Mount Kilimanjaro trekking - Machame route
Trekking to the top of Africa via the Machame Route in 7 days
The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro and offers stunning views, a reasonable challenge, and ample time for acclimatization. It is a six or seven-day camping route, making it a great choice for those with extra time. Approximately 35% of climbers on the mountain use this route, according to statistics from Kilimanjaro National Park. Unlike the Marangu route, the Machame route allows camping, providing trekkers with the unique experience of sleeping in tents all the way to the summit. While trekking the Machame Route, hikers will pass by notable landmarks such as the Lava Tower and Shira Plateau, adding to the adventure.
The route takes trekkers through a series of valleys and ridges, making the journey more challenging but rewarding them with breathtaking views of the mountain. Due to its diverse landscapes and picturesque scenery, the Machame route is widely regarded as the most scenic route up Mount Kilimanjaro. Starting from the south side of the mountain, the trail passes underneath the Southern Ice Field and approaches the summit from the Barafu Camp.
Itinerary for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route
The following itinerary outlines the 6-night/7-day Kilimanjaro climb using the Machame route. To condense the itinerary to six days, you can skip the night in the Karanga Valley and instead hike directly from the Barranco Huts to the Barafu Huts in one day. Machame Route Campsite
Duration: 6 nights / 7 days Climb
Day 1: Machame Hut Camp
We will start with a short drive to the Machame trailhead (~5,380′). After the climbers and crew have checked in with the park rangers, we will begin our hike through the montane forests, ascending through the mossy jungle until we reach Machame Hut camp.
Hiking: 5-7 hours
Overnight Altitude: ~9,350′
Day 2: Shira Plateau
After breakfast, we will continue our hike through the forest. We will take our time, enjoying the beautiful scenery as we make our way through the moorlands. Along the way, we will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Kibo peak.
Hiking: 4-6 hours
Overnight Altitude: ~12,500′
Day 3: Barranco Camp
Today will be a long day, but it will provide ample opportunity for acclimatization as we climb higher and sleep at lower altitudes. We will embark on an acclimatization hike to Lava Tower (~15,190′) for lunch, before descending to the Barranco valley. If time and weather permit, there is also the option to scramble up the Lava Tower itself. The scenery today is truly remarkable, as we pass through different zones of the mountain.
Hiking: 6-8 hours
Overnight Altitude: ~13,044′
Day 4: Karanga Camp
Today, we will continue to acclimatize and allow our bodies to adjust to the higher altitudes in preparation for the summit push. We will climb the steep Barranco Wall and traverse several ridges and valleys before reaching Karanga camp. There may be time for an acclimatization hike in the afternoon.
Hiking: 4-5 hours
Overnight Altitude: ~13,106′