The 7-day Machame route itinerary is designed to give you a chance to summit safely and reach acclimatization. The route is a challenging one, but most hikers prefer it because of the beautiful scenery that it offers as you climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Also known as the “Whiskey route”, it is a popular one among hikers and best for climbers with limited time on their hands. The Machame route starts from the southwest side of the Mountain at Machame gate, and ascends through the tropical rainforests, going through the different climatic zones before leading you up to the last camp before summit day which is located on the southeast side of the Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak.

The Machame route covers approximately 62 kilometers of ascent and descent with a height of 4157 meters from the Machame gate to the summit. The different camps that we shall use on the Machame route include Machame Camp, Shira Camp, Barranco, Karanga, Barafu, and Mweka Camp or if you like, The Millennium Camp. It is the highly recommended route that is used by many tour operators, especially with the 7-day Machame itinerary.

A similar Mount Kilimanjaro tour that goes for 7 days but starting at the North of the mountain is our 7 Days Rongai Route, which approaches the peak from northern side near the Kenyan border.

The 7-day Machame Route enables hikers to have a day of ample rest before the summit attempt. The hike from Barranco to Barafu is usually divided into two to ensure that hikers have enough rest, ample acclimatization, and a shorter day a few hours before the summit hike.

7 days Machame route Mt Kilimanjaro
Machame Route Kilimanjaro
Day 0

Arrival into Kilimanjaro Airport - Transfer to Moshi

You will be picked up from the airport by our guide and driven to your hotel, where you will spend the night. After settling in, the guide will then check the equipment to make sure that it is in place and in good condition, and a briefing for the next day and what to expect during the climb will also be carried out.

Day 1

Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Duration: 5 to 7 hours

Zone: rainforest

Distance: 11km

Elevation: 9350 feet to 2850 feet

Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

We will drive from Arusha to Machame Gate for one and a half hours, and upon arrival, we will register at the gate before starting the climb through the rainforest. The trek will take us through the rainforest zone, climbing an elevation of 9350 feet to 2850 feet to get to Machame camp for the night.

Day 2

Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Duration: 4 to 6 hours

Zone: moorland

Distance: 5km

Elevation: 12621ft

Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

We start our second day with breakfast at the Machame camp, start the hike through the rainforest, and go through the moorland zone the higher we go. The moorland is the second ecological zone on the mountain, characterized by fewer plants and fewer trees as compared to the rainforest. Lunch will be provided, and depending on how fast or slow we hike, we shall get to the Shira camp late in the afternoon, where we shall spend the night.

Day 3

Shira Camp to Barranco Camp

Duration: 6 to 8 hours

Zone: Alpine desert

Distance: 2 to 3 hours

Elevation: 15190 feet to 13044 feet

Elevation: 12500 feet to 15233 feet at the Lava Tower and 13044 feet down to the camp.

We start our 3rd-day trek early in the morning at Shira camp after breakfast before heading to our next stop, which is Barranco camp. We will be ascending into the alpine desert towards Kibo peak while taking it slow. A short stop is made at the Lava Tower, where we will have lunch before descending from the 300-foot wall of the Lava Tower to the Barranco camp through the valley. As you continue the trek to the camp, you get to go through the lush garden that is filled with giant and strange grasses and giant lobelias. Day 3 is the best day to achieve acclimatization after the night spent at the Barranco camt

Day 4

Barranco to Karanga Camp

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Zone: Alpine Zone

Elevation: 13106ft

Breakfast is served early in the morning in preparation for the day’s hike, which starts from Barranco camp at 13066 feet, crosses the Barranco wall where the guides will assist you where needed, before getting to the Karanga camp at an elevation of 13106 feet. The night is spent at the camp as you prepare for your hike the next day.

Day 5

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Zone: Alpine desert

Elevation: 15239ft

Distance: 4km

The day 5 hike leads you to the intersection where the trail from Karanga connects with the Mweka trail, which connects around the rocky terrain that leads to the Barafu camp. Barafu Camp marks the end of the southern circuit route, which offers all-round views of the Kibo and Uhuru peaks. We will set camp at the Barafu camp for dinner and the night before attempting the summit at midnight. The views of Mount Kilimanjaro peaks are very visible from Barafu, and these are Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.

Day 6

Barafu Camp to the Summit - Descend to Mweka Camp

Duration: 7 to 8 hours (ascent) and 4 to 6 hours (descent).

Zone: Arctic (ascent) and rainforest (descent)

Elevation: 15331 ft. to 19341 ft. (ascent) and 19341 ft. to 10065 ft. (descent)

Distance: 5km (ascent) and 12km (descent).

Day 6 is for getting to the summit, and the hike begins around midnight or 2:00 a.m. after a light meal. Pushing to the summit is done at a slow pace to avoid altitude sickness and the cold, making it the toughest hike of all the hike days. When you double the challenging route, coldness, and steep elevation, it becomes hard for some hikers, and that is why there are short breaks in between. The Stella point at 18900 feet has the best sunrise view over Mawenzi, and the summit is just an hour away from the Stella point. You finally get to the highest point in Africa after hiking through thick layers of snow at Uhuru Peak.

After the celebrations, we make our descent back to Mweka hut camp with a lunch break at Barafu camp. After passing through the rocky trail towards Mweka camp, we get to the camp late in the afternoon, freshen up, and enjoy our last dinner on the mountain before resting.

Day 7

Mweka camp to Mweka gate. Transfer to Moshi / Arusha

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Distance: 10km

Zone: rainforest

Elevation: 12467 feet to 5380 feet

After breakfast, the descent through the tropical rainforest begins around midday, as this is the last day on Mount Kilimanjaro. When you get to the Mweka Gate, our guide will be waiting to drive you back to your hotel, where a celebratory dinner will be waiting for you. After resting and freshening up, you need to get ready to either be driven back to the airport or to your next destination in Tanzania and the rest of East Africa.

Prices for 7 Days Kilimanjaro Hike through Machame Route

7 days Machame route

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