7 Days Climbing Kilimanjaro – Machame Route

Conquering the Roof of Africa: A Day-by-Day Guide to the Machame Route on Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a dream for many adventurers, offering the chance to stand atop the highest peak in Africa. Among the several routes available to reach the summit, the Machame Route stands out as one of the most popular and scenic options. Known as the “Whiskey Route,” this path is not just a trek, it’s an adventure that takes you through some of the most extraordinary landscapes on Earth.

The Machame Route up Mount Kilimanjaro offers a stunning journey through diverse ecosystems and the chance to push your limits. With proper preparation, training, and respect for the mountain, you can increase your chances of a successful climb. Whether you’re looking to test your physical limits or seeking a life-changing experience, the Machame Route provides an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

As you stand at the summit, watching the sunrise above the clouds, you’ll understand why Kilimanjaro is known as the Roof of Africa – and why reaching its peak is an accomplishment that speaks to the strength of the human spirit.

The Machame Route Overview

Spanning approximately 62 kilometers (37 miles) from gate to summit, the Machame Route offers a challenging yet rewarding trek. It’s known for its beautiful scenery and a high success rate for reaching Uhuru Peak, thanks to its “climb high, sleep low” profile, which aids in acclimatization.

Machame Route Elevation

The Machame Route starts at the Machame Gate at an elevation of 1,800 meters (5,905 feet) and culminates at the peak of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak, at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). The route’s design allows climbers to gradually ascend, with each day bringing unique altitude changes and environments.

Machame Route Success Rate

The success rate to Uhuru Peak on the Machame Route is fairly high compared to other routes, with estimates ranging from 85% to 90% for the seven-day itinerary. This is due in part to the extra day included for acclimatization, which significantly improves climbers’ chances of reaching the summit successfully.

7-Day Machame Route Itinerary

Day 1: From Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Your Machame route climb begins at Machame Gate, located at an altitude of 1,800 meters. After completing the necessary registration processes with the park authorities, you’ll embark on your hike through the lush rainforest that covers the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. The trail meanders through tall trees, vibrant green underbrush, and a symphony of bird calls. This first day’s relatively gentle hike is a great introduction and helps your body start acclimatizing to the altitude.

As you reach Machame Camp at 3,000 meters, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, having conquered your first day’s altitude gain. Rest up and enjoy your first night on the mountain, dining on a warm meal prepared by your support team.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

The second day of your Kilimanjaro climb through Machame route begins with a hearty breakfast before you set off toward Shira Camp. The vegetation starts to thin out as you ascend, and the trail steepens. You’ll leave the rainforest behind and enter the heath zone, marked by shrubs, giant heathers, and volcanic rocks draped in lichens.

The day’s trek is shorter in distance but steeper, which can be taxing on your legs. However, the unfolding vistas of the Shira Plateau will reward your efforts. By the time you reach Shira Camp at 3,840 meters, you’ll be standing on one of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanic cones, enjoying expansive views across a plateau that once was a volcanic crater.

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

The third day is designed for acclimatization and takes you on a journey up to the Lava Tower at 4,630 meters before descending to Barranco Camp at 3,960 meters. This ‘climb high, sleep low’ strategy is essential for adjusting to the altitude.

As you continue to climb machame route to Lava Tower, the landscape becomes more alpine and barren. The change in vegetation is stark, and the air feels thinner. Upon reaching Lava Tower, take some time to rest and have lunch, enjoying the magnificence of this high-altitude desert.

The descent to Barranco Camp is a relief for many, as the lower altitude means easier breathing. The camp itself is set in a beautiful, enclosed valley beneath the imposing Barranco Wall, a massive rock face that you will tackle the following day.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

On day four, you’ll face the Barranco Wall, a challenging and exhilarating scramble. This part of the route involves some non-technical climbing, where you’ll use your hands to navigate over rocks. It’s a fun change of pace from trekking and showcases the adventure aspect of climbing Kilimanjaro.

Once you’ve conquered the Barranco Wall, the rest of the day’s hike to Karanga Camp at 3,995 meters is comparatively gentle. The camp overlooks the Karanga Valley and offers stunning views of the southern glaciers of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s main peak.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

After leaving Karanga, you’ll continue your ascent towards Barafu Camp, located at 4,673 meters. The trail becomes steeper and more rugged as you ascend, but the thought of standing on the summit keeps spirits high among trekkers.

Barafu Camp is your base camp for the summit bid. Set on a barren, rocky ridge, exposed to the elements, this campsite might be less comfortable than previous ones, but it has a unique, almost other-worldly atmosphere.

You’ll retire early tonight, as you’ll be waking up before midnight to begin your summit ascent.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Summit night is the most challenging part of the climb. You’ll set off in the dark, climbing steep switchbacks and braving the cold and altitude. This push to the summit is a true test of endurance and determination.

The goal is to reach Stella Point on the crater rim for sunrise. Witnessing the dawn break across the African sky from this vantage point is a memory that will last a lifetime. But the journey isn’t over yet; from Stella Point, you’ll continue along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 5,895 meters.

Standing atop Uhuru Peak, with the continent spread out below you, is an overwhelming experience. You’ve made it to the Roof of Africa!

After celebrating and taking photos, it’s time to begin the descent. You’ll head down to Barafu Camp for a short rest and then continue to Mweka Camp at 3,080 meters for your final night on the mountain.

Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

The final day is a gentle descent through the rainforest to Mweka Gate. Your knees might protest after the previous day’s exertions, but the sense of achievement provides a natural boost of energy. As you trek, reflect on the incredible journey you’ve undertaken.

Upon reaching Mweka Gate, you’ll receive your summit certificate – tangible proof of your hard-won battle with the mountain. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your guides and porters who have become friends and shared in your adventure.

7 Days Machame Route Price

Price: (Per person sharing)

Solo Traveler:2150 USD
2 Pax : 1950 USD per person
3 Pax :1850 USD per person
4 Pax : 1750 USD per person
6 Pax : 1650 USD per person

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Machame Route Cost Includes

2 Nights accommodation at Keys Hotek on BB
Private professional mountain guides
All Park fees
Rescue fees
All meals while on the Mountain
Arrival and Departure transfers
Government taxes, VAT and all relating service charges
Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
Summit Oxygen
Walking Sticks
Camping Gears

Machame Route Cost Excludes

Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
Meals not listed above
Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
Tips and any items of personal nature.
Emergency Evacuation by Flying Doctor