7 Machame Route

The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.


The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

DAY 1 Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft

Distance: 11 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle to Machame Gate (1,800 m). After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group will start trekking up to Machame Camp (3,010 m). The first stage of climbing Kilimanjaro on the Machame Route includes passage through the rainforest (where tropical showers are highly probable), so we recommend you take not only spare clothes, but also your raincoats.

At night you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.

DAY 2-Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Heath


After breakfast you will start trekking up to the second high-altitude camp, Shira Camp (3,845 m). On this day you will emerge from the rainforest and for the first time be able to see stunning views of the Shira Plateau laid out in front of you. Physically speaking, the trekking is not very difficult, but you may feel the changes in altitude, so pay attention to your body and remember that choosing the proper pace is extremely important for good trekking. When you reach the camp, you will have lunch and some rest, after which the group will go on an acclimatization hike towards Lava Tower Camp with a 300 meter gain in altitude. Back down at Shira Camp you will be served a hot dinner.

NB: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of  successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro up the Machame Route and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness..

DAY 3-Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 3 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

DAY 4-Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert


We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.


DAY 5-Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft

Distance: 4 km/2 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

DAY 6-Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic


Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you  will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

DAY 7-Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft

Distance: 10 km/6 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.


1 person
$ 1750/person
2-4 people
 $ 1650/person
5-7 people
 $ 1500/person
8-10 people
$ 1450/person
11 & above
$ 1300/person

Included in price package

• Private transport to & from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your accommodations in Moshi.
• 2 nights of accommodation
• Transportation to & from the Kilimanjaro gate
• Park entry fees,
• Crater fees
• Camping fees
• Rescue fees
• 4 Season mountain tents
• Double layered Sleeping Mats
• Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters
• 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
• Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek
• Hot water for washing
• Fair wages for the mountain crew
• Government taxes
• Portable oxygen tanks & ox meter
• Emergency first-aid kit

Not Included

  • Lunches, dinners and drinks at your hotel before and after climb.
  • Travel insurance
  • Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is available for extra charges $ 70 for the entire trek
  • Flights
  • Laundry
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Tips for guides, porters and cook

Tipping on Kilimanjaro from the trekking group (not per climber):

  • Guides: $20/day/guide
  • Cook: $15/day
  • Porter: $10/day/porter