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 southwest 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 at 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 Karanga camp
Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu camp
Day 7: Barafu camp summit to mweka camp
Day 8: Mweka camp to Mweka gate to the hotel
Day 9: International departures or proceed to safari
Our Kilimanjaro adventure 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 Arusha (1400m) 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 driving 3 kilometers or walk to the Machame Gate (1490m). At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest. During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. Also, be on the look out for wildlife, including Colobus monkeys! About halfway up the trail you will have a lunch break and you will reach the Machame Camp (2980) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served. For overnight, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 9 kilometers
After an early morning breakfast, you will start youascent leaving the rain forest and entering the heathland moorland vegetation. You will cross many streams and walk over a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau that leads to Shira Camp (3840m). At this campsite, you will be next to a stream and have a spectacular view of the Western Breach and its glaciers in the East. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers
Following an early morning breakfast, you will leave the moorland environment and enter the semi desertand rocky landscape. After 5 hours of walking east, you will be come face to face with the Lava Tower (4630m). Packed lunches are served at the Tower and hikers have the option of climbing the massive Lava Tower weather permitting. At this point of the hike, it is normal for hikers to start feeling the effects from the altitude including headaches and shortness of breath.
After lunch, you will descend from Lava Tower (4630m) to the Barranco Campsite (3950m). The 6800m descent gives hikers a huge advantage to allow their bodies to adjust to the conditions of high altitude. The descent to camp takes around 2 hours to reach. It is located in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall (“Breakfast Wall”). Drinking and washing water and dinner will be served as hikers view the sun setting.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Distance: Approximately 5 kilometers
Habitat: Alpine desert
After an early morning breakfast, it is now time to conquer the Great Barranco Wall! Although it may look intimating at first glance, hikers state that this Class 2 hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley. This is an ideal hiking day for acclimatization.
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Distance: Approximately 4 kilometers
Habitat: Alpine desert
Following breakfast, you will leave Karanga Camp (3959m). The trail intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for an hour, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m). The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7-8 hours to descend to Mweka
Distance: Approximately 7 kilometer ascent and 23 kilometer descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The route heads northwest and you will ascend over stone scree. During the ascent, many hikers feel that this is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the climb. In about 6 hours, you will reach Stella Point (5685m), located on the crater rim. After enjoying the magnificent sunrise, you will continue ascending for about 2 hours on a snow-covered trail to Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Barafu Camp takes about 3 hours.
At camp, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Mweka Hut (3100m). The Mweka Trail will lead you through the scree and rocks to the moorland and eventually into the rain forest. Mweka Camp (3100m) is located in the upper rain forest, so fog and rain should be expected. You will have a dinner, wash, and rest soundly at camp.
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers
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.
You can add the safari extension to this trip and make this day your safari start day. Otherwise, the driver will be ready to take you to the airport and fly back home or Zanzibar.
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.