- Air evacuation if booking made three months before tour start date
- Return transfer to Kilimanjaro airport.
- This package price includes sharing a twin or triple room. If you need a single bed accommodation only, please email us at email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org two weeks prior to the start of the tour.
- During the climb you will share a tent with 1-2 other climbers, depending on the number of participants. If you need your own tent, please email us thru email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
- two weeks prior to the start of the tour.
Not included in price:
- Airline tickets
- Visa fee
- Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the ascent)
- Personal gear rentals
- Tips for the mountain crew (200–250 USD per participant)
Food on the trail is rich in carbohydrates and protein since you’ll be burning calories like a champ. Breakfast may include crepes/pancakes, toast, eggs, sausage/bacon, fruit, tea, hot cocoa, and coffee. Lunch may include fried chicken, puff pastry with either spinach or meat/carrots/peas, candy/biscuit, a banana, and hard-boiled eggs. Dinner may include soup, pasta or rice, chicken, beef or fish, avocado/green pepper salad, and fruit.
Oreta Adventures is able to accommodate most allergies and dietary preferences. Please email your food preference to email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
We recommend any vegan travelers bring extra protein bars.
The highest elevation you will reach on your trek is 19,341ft. Trekking at high altitudes can become a concern above 10,000 ft. Some travelers choose to use prescriptions such as Diamox to treat altitude sickness. We recommend talking to your doctor about the use of any prescription medicine. We always advise hiking at your own pace, drinking plenty of water, and the importance of self-care on the trail.
Regardless of the size of your expedition, we recommend budgeting around $250 – $350 for the trekking portion of your expedition. If you’re also doing the camping safari, we recommend budgeting around $50 – $100.
There will be time on the final day of the mountain when you descend from Horombo Hut back down to the entrance gates to tip your staff. We suggest tipping the cooks and porters before arriving back to the entrance gates because there can be a lot of distractions (souvenir vendors, etc.) once you complete the trek. You can then individually tip your guides either on the last day or once you descend down to the entrance gates.
You can tip in Tanzania Shillings (TZS) or US Dollars but for simplicity-sake, we suggest tipping in USD. Be sure to bring small bills.
If you want to know the number of crew, Ask one of your guides! They are happy to provide you with information on the total number of porters and cooks.
Most porters do not assist on the final summit but depending on the group size and pace, a few porters may join to help. It is common to tip these porters an additional ~$20 total from the group when tipping them.
Due to the high altitude and length of daily travel, you will carry a daypack and a porter will carry your duffle bag up to 10 Kgs. Your daypack should contain any clothes needed for that day and any personal belongings like your camera or passport.
We generally cap our group departure dates at around 10, though some may be slightly larger depending on the expedition. We guarantee all group departure dates whether there are 1 or 10 travelers signed up. We recommend asking our team how many people are in your group when you sign up for a departure date. Keep in mind, travelers may join or cancel at the last minute! If you are the only one in your group, we are happy to work with you on changing your travel dates if no deposits have been made.
Daily mileage can range from 5-13 miles and 5-16 trekking hours per day. This expedition requires excellent physical fitness. Treks include longer days, greater elevation gain, and more challenging terrain at higher altitude. Participants should expect high levels of physical exertion at times. We always recommend that travelers break in their hiking boots before the expedition. Taking training hikes that mimic the mileage and amount of time you will be trekking in Tanzania is highly recommended.
Yes! you will be staying at the same hotel before and after your trek in Moshi. Leaving an extra bag at either hotel during your trek is free of charge.
Talk to your physician and follow recommended CDC guidelines for Tanzania.
Some travelers choose to use prescriptions such as Diamox to treat altitude sickness. We recommend talking to your doctor about the use of any prescription medicine.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Cards are required for some travelers depending on their travel itinerary. The government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US). If you’re traveling from any of the countries listed in this link, a yellow fever vaccine is required.
Question on vaccines? Call your local Travel Medicine Clinic or Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinic
Safe drinking water will be provided to you along the trail. When in Moshi or Arusha, be sure to only drink bottled water and do not use tap water to brush your teeth.
We always ask that you stay safe on the trail by drinking plenty of water, eating well, and communicating openly with your guide about any issues that arise. Be sure to take care of your belongings, be respectful of your travel companions, practice your Swahili with the people you meet along the way, and respect the natural landscape that you’re exploring.