Climb Kilimanjaro Machame, TanzaniaBook Now
The Machame route is one of the most beautiful routes to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. The climb begins in the lush rainforest and follows a path that offers occasional views of Mt Meru, Shira Ridge as well the main summit of Mt Kilimanjaro – Kibo. The Machame route contains more steep passages and higher altitudes than the Marangu and the Rongai route and is slightly more demanding.
- Sunrise over Africa through the cloud base.
- Summiting Africa’s highest mountain giving a great sense of achievement and serious bragging rights!
- Its doable. Kilimanjaro is technically the easiest to climb of the Seven Summits.
- Kilimanjaro one of the world´s greatest natural wonders: a snow covered mountain on the equator, an ocean of green forest surrounded by dry savannah.
- Kilimanjaro inspires transformation. When you climb Kilimanjaro and stand on the roof of Africa, you see the world a different way.
Itinerary Machame Route 8 Days – 7 Nights
Climbing Kilimanjaro is possibly one of the greatest gap year challenges available in Africa.
Starting in Moshi
Day 1 Kilimanjaro Airport – Arusha
Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be welcomed by our transfer driver and taken to the Green Hills of Africa in Usa River on the outskirts of Arusha. The rest of the day will be at leisure and you can either relax at the hotel or explore the town of Arusha (taxi required). In the evening you will attend a briefing in preparation for the upcoming trek. Dinner and overnight at the Green Hills of Africa.
Meals Included: Dinner
Walk: 5 – 6 h. A long first trek with a beautiful hike through the mountain forest.
Day 2 Arusha – Machame Gate (1,790 m) – Machame Camp (3,010 m)
After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the entrance gate of the Kilimanjaro National Park. While your guide is busy with the registration forms, you can watch the mountain team prepare for the climb and once this is all done, your Kilimanjaro adventure will begin. In no time you will be deep within the magnificent mountain rainforest with ancient trees, primaeval ferns, liana, lichen and moss that carpets the ground and drapes from the trees. You will hear and with a little luck, even spot the beautiful black and white colobus monkeys in the treetops. After 5 to 6 hours, you will reach today’s destination – the Machame Camp which is situated just above the tree line at 3,010 m. Here, at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, you will have your first dinner followed by an overnight stay in tents.
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
Walk: 4 – 6 h. Wonderful views of Shira Ridge and Kibo. The route is shorter than the previous day.
Day 3 Machame Camp (3,010 m) – New Shira Camp (3,840 m)
After an early morning start, the path steepens and the landscape changes into moor- and heathland and the open landscape allows you to see the impressive mountain range. Today’s stage is shorter than the previous day and you will arrive at the New Shira Camp by mid-afternoon. The camp has a breath-taking view of the mountain and during sunset, the evening sun lights the rock face and glacier of Kibo.
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
Walk: 6 – 7 h. A longer stage with great views and diverse vegetation.
Day 4 New Shira Camp (3,840 m) – Lava Tower (4,640m) – Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
Today you will climb about 700 m but you will be camping at an elevation only slightly higher than the previous night. This will allow your body to acclimatise as a height of over 4,500 m will be reached over the next two days. The trek begins with a long ascent above the Shira Plateau in the direction of the Lava Tower (4,640 m). The vegetation becomes sparser as the landscape changes to an afro-alpine desert. The route passes through the sweeping Barranco Valley with its lobelia and giant Senecio plants. After 6 to 7 hours, you will arrive at the most beautiful camp on the mountain – the Barranco Camp.
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
Walk: 5 – 6 h. Begins with a steep climb then rises and falls. Views of the southern glaciers. The altitude will become noticeable.
Day 5 Barranco Camp (3,960m) – Barafu Camp (4,640m)
Today’s stretch starts with the climb of the “Barranco Wall”. Safety is paramount and your guides will assist you wherever necessary. Following the ridge as it traverses up and down, you can enjoy the splendid views of the south glacier of Kibo. In the Karanga Valley you will have lunch, followed by a 2 to 3 hours climb to Barafu Camp (4,640 m). Once at the camp, you can relax, have dinner and call it an early night.
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
Walk: 10 – 14 h. Very steep, long and cold climb to Stella Point. Spectacular panoramic views of the crater ridge and the summit. Relatively steep and long descent with the altitude playing a major role.
Day 6 Barafu Camp (4,640m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp (3,080m)
After hot tea and a light snack, the climb begins at around midnight. By torchlight, you will climb the screes of Kibo. After 5 to 7 hours of ascending in the dark you will arrive at Stella Point, the crater rim of Mt Kilimanjaro. Another 1 to 2 hours climb along the crater ridge will lead you to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Here you will see Kilimanjaro in all its glory, enjoying the 360° view over the landscape below as the sun rises. You are now standing on the “Roof of Africa”. The simple descent runs almost along the same route and shortly before midday you should arrive at Barafu Camp, where the porters and the cook will be waiting for you. After a warm meal and a well-deserved break of approximately 1 to 2 hours, you will be on your way down to Mweka Camp (3,080 m) where supper and a well-earned rest await you.
Meals: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
Walk: 2 – 3 h. Easier and relatively shorter descent with good paths through the luscious rainforest.
Day 7 Mweka Camp (3,080 m) – Mweka Gate (1,630 m) – Arusha
The final leg of your amazing adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from the mountain crew. Then a gentle 2 to 3 hours’ descent through the rainforest continues to Mweka Gate, where your driver will be waiting for you. He will take you back to the Green Hills of Africa and after a warm shower, the rest of the day is free to rest, relax at the pool or celebrate your achievement.
Meals: Breakfast; Dinner
Day 8 Arusha – Kilimanjaro Airport
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport or alternatively you can extend your trip in Tanzania and go on safari.
Accommodation is provided in basic mountain huts on a shared basis. Don’t expect luxury, but that’s all part of the adventure! You will stay in shared ensuite hotels in Mishi and shared Ablutions during the trek.
Breakfast: As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yoghurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans.
Lunch: Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. Lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad and green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.
Dinner: This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes. All meals are included as per itinerary. . This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!
Climbing Kilimanjaro FAQ
April to June is a non-trekking season due to heavy rains.
During the January to March climbing season it is usually colder and there is a much higher probability that there will be snow up the top. During the day, you can expect clearer skies, with only the occasional brief shower. All things considered this is an incredibly beautiful time to climb Kilimanjaro and is usually a little quieter than the other peak season of June to October.
Although the June to October season is always the more popular time to climb Kilimanjaro, this is not necessarily a bad thing, For those going solo and wish to meet other groups, this is a great time to do so. The weather is pretty decent at this time of year too.
In this latter season the clouds tend to hang around the tree-line following the heavy rains of March to May. Once above this altitude, however, the skies are blue and brilliant and the chance of rain is tiny.
Climb Kilimanjaro and you can tick off one of the 100 things to do before you die. Why?
Well there are many good reasons to climb Kilimanjaro, perhaps because it is the highest free standing mountain in Africa, perhaps because at the top it is the only place on earth you can see the curvature of the earth, 360 degrees all around or perhaps it is just because it is there.
Either way, climbing Kilimanjaro is a challenge that will reward the would be mountaineer with a great sense of achievement with equal amounts of adventure. For some it marks the first summit attempt in a life long mountain climbing addiction, for others it makes for a great story in the pub… I remember when I climbed Kilimanjaro….
Kilimanjaro is not a difficult mountain to climb, a challenge certainly, but not unachievable. Most of the Kilimanjaro climb is essentially a long uphill trek, the challenge really comes in at the top, when the air thins and breathing becomes strained. Climbing Kilimanjaro is akin to walking into space, where you can only use half your lung capacity because the air is so thin. This is not dangerous, but just tough going. People of all ages climb Kilimanjaro, the youngest person was successful on the 21 January 2008 Keats Boyd from Los Angeles. If a seven year old can do it, the chances are so can you. Not that climbing Kilimanjaro is a piece of cake, only about 40% of climbers are successful in actually climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro. The rest tend to fail on the final day, when they have to scramble up a very steep scree slope in the middle of the night to catch the sunrise from the peak.
At this altitude, many suffer from minor symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness) and this is the main factor that influences peoples decision to turn back.
People of all ages climb Kilimanjaro with Xtreme Gap Year.
People do both, you can climb in a group or you can go it alone (with the back up of porters and a guide), however you will find climbing in a small group is a much more rewarding experience. On the mountain is great when you all have a common goal, those that climb Kilimanjaro in a group often find they can support each other and offer words of encouragement when the going gets tough). This is especially important at the top when the air thins and you have a pounding headache and that little voice in your head is questioning how much you want to achieve your goal. Every muscle in your legs will be aching and you might just be tempted to turn back (60% do).
Having someone else there to look out for you is always helpful. If you climb Kilimanjaro with Xtreme Gap, you will be climbing in a group.
AMS commonly affects people at high altitude. While AMS can be deadly if not treated immediately or if its symptoms are ignored, don ´t let that concern you. Probably 70% of all people climbing Kilimanjaro will suffer to some extent from AMS. Most symptoms manifest with pounding headaches and loss of appetite. You should familiarise yourself with this condition and take preventative measures if you become aware of it setting in. It is advisable to purchase an extra day on the mountain ($200) to acclimatise as this greatly reduces the chance of AMS taking hold.
Get yourself ready for the Trek
It is important that you prepare yourself physically for the trip. This means getting a little fitter that normal. The trek is not difficult until you hit the top, when the air thins and the going gets a little tougher.
Mentally prepare yourself too.
Many people do summit Kilimanjaro, but not all succeed. Mental preparation is as important as being physically prepared for the trip. Remember when the going gets tough, you need a positive mental attitude at altitude to get you through.
Drink enough water
Make sure that you drink at least 3 – 4 litres of liquid (water) a day. This is very important as a healthy water balance helps prevent AMS. On the first day take plenty of bottled water with you from the hotel. Up the mountain, there are streams you can fill up from (after the second day) but it is advisable to take Iodine tablets to purify the water.
Walk high – sleep low
Always try to walk to a slightly higher altitude on acclimatisation day , than the altitude you are sleeping at.
Climb with minimal equipment
The more weight, the more energy you spend, having said that do not go inadequately prepared for the trek. It is cold up on the summit, and really hot at the base of the mountain, so remember your layers.
- 2 transfers to park gate – return
- 7 Nights Accommodation
- Kilimanjaro Park Fees (about£430)
- English speaking mountain guide and assistant guides
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
- Professional, English-speaking guide
- Mountain crew (cook & porters)
- Overnight stays in hotels and mountain tents
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
- Drinking water
- All mentioned transfers
Please note we include the park fees in the price.
- Gloves, Sun glasses, Sleeping bag, Hats, Rain suits, Warm Jacket, Heavy boots, Scarf’s, Rain Trousers
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Visa fees
- Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
- Note: All the above items can be hired at a reasonable price
- Pre accommodation (please arrive 1 day before)
“We really did have a trip of a lifetime only made possible by the amazing service, knowledge and support from the staff.”
“We took the Marangu route (5 days) and summited without any problem on our third night in January of 2013. Had two great guides, Prosper and Gusto. Loved our porters as they made it super easy for us to get up and down Kili.”
“Kilimanjaro National Park is breathtakingly beautiful! From the bottom to the top, the scenery and the way it changes is really something quite special to behold. Great photographic Opportunities!”