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6 Days Machame Route

Itinerary Highlights


Duration: 6 days


Category: Kilimanjaro trekking

Destination: Kilimanjaro via Machame route


Start in: Moshi


End in: Moshi


Essential items:

Hiking boots, long sleeve shirts, fleece jacket, cotton pants, digital camera, warm trekking socks, sun hat, day pack

Tour guide languages:

English, French, Spanish, German, Italian


Major attractions:

Africa’s highest mountain, five different vegetation zones



Day 1: Machame Gate To Machame Camp
  • Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
  • Distance: 11km/7mi
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest
  • Meals: LD

In Moshi, a town near the base of Kilimanjaro, you will be picked up and taken on a 45 minute drive to Machame Gate. The journey passes through the village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We enter the park through Machame Gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are recommended. We continue for a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Day 2: Machame Camp To Shira Camp
  • Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
  • Distance: 5km/3mi
  • Walking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland
  • Meals: BLD

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

Day 3: Shira Camp To Lava Tower To Barranco Camp
  • Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
  • Distance: 10km/6mi
  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert
  • Meals: BLD

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although we end the day around the same elevation as when we began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for the summit day.

Day 4: Barranco Camp To Barafu Camp
  • Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
  • Distance: 9km/6mi
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: BLD

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall (elev 4250m/13,900ft), through the Karanga Valley (elev 4050m/13,250ft) to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Camp. At this point we have completed the South Circuit, and views of the summit can be caught from every angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.

Day 5: Barafu Camp To Summit To Mweka Camp
  • Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
  • Down to 3090m/10,150ft
  • Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
  • Meals: BLD

Very early in the morning (between midnight and 2 a.m.), we continue our way up to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers.  We ascend heading northwest through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point we stop for a short rest and to enjoy the most magnificent sunrise that has ever been seen. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point of the continent of Africa, meaning top of the Kilimanjaro.

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Gaiters and trekking poles are recommended due to the loose gravel on the way down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Day 6: Mweka Camp To Mweka Gate To Moshi
  • Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
  • Distance: 10km/6mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals: B

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate, where each trekker receives their Summit Certificate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking polest are helpful. Shorts and t-shirts are normally plenty for this part of the journey (but keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Our vehicle awaits at Mweka Gate for the 45 minute drive back to the hotel in Moshi.

Price & Accommodation Options


  • This tour can be arranged to accommodate your budget plan

Mount Kilimanjaro Includes

  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents
  • 2 Nights accommodations
  • Professional, experienced mountain guides
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs:
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Clean, purified drinking water
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • Emergency Evacuation by Flying Doctor Society of Africa


  • Tanzania Visa, amount varies depending on your country of origin
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (safari after your climb, etc)
  • Tips and any items of a personal nature



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