7 day Machame route Overview
The 7 day Machame route approaches Kilimanjaro through forest and moorland from the south-west, and joins the Shira route before traversing beneath the southern icefields of Kibo. The rainforest is extremely beautiful and there is a tangible sense of ‘wilderness’ once the higher elevations are reached. The views of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable, and we make our final ascent to the summit by the stunning Barafu route. The seven day itinerary gives maximum possible acclimatization, and also gives us plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Kilimanjaro climb Machame route information
The Machame route, commonly referred to by many as the Whiskey route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. The major draw card is its scenic beauty – but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy trek to embark on.
The trail itself is considered to be difficult and steep, which is mostly attributed to its shorter itinerary length. If you classify yourself as a more ‘experienced’ hiker; meaning you have some experience with higher altitudes and enjoy long, steep walks, then this might be the right trail for you.
Previous trekking experience is highly recommended, as the days will feature 6-8 hours hiking with daily ascents of 900m to 1,000m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 1,100m to 1,200m. Depending on the route, you may be trekking at an altitude of over 3,500m.
You need complete confidence in your ability to trek for many days over difficult terrain. Extremes of altitude and weather may be encountered, as may the use of ice axes and crampons. A degree of physical and mental stamina will be essential to complete the hike as the days will be tiring.
• Difficulty rating: Challenging.
• Height: The Machame route reaches the summit of Kilimanjaro at the Uhuru peak, reaching a height of 5,895 metres (19,341 feet).
• Trail conditions: During your journey to the summit, you will travel through dense vegetation, rocky zones, and loose gravel trails in some parts. The route is incredibly scenic and provides hikers with panoramic views and varying landscapes.
• Climbing requirements: There are no technical climbing requirements on this route.
Machame route 7 days itinerary
1. Duration: The journey to the Uhuru peak via the Machame route can take anywhere between 6-7 days to complete. Travellers looking to shorten the journey can skip the night spent in the Karanga Valley.
2. Location: The Machame route starts in the southern region of Mount Kilimanjaro, and can be accessed via a 45-minute drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate, where the trek starts.
Travelling from the south of Mount Kilimanjaro, the journey will see you wandering past impressive, verdant forests on the way to the Shira Plateau. Then, hikers will find themselves surrounded by the Southern Ice Field before eventually reaching the summit.
The journey will involve many ups and downs along the trail, but on the plus side, this allows for much greater acclimatization which can mean a higher success rate in reaching the summit. Finally, the descent is made via the Mweka route.
DAY START ALTITUDE (M/FT) FINISH ALTITUDE (M/FT) TIME (HRS) DISTANCE (KM/MI)
1 Machame Gate 1,640m/ 5,380ft Machame Camp 2,850m/ 9,350ft 5-7 11km/ 7mi
2 Machame Camp 2,850m/ 9,350ft Shira 2 Camp 3,810m/ 12,500ft 4-6 5km/ 3mi
3 Shira 2 Camp 3,810m/ 12,500ft Lava Tower 4,630m/ 15,190ft 4-5 7km/ 4mi
Lava Tower 4,630m/ 15,190ft Barranco Camp 3,976m/ 13,044ft 2-3 3km/ 2mi
4 Barranco Camp 3,976m/ 13,044ft Karanga Camp 3,995m/ 13,106ft 4-5 5km/ 3mi
5 Karanga Camp 3,995m/ 13,106ft Barafu Camp 4,673m/ 15,331ft 4-5 4km/ 2mi
6 Barafu Camp 4,673m/ 15,331ft Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft 7-8 5km/ 3mi
Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft 4-6 12km/ 7mi
7 Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft Mweka Gate 1,640m/ 5,380ft 3-4 10km/ 6mi
Machame route success rate
The Machame route has a fairly good success rate, thanks to many ups and downs allowing better acclimatization. To ensure higher success rate for the Machame route, it is best to take your time. The 7-day itinerary has an average summit success rate of 85%. For the 6-day itinerary success rate drops to 75% on average.
Machame route tips
• Be sure to wear your hiking boots before your adventure to Kilimanjaro to avoid blisters.
• Stay hydrated and carry a reusable water bottle to reduce the impact of altitude sickness.
• Before your trek, try to embark on a few practice camping trips to get familiar with your surroundings.
• Make a packing list and triple check you have everything you need before you go.
• Don’t forget to stop and take it the view along the way to the summit. After all, the journey is the best part.
How to climb the Machame route
• HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE MACHAME ROUTE?
Any physical activity you can do beforehand will help make your ascent more enjoyable. As for how hard you train, this will depend on whether you’re aiming for the Uhuru Peak or embarking on a shorter journey and will be different for everyone.
• WHEN SHOULD I CLIMB THE MACHAME ROUTE?
You can climb the Machame route year-round, but it may be wet and cold which means you should be equipped with the right waterproof gear. Consider climbing between January–March and June–October. Note that April, May and November are the wettest months.
• WHAT SHOULD I PACK AND WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
While trekking tour operators may supply some of the gear you’ll need, there are a few non-negotiables you will need that includes waterproof clothing, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle and a cap or a beanie for example. Learn more.
• HOW TO GET TO THE MACHAME ROUTE?
Before you start your hiking escapade to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need to establish how to get there, and the best mode of transport to suit your itinerary or tour. Travellers flying from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada and other parts of the world have a few options to explore. Learn more.
• WHAT ARE THE CLIMBING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MACHAME ROUTE?
Mount Kilimanjaro welcomes hikers of all levels of fitness and ability, but if you’re planning to reach the summit, careful planning and vigorous training is vital. Consider adding extra time to your itinerary to avoid altitude sickness and to enjoy your time climbing Kilimanjaro. Learn more.
What permits do I need?
Each visitor will be required to pay a fee per person, per day for the conservation fee to help manage the national park, however, most tours will cover the permits and entry fees are included in the price.
Day 0:Arrive in Tanzania and transfer to Arusha
Welcome to Tanzania – Today you will be meet at Kilimanjaro International Airport and then transferred to the hotel in Arusha. The drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha is approx one hour. Meals – Dinner at Mvuli hotel in Arusha https://www.mvulihotels.co.tz/ half board included
Day 1: climbing 7 day Machame route [6-8 hours walking].
After breakfast at your hotel we drive for 45 minutes from Moshi to the Machame gate at 1,490m, where guides and porters prepare and pack your supplies and equipment. The climb starts from Machame Gate (1,800 m.) Shortly after the gate the path follows a ridge through dense montane forest.
This is the richest forested area on the mountain, and also the zone from where 96% of the water on Kilimanjaro originates. On sunny days, and especially in the dry season, this section is very lush and beautiful. It can also be a very muddy experience, particularly if it has rained recently!
We have lunch at Halfway Clearing, a small opening in the trees, and continue climbing steadily. The gradient becomes gentler as the forest slowly merges into giant heather close to the next camp near the ruins of Machame Hut (3,000 m.). We may get our first closer look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit.
Day 2: climbing 7 day Machame route [4-6 hours walking].
A shorter day that begins by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here and it is a good rest point too! The trail continues less steeply to reach the Shira Plateau (3840m).
We camp near Shira Hut (3,840 m.) which has some of the most stunning views on Kilimanjaro. We are close to the huge volcanic cone of Kibo, the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau, and look across to Mt. Meru floating on the clouds.
Day 3 climbing 7 day Machame route [5-7 hours walking].
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco Valley (3,900 m.), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below.
Day 4 climbing 7 day Machame route [4 hours walking].
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern ice fields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to Karanga Camp (4,100 m.), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. After lunch at Karanga we head down through the Karanga Valley.
Day 5 climbing 7 day Machame route [3 hours walking] A short but steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views, we then climb steadily to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m.). Barafu is the Swahili word for ice. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before an early night.
Day 6 climbing 7 day Machame route [11-15 hours walking].
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m.) in about five or six hours.
We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area.
The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100 m.) at the edge of Mweka Forest.
Day 7 Kilimanjaro climbing 7 day Machame route [4-6 hours walking]
A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m.) before departure also we have opportunity to discus about Tanzania safari if you have time to do it
Please find below the prices for organizing a private trek. The prices are based on your group size.
|Solo Trekker||USD 1721 per person|
|Group of 2||USD 1681 per person|
|Group of 3||USD 1634 per person|
|Group of 4||USD 1584 per person|
|Group of 5||USD 1552 per person|
|Group of 6||USD 1538 per person|
|Group of 7||USD 1540 per person|
|Group of 8||USD 1532 per person|
|Group of 9||USD 1526 per person|
|Group of 10 and above||USD 1523 per person|
Available Discounts Available discounts for Machame – 7 days
|Children between 5 years and 15 years old||USD 690 per person|
|Expatriates/Residents living in Tanzani||USD 245 per person|
|East African Citizens||USD 880 per person|
Daily Hot Lunch & Hot water / tea on mountain
– meet and greets at airport
-All land transfers
-3 meals per day while trekking – Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian
-Two nights at outpost lodge in Arusha BB booked
-All park entrance fees and government levies
-English speaking mountain Guide and assistant guides
-Mess Tent, tables, chairs, Sleeping tents, private toilet Emergency Oxygen, Ox meters, First Aid Kit with Diamox and other related medicines, Rescue fees
The Price does not include:
Gloves, Sun glasses, Sleeping bag, Hats, Rain suits, Warm Jacket, Heavy boots, Scarf’s, Rain Trousers,
Extras at the lodges i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
-Visa and Travel Insurance
– Tips to mountain crew (highly recommended)
Per potter per day is from 6 USD
Assistance guide / cook – per day is from 12 USD
Guides per day is from 20 USD