OverviewThis 8-day trek takes the most popular route up Kilimanjaro. The Machame Route summits at iconic Uhuru Peak and is considered one of the most beautiful paths up Kilimanjaro, featuring views of Mount Meru, Shira Ridge and Kibo Peak.
Compared to the Marangu and Rongai routes, Machame has more steep sections and higher altitudes, which make it more challenging. It is busier than the Lemosho Route during the initial ascent but all converge at Baranco Camp, from where the Machame route heads on directly to Barafu Camp and the summit at Uhuru Peak. The trek rises up through humid, tropical rainforest to cool moorland and onwards to a dry, cold alpine desert. The summit is a dramatic moonscape of shiny volcanic rock left over from the mountain’s historic final eruption.
Kilimanjaro does not require technical climbing skills but demands hiking-level fitness – the average day ranges from six to eight hours of trekking. Your guide uses the longer days to reach scenic points high up then descends to lower altitudes to spend the night. This trek-high, sleep-low technique helps your body prepare for the summit altitude of 5 895m (19 340ft). The high altitude affects almost all trekkers to some degree: Uhuru Peak rises to 5 895m (19 340ft), a mere 2 953m (9 689ft) shy of Everest’s summit and higher than Everest South Base Camp at 5 364m (17 598ft).
Summiting Africa’s highest peak is one of the most iconic experiences you can have on the continent, and it is easy to add on a sun-drenched island off Tanzania’s coast to complete an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime journey.
SummaryTour Duration: 8 DaysHighlightsKilimanjaro’s beautiful Machame RouteSummit Uhuru Peak at 5 895m (19 340ft)Views of Mount Meru, Shira Ridge & Kibo PeakRich scenery: rainforest, moorland & alpine desertEasy add-on tours to the Serengeti & Zanzibar islandMachame is a popular route as it offers varied scenery as you work your way to the summit. It is considered a more difficult route and better for those of you that have had some hiking experience previously.Emma HillAfrican Safari Expert
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Day to dayItineraryDetailed breakdownDay 1: Your first glimpse of Kili | 1 NightUp arrowYou are met on arrival at the airport and transferred to Keys Hotel in Moshi for an afternoon of relaxation after your flight. Dinner is at the hotel along with a detailed briefing ahead of your first day of trekking.
Day 2: Trek to Machame Camp (3 010m / 9 875ft) | 1 NightUp arrowA road transfer of about 2.5 hours ferries you to the Londorossi Gate where you register with the National Park authorities before driving along a rugged track to the starting point of the Lemosho Route. Your mountain crew carries your luggage and all the food, water and camping gear that will accommodate you for the next seven nights. You set off with your guide and, for the next two-to-three hours, hike along a moderately steep footpath through lush tropical forest. The mountain crew forges ahead to erect camp and greet your arrival at Big Tree Camp with snacks and refreshments.
Day 3: Trek to New Shira Camp (3 840m / 12 598ft) | 1 NightUp arrowThis is a long trek day of about eight hours, which sees you emerge from the rainforest onto rolling moorland. It is noticeably cooler and drier above the forest, making for comfortable trekking conditions as you soak up the beautiful views of Shira Ridge and the Kibo summit. Lunch is a picnic at Shira Camp 1, from where you can see Mount Meru and the Rift Valley. After lunch, the last three hours of your trek ascends 250m (820ft), up out of the moorland and onto an ancient lava flow. In this strange and wonderful landscape giant plant species emerge, including 9m (30ft) senecios, members of the daisy family. If you reach Shira Camp 2 in time, you earn a breath taking view of the Kibo Summit at sunset.
Day 4: Trek to Barranco Camp (3 960m / 12 992ft) | 1 NightUp arrowToday is a long trek of about seven hours, taking you above the Shira Plateau towards the Lava Tower. As you trek higher, the heather dwindles and gives way to the afro-alpine desert zone. Your path descends to the Barranco Valley which, with its lobelia and giant senecio plants, is the setting for one of Kilimanjaro’s most beautiful sites, Barranco Camp.
Day 5: Trek to Barafu Camp (4 640m / 15 223ft) | 1 NightUp arrowToday you have a short but challenging trek of about four hours. It begins with a steep climb over the Barranco Wall – the steepest ascent of the entire route. The path is full of long ascents and short descents, and you may need to use your hands to steady yourself as you on some of the rockier paths. You are likely to be experiencing some effects of the altitude, making you a little less sure-footed. Your guide knows this and since your safety is his number one concern, he will assist you whenever necessary. After reaching the top of Barranco Wall, you are rewarded with superb views of Kibo’s southern glacier and summit. Your route continues along the mountain ridge, reaching Karanga Camp in time for lunch.
Day 6: Summit at Stella Point, Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 340ft) | 1 NightUp arrowThe trail today is another short trek of about four hours to Barafu Camp. The landscape is fascinating alpine desert – there is no wildlife except for the glossy black crows riding the thermals and the occasional skull of a long-dead antelope that wandered too far from the moorland. You reach Barafu Camp by lunchtime and have the afternoon and evening to relax and rest your legs in preparation for the long trek to Uhuru Peak. After an early dinner, you catch a few hours’ sleep before waking at midnight to start the summit trek.
Day 7: Mweka Camp to Keys Hotel, Moshi | 1 NightUp arrowToday is a long and exhilarating day. After hot tea and a light snack at midnight, you begin your summit by torchlight. The lava ash is still frozen and it is chilly! For many travellers, the effects of altitude become challenging on this final push to the top. Your guide encourages you to go slow and steady, taking anywhere between five and seven hours to reach Stella Point, the crater rim. The trek continues for about two hours along the crater ridge to the summit of Uhuru Peak at a magnificent 5 895m (19 340ft).You are on Africa’s Roof, the highest point on the continent! The air is too thin to linger for long, so you capture a victory photo and stop to admire the sun rising over the moonscape of the crater. You return to Barafu Camp by midday to a joyous welcome from your mountain crew. The cook has prepared a warm lunch to restore you and your guide encourages you to rest for an hour or two before starting the 3-hour descent to Mweka Camp (1 630m / 5 348ft).
Day 8: Depart Kilimanjaro International AirportUp arrowToday is an easy 3-hour trek along comfortable paths through the rainforest. After breakfast, your mountain crew sing a traditional farewell – they bear witness to your accomplishment and have played a big part in your success. Your driver meets you at Mweka Gate, transferring you back to the Keys Hotel in Moshi. Life’s little luxuries await: hot showers, sun-drenched loungers at the pool, and ice-cold drinks to celebrate your summit.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Go2Africa