The six-day Machame route is the most beautiful route up the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. The route is best suited to adventurous hikers looking for an authentic and rustic experience, as the route offers tented accommodation only, and all your equipment and supplies are brought up with help from a porter. A cook prepares all your meals. However, hikers will be rewarded with a scenic splendour that is not seen on the Marangu route, from late afternoon sunsets at Shira to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall.
The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of six days. The added benefit to the six days means you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain – time to acclimatize.
This is our most successful and popular hiking route on Mt. Kilimanjaro, mainly as a result of the following two important factors. First, on day 3 of the hike, the topography of this route allows you to climb high and sleep low – as you start from Shira camp (3 847m) hike up to Lava Tower (4 642m) and then down to Barranco camp (3 984m) for overnight. Second, the summit attempt path from Barafu camp has less loose scree (rocks) compared to the summit attempt path from Kibo Hut, making it slightly easier to reach the crater rim.
HIGHLIGHTS: Climbing Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route
✔Challenge yourself on this 6 days Machame route
✔Reach the summit at 5,895M and savor the unique feeling of standing on the roof of Africa.
✔Climb through rich rain forest into a snowy wonderland.
✔Explore the welcoming region of Moshi town and enjoy ¨Mbege¨ a local brew beer.
✔Enjoy thrilling and safe scrambles on the very edge of Africa's highest mountain.
✔2 nights hotel accommodation(before and after climb)
✔Transport to and from Moshi to the trail head.
✔Professional mountain guides/porters
✔Accommodation in mountain tents
✔All Park fees.
✔All Government Taxes
✔All airport transfers.
✔Three meals a day while on the mountain
♦Alcohol Drinks ♦Laundry.
♦ Personal Items
♦Tips and gratuities
♦Safari after climbing
♦Olduvai Gorge Visit
♦Maasai Boma Visit
♦Chagga Culture Visit
♦Tree top walking
♦Bush Men Visit
♦Night Game Drive
Day 0: Arrive in Tanzania:
You’ll be met by our ground handling team at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to the delightful Ahadi Lodge. Relax in your thatched cottage, savor the enchanting views of Mount Meru, and unwind on the private verandah. Located just outside the vibrant town of Arusha, and set in its own tropical gardens, the lodge provides a gentle introduction to the natural beauty of Tanzania.
Meals Plan: Dinner and Break Fast
Day 1: Machame Gate (1828m) – Machame camp (3020m):
Distance: Approximately 5.2 km
Your day starts early with breakfast, followed by a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame Gate (1828m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment at the gate. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rainforest 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 halfway and will reach the Machame camp (3020m) in the late afternoon.
Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on arrival. In the evening the porters will bring a small bowl of washing water to your tent and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to the freezing point at this campsite.
Day 2: Machame camp (3020m) – Shira camp (3847m):
Distance: Approximately 5.2 km
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast, you 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 the Western Breach and its stunning glaciers.
You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike, you will reach the Shira campsite at 3847m. The porters will once again supply you with a small bowl of 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.
Day 3: Shira Camp – Lava Tower (4642m) – Barranco camp (3984m):
Distance: Approximately 10.7 km
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4642m after about a 5-hour trek. Lunch is served at a designated area. This is definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally at this point where some climbers will start experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches.
After lunch, you descent again by almost 658m to the Barranco camping area.After reaching the high altitude of 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 your dinner to be prepared.
Day 4: Barranco camp – Barafu camp (4681m):
Distance: Approximately 9.4 km
Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end usually turns out to be easier than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you will now appreciate just how beautiful Mount 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 up to the ridge and after another hour or so, you should reach Barafu Hut.
The last water stop on the route is the Karanga Valley, as there is no water available 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 1214m higher and you will commence with your final ascent attempt, the same night. Prepare your equipment, hiking poles 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 early and try to get some precious rest and sleep.
Day 5: Barafu camp –Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3090m):
Distance:Approximately 4.5 km ascent and 10.8 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Wake up around 11.30pm and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly 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 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 during 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 get going again due to cold and fatigue.
Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life!
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, before heading down to Mweka hut (3090m). 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.
Day 6: Mweka camp (3090m) – Mweka Gate (1641m):
Distance: Approximately 8.5 km
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 4–6-hour scenic hike back to the Park gate. Some hikers do experience knee problems which could make the descend longer than planned.
It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Visit the tips page for more info. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5739m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. At Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch.
After lunch, drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
Important Information’s To Know:
A deposit of 30% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.
♦Children must be accompanied by an adult.
♦We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances.
♦Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.
♦Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required.
♦The duration of transfers are approximate, the exact duration will depend on the time of day and traffic conditions.
♦A current valid passport is required at Tanzania airports on the day of travel.
♦You MUST confirm and obtain any visa requirements prior to border crossing. All visa requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveler.