Machame Route 7-Day

Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route, often referred to as the “Whiskey” route, is more scenic and is longer than Marangu.  The minimum duration for this trip is 6 days (see the Machame 6-Day Itinerary here).  Elite Kilimanjaro highly recommends the making the Machame Route a 7-day trek for extra acclimatization.

Machame Route 7-Day Description

Machame is one of the most scenic routes that wraps around the southwest and south sides of Kilimanjaro.  You will ascend up one route and return down another.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  If you consider yourself a more adventurous hiker, this route will suit you and it also offers better views than the Marangu Route.  Beautiful Shira sunsets, the great Barranco Wall, and the Lava Tower are some of the highlights.  After reaching the Lava Tower (15,190 ft/4,630 m) on day 3, you descend to sleep at Barranco Camp (12,690 ft/3,950 m).  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in this route having a higher success rate.

Machame Route 7-Day Rates

1 Climber 2 Climbers 3-5 Climbers 6-10 Climbers 11+
$2,255 $2,205 $2,000 $1,950 Request Quote

Extra days on the mountain: $240/person/day
Low Season Discount:  $50

Machame Route 7-Day Duration

7 days on the mountain (5.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent)

Distance Covered and Elevation

62 mi/100 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km
Ascend from Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19,340 ft) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
4,405 m/14,450 ft total gain

Machame Route Map

Climb Kilimanjaro's Machame Route with Elite Kilimanjaro

Click to download Machame Route Map PDF

Machame Route 7-Day Itinerary

Tanzania Arrival:

You will be greeted by our friendly transfer staff who will take you from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to your hotel in Moshi (3,000 ft/915m).

Day 1:  Machame Gate (4,890 ft/1490 m) to Machame Camp (9,780 ft/2,980 m) 12km, 4-6 hours

Following breakfast you will have a briefing from your guide.  At 9 am, our staff will drive you from your hotel in Moshi to the Machame Village where your guides and porters will prepare your equipment and supplies.  Here you will also receive your lunch pack and have an opportunity to purchase bottled water for your first day.  If the road is dry, you will continue your drive to Machame Gate.  If the road is too muddy for the vehicle to pass, the 3 km walk to the gate will take you an hour.  After registration with the Kilimanjaro Park Office, you will begin your ascend into the rainforest.  Be sure to have good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters.  They will prove to be useful when the trail gets soggy.  You will stop for lunch about halfway up and reach the Machame Camp in the late afternoon.  When you arrive, you will find your camp and tent is already set up by the porters who ran ahead.  They will bring you boiled drinking water and washing water in preparation for dinner.  Night temperatures often drop to freezing at Machame Camp, so be sure to bundle up.

Day 2:  Machame Camp (9,780 ft/2,980 m) to Shira Camp (12,600 ft/3,840 m) 7km, 4-6 hours

Rise early for breakfast, pack up for the day’s trek.  Your trek will begin with an hour hike through rainforest glades before ascending into the open moorlands where the vegetation is sparse with small shrubs.  After 2 hours trekking through the moorland, you will stop for lunch and a short rest, and continue up onto the Shira Plateau where you will get your first glimpse of the Western Breach and its stunning glaciers.  Continue west to the Shira campsite.  Again, the porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner.  Shira Camp is quite exposed and will be much colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

Day 3:  Shira Camp (12,600 ft/3,840 m) to Lava Tower (15,190 ft/3,950 m) to Barranco Camp (12,960 ft/3,950m) 13km, 6-8 hours

After breakfast and packing, you start your trek east up a steep path above the last bit of Kilimanjaro’s vegetation.  After 5-6 hours, you reach the well-known landmark Lava Tower (15,190 ft/ 3,950 m).  You will stop here for lunch and some bonus acclimatization before you descend for 2 hours below the Western Breach into the Barranco Camp.  Day 3’s hike offers multiple terrific opportunities for photos, especially if the walls are covered with ice.  While you wait for your dinner, you will have a chance to experience one of the most memorable sunsets you have ever seen as the sun drops through the valley.  Pay attention to your body and keep your guide informed of any signs of altitude sickness.

Day 4:  Barranco Camp (12,960 ft/3,950m) to Karanga Camp (13,780 ft/4,200m) 7 km, 4 hours

After sleeping below the Great Barranco Wall, you get your chance to tackle this hurdle.  Don’t worry…It’s much easier than it looks.  Continue up until you reach just below the Heim Glacier.  Then head down through the Karanga Valley.  This is the last place for your porters to gather water.  They will collect all the water for the remainder of the ascent here.  You will settle in here at the Karanga Camp.  After lunch, you can spend the afternoon doing light exploring or resting while taking in the views of Mawenzi’s towering spires.

NOTE: If you are daring and opt to remove the acclimatization day, you will combine Day 4 and 5 treks into 1 long day and finish at Barafu.  You will summit on Day 5, and complete you descent on Day 6. (See Machame Route 6-Day Itinerary for full details)

Day 5:  Karanga Camp (13,780 ft/4,200m) to Barafu Camp (14,930 ft/4,550m) 5 km, 3-4 hours

After breakfast, you’ll head east, crossing over multiple ridges and valleys until you join up with the Mweka Route and turn left to continue up the ridge for an hour to reach the Barafu Hut.  You will arrive at camp to find your tent pitched on a rocky ridge with high winds.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with the camp before dark to be safe.  Also, have your headlamp/flashlight handy if you need to leave the tent after dark.  You will prepare your equipment (replace batteries for headlamp and camera) before you go to bed by 7 PM and try to catch a few hours of shuteye before your summit attempt!

Day 6:  SUMMIT DAY!  Barafu Camp (14,930 ft/4,550m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5,895 m) to Mweka Camp (10,170 ft/3,100 m) 7 km up and 22 km down, 8 hours up, 9-10 hours down

Wake at 11:30 PM for tea or coffee and biscuits and then depart Barafu on your bid for the peak.  You will climb 6 hours through thick scree following multiple switchbacks between the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers until you reach Stella Point (18,650 ft/5,685 m).  You have just completed what most climbers consider to be the most challenging part of their trek.  Depending on your pace to this point, you may get the chance to enjoy the majestic sunrise during your short rest here.  Although you will be fatigued, it is important to keep moving due to the extreme cold.  At Stella Point, you have joined up with the last bit of the Marangu Route.  You will hike along the rim for another 1-2 hours until you reach your ultimate goal of Uhuru Peak.  Congratulations, you are now standing on the Roof of Africa!  You will have time to take pictures with the world-famous Uhuru Peak sign, but it is important to begin your descent soon in order to allow yourself enough time to rest at the Barafu Camp.  After a 3-hour descent down sliding scree, you will reach Barafu to have a short rest while you collect your gear and then continue down the path back into the forest camp of Mweka.  You might experience a little rain in the afternoon, so be sure to have your rain gear in your daypack.  Enjoy some dinner and some well-deserved sleep.  At Mweka Camp, the office sells bottled water, soft drinks, candy bars, and beer.

Day 7:  Mweka Camp (10,170 ft/3,100 m) to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m) 10 km, 3-4 hours

Wake up for breakfast as usual, pack, and descend through a short, scenic, 3-hour hike to Mweka Gate.  Wait until you and all of your gear has reached the gate before you tip your staff.  After registering at the gate, you will wait to receive your summit certificates (green for those who reached Stella Point and gold for those who reach Uhuru Peak).  From the gate, if the road is too muddy for vehicles, you will continue your hike for 1 hour to the Mweka Village, 3km away.  There you will enjoy a hot lunch before being driven back to Moshi where you can have your first hot shower in days!

Final Day in Moshi

If you will be leaving us today, our transfer staff will drive you back to the airport.  If you have purchased a Safari package through Elite Kilimanjaro, we will help you seamlessly transition from your trek into your next Tanzania adventure.