The Machame route is one of our most highly recommended routes to climb Kilimanjaro as it offers great acclimatisation, allowing the climber to “walk high, sleep low”, and as a result enjoys one of the highest summit success rate of all the routes to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
It goes by the nickname of “The Whisky route” although no whisky is available!
- One of the most popular routes due to its high success rate.
- Great for acclimatisation as it allows climbers to "walk high, sleep low".
- A challenging trek with stunning scenery over five climatic zones.
Machame Route Itinerary
The Let’s view Tanzania team will meet you at Kilimanjaro airport and
transfer you to your pre-climb hotel. Later you will attend a pre-climb briefing
with your Lead Guide to prepare you for the challenge ahead.
After breakfast we will collect you from your hotel for your transfer to Machame Gate for
registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our
ascent along the forest trail to Machame Camp.
We start walking, leaving the rainforest behind, and continue our ascent,
crossing a small valley and up to a steep rocky ridge, covered with heath.
Our route now turns west onto a river gorge until we reach Shira 1 Camp.
Today we will climb up to 4600m to the base of the Lava Tower for lunch and
acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may, for the first time, feel the altitude. After lunch we will descend again by almost 650m to Barranco Camp, following“walk high, sleep low” golden rule of acclimatisation.
Our descent to Barranco Camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to
take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is
situated in a valley below the Breach and Great BarrancoWall.
A short, but fun day, starting with a scramble to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit frommany different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.
The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.
You will be woken at 23:30 with tea and biscuits.We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers through heavy scree up to Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point
(5732m), we will stop to witness the magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). We are
now only an hour away from the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on
Mount Kilimanjaro. From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose scree going down to Mweka Camp (3100m).
Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned
Your final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters.
Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration..
Enjoy an early breakfast before pick up from the hotel transfer to airport for departure.
The Machame Route includes and excludes cost
The climb cost includes:
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (before & after climb)
- Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport
- Group transport to and from Moshi to the trail head
- Kilimanjaro National Park permits, camping/hut fees, rescue fees and Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Expert guide, assistant guides, cook and porters
- Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
- Private toilet
- Four season, 3 person mountain tents, double occupancy
- Sleeping pad, foam, 1.5 inches thick
- Mess tents, tables, chairs, lanterns
- Fresh, nutritious meals on the mountain
- Breakfast at hotel
The climb cost excludes:
- International flights;
- Tips (250-300 USD per climber for the whole mountain crew);
- Visa fee (100 USD for American citizens and 50 USD for all others);
- Personal gear rentals;
- Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the climb);
- Portable toilets (if required - 250 USD per unit, one can be shared between 3 people);
- Mountaineering insurance. You'll need special insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro that covers high-altitude trekking up to 6000 m
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via Machame route FAQs
Yes, the Machame route leads you up the magnificent Barranco Wall. This is a highlight of the trek for many.
Is the 6- or 7-day Machame route better?
We always advise clients to choose the seven-day over the six-day Machame route. This is because we don’t think the latter offers enough time for your body to acclimatise properly. Proper acclimatisation is essential for avoiding altitude sickness.
That said, it’s a personal choice and we’re happy to lead climbers on both the six- and seven-day Machame routes. You can find both itineraries spelled out in our Machame route blog post.
Firstly, we should say that there are no easy routes up Kilimanjaro, because the mountain is a beast! That said, some routes are shorter and steeper than others, and some don’t allow for as much as acclimatisation. The seven-day Machame route comes somewhere in the middle in terms of difficulty.
The total distance of the Machame route is 62 km (39 miles), making it the third shortest Kilimanjaro route. See a detailed breakdown of the Machame route.
The landscapes along the Machame route are wonderfully varied and beautiful. You ascend and descend the mountain along different routes, which lets you see more parts of the mountain. The sections through the rainforest and moorland have beautiful vegetation, and the views from higher up where you look out over the plains are magnificent.
If you climb the Machame route, you stay in tented camps and your tour operator provides the group with a toilet tent. On the trail, you duck behind bushes and rocks to relieve yourself.