The Machame route also referred to as the Whiskey route, is one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro and a favorite for climbers.

Despite being a tough climb compared to the Marangu route, the Machame route has one of the highest summit success rates given the topography of the route which allows climbers to “trek high & sleep low” hence making it a more favorable route for acclimatization.

Unlike the Marangu route which is a gradual ascent, the Machame route is has steeper trails and climbers walk longer distances. This route offers some of the most spectacular scenery while on the mountain.

The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, traversing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes at the Shira camp.

The Machame route can be done in minimum 6 days but a 7 day trek is recommended so climbers are well rested and acclimatized before making the final ascent to the summit.

Itinerary

Day 1: Machame Gate (1790m) to Machame Camp (3010m)

One hour’s drive to the Machame gate, where we complete park formalities, meet our crew of porters and start to climb! The first section of the route climbs steadily and passes through magnificent, dense rainforest. This path is less well-trodden so it can get somewhat overgrown in places and it is often wet and muddy underfoot.

Distance covered: 10.8km / 6.7mi
Approx. time taken: 6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 2: Machame Camp (3010m) to Shira Camp (3845m)

Our route continues on up through the forest until we reach the steep ascent onto the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt Meru rising high above Arusha town in the distance.
Distance covered: 5.4km / 3.4mi

Approx. time taken: 5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 3: Shira Cave (3845m) to Barranco Camp (3960m)

Walking now on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and finally reach camp The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600m), but we have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to aid your body’s acclimatization to altitude.

Distance covered: 10.8km / 6.7mi
Approx. time taken: 8 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3960m) to Karanga Camp (3963m)

Our day starts by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exit steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rock, not technical but long and tiring. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head towards the Karanga valley. From here we have a steep climb up from Karanga valley to our night’s camp at Karanga camp, set at 3963m. For those feeling strong we will go for a mid-afternoon acclimatization trek up to around 4200m before descending back to camp for the night.

Distance covered: 5.5km / 3.4mi
Approx. time taken: 5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (3963) to Barafu Camp (4640m)

After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Barafu camp at 4640m. The climb will take us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation around us at all. It’s a tough steep walk made more difficult by the altitude. On arriving at camp we eat and spend the afternoon resting as we prepare for a long night and day ahead. It is important to keep hydrated and warm. We have an early dinner and then try to get some sleep as we will be getting up at between 11pm and 12pm to start the climb to the summit.

Distance covered: 3km / 1.9mi
Approx. time taken: 3 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included.

Day 6: Barafu Camp (4640m) to UHURU PEAK (5895m) & down to Millennium Camp (3790m)

We start off at around midnight and walk steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. We will be climbing scree for 4 to 5 hours but gain incredible height over a short distance. The views are spectacular. We should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5739m) as the first rays of the sun hit us. Spectacular ice cliffs within the crater surround us and the views to jagged Mawenzi peak and beyond are breathtaking. Another hour’s walking takes us to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). We begin our descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on scree slope and track back to Barafu Camp for breakfast, before finally heading down to Millennium Camp for a long well-earned rest.

Distance covered: 13.4km / 8.3mi
Approx. time taken: 12 – 15 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 7: Trek Millennium Camp (3790m) to Mweka Gate (1630m)

A gentle trek takes us down through the rain forest to Mweka Gate, where we complete park formalities and receive certificates, which you can hang up with pride! You will be met and transferred to Arusha.

Distance covered: 12.1km / 7.5mi
Approx. time taken: 6 hours

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch Included.

Other Routes

Rongai Route
Duration: 7 Days
Lemosho Route
Duration: 8 Days
Marangu Route
Duration: 6 Days