Mount Kilimanjaro Climb via Machame Route

Machame Route on Mount Kilimanjaro is well known as “Whiskey Route” – The eight days seven nights Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route.

On the 7 nights 8 days Machame Route, the trek from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp is broken up in to two days, allowing for a short day just prior to Uhuru Peak attempt.

This is very important for the climbers because the summit day starts very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day before hand, trekkers can be better rested.

The total time during the mountain climbing will be 5 nights 6 days on Machame Route.

Please take a Note: That we only organize private treks, there will be only yourself and your travel partner(s) during Mount Kilimanjaro Expedition unless you create your own group with your friends.

Day 1 – Arrive at JRO/ Arusha:

Arrival in Kilimanjaro International Airport or arrive in Arusha from Nairobi, Meet and assist at the airport and after going through Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs, Transfer to Arusha town in order to stay overnight at Planet Lodge Arusha or similar hotel on Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Machame Gate:

Machame Gate to Machame Hut (1,850m)

Hike time: 6.5 normaly  hrs, Elevation change: +1200 M

Estimated distance: 12km, Final elevation: 3100 M

An early pick up from hotel and then drive to Machame gate   where trekking formalities take about 1hrs depending on nomber of tourist in that day  minutes. From the gate, we begin our trek following an easy track for the first hour through the dense forest. The path continues to follow the ridge, rising steadily with several steep sections. The gradient eases slightly as the forest merges into heather covered ground we will reach Machame Campsite in 12 km (6.2 miles) after a 1,200–meter (3,936) ascent and 5–7 hours of walking.

Day 3 – Shira Hut (3,840m):

Hike time: 7 hrs, Elevation change: +800 M

Estimated distance: 6km, Final elevation: 3,840 M

From the Machame Hut we cross the stream onto its west bank and follow the path up the steep rocky ridge crises-crossing a few times before reaching Shira Hut at the base of a semi-circular wall of rocks. We will have ascended 900 meters (3,000) in 5–7 hours and about 6 km (3.72 miles) of walking.

Day 4 – Barranco Hut (3,976m):

Hike time: 5 hrs, Elevation change: +100 M

Estimated distance? Final elevation: 3900 M

From Shira Hut hike to Lava Tower (15,000) and then proceed to Barranco via the Great Barranco Wall. This route offers panoramic views of Kibo through Karanga Valley as we hike high and sleep low, dropping back down to Barranco after lunch. Today hike will take most of the day Barranco campsite located on elevation of 3950m.

Day 5 – Barafu Hut (4,600m):

Hike time: 3.5 hrs, Elevation change: +600 M

Estimated distance: 4km, Final elevation: 4600 M

Today involves gaining a little more elevation, acclimatizing and resting for the summit attempt the next morning. This day will take us 4 to 6 hrs of walking.

Day 6 – Summit and then Mweka Camp (3,068m):

SUMMIT DAY! Summit time: 7 hrs, Elevation change: +1300 M

Estimated distance: 5km, Final elevation: 5895 M

Descent time: 5 hrs, Elevation change: -2800M

Estimated distance: 12km, Final elevation: 3100 M

We will start trekking early before sunrise (1–2 am) as the walk today will take 10-14 + hours. We will avoid the mist that sets in later in the day; the scree and snow will still be safely frozen. The 1,100-meter (3,600) ascent in just over 3 km (1.86 miles) will take us about 6-8 hours. After a brief stay at the summit of the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak, at over 5,898 meters (19,340′), we descend via the Barafu Route roughly 2,500 meters (8,200) in 12 km (7.44 miles) in about 4–7 hours to Mweka Camp.

Day 7 – Mweka Gate (1,640m) and then Drive back to Arusha:

Descent time: 4 hrs, Elevation change: -1250M

Estimated distance: 10km, Final elevation: 1828 M

Today we descend about 1400 meters (4,592) through the forest on a jungle path for about 10 km (6.2 miles) in 3 – 4 hours to reach Mweka Gate where you will be picked by our driver and transferred back to Arusha. Stay overnight at Planet Lodge Arusha or similar hotel on Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 8 – Departure Transfer:

After breakfast Aardvark Expeditions Team can organize a private departure transfer to Arusha Airport or to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight back home or flying to Zanzibar Island.


This is the most wonderful and adventurous route in comparison to all other routes. You can climb Mt Kilimanjaro via this route for a minimum of 6 to 7 or 8 days.


Drive to Machame camp the starting point through the Machame route, start your trekking going through the beautiful lush rain forest. Dinner and overnight at 3000 m.


Early in the morning start the trek by leaving the forest behind and ascend a steep ridge for about 3-4 hours. The way then leads into a gorgeous river gorge before you slightly up onto the moorland of the Shira plateau. Shira is all that remains of an older volcano that was engulfed when the much larger Kilimanjaro was formed. The view here are superb. A night at 3840 meters.


The 5-6 hours walk awaits this morning, the climb is not as steeper as one’s expectations. Enjoy the typical mountain vegetation and rewarding views of the spectacular Barranco Valley.

Overnight at 3950 meters.


The normal climb is about 6 – 8 hours hike, up to Barranco wall, then across ridges to the Karanga situated at 4100 meters, stop for lunch, then proceed to Barafu at. Overnight at Barafu 4600 meters.


The trek will be started by midnight. Ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point located on the crater rim. This is the most challenging part on the route about 8 hours walk. Enjoy the sun rise while having the rest at Stella Point 5685 meters. Then encounter the snow all the way to Uhuru peak about 2 hours ascend up to 5895 meters.

Then return to Barafu for a short rest before continuing your way down to Mweka 3100 meters.


After breakfast descend through the rain forest. You either end your time in the mountain by Mweka gate


A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to Mweka National Park gate.


For those who only have six days to climb Kilimanjaro, the Machame route is the best choice because of its acclimatization profile. Compared to other six day routes, the Machame route exposes the climber to higher elevations quicker (day three) which kickstarts the body’s adaptation to altitude. However, this route requires that a person be in good shape to be able to tackle the challenging elevation gains and losses

The six day Machame variation is a difficult route. In particular, day four combined with day five makes for a very hard schedule. Day four is a full day of hiking from Barranco to Barafu. Then after dinner and a partial night’s sleep, the very long and strenuous summit day begins around midnight. The 6 day Machame route requires 19-24 hours of demanding walking, at extremely high elevation, with only 4-6 hours of sleep.


  • Machame Gate to Machame Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.


  • Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.


  • Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Semi Desert

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.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.


Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 15,000ft
  • Distance: 9km
  • Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. Then, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.


  • Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitat: Arctic

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend 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 (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.


  • Mweka Camp to Moshi
  • Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi


There are few personal accomplishments more rewarding than the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. This is a 9 days Mount Kilimanjaro Climb on Marangu Route takes visitors to the Africa’s highest peak 19,340′, the mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding Savannah. Its apex offers no better sunrise as the plains below are bathed in golden light a perfect capstone to this immense challenge.

  • Ascend Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa, and behold stunning views from the summit
  • Climb the Marangu Route, seeing diverse ecosystems from rainforest to alpine desert
  • Join a team of local African guides who help you accomplish this amazing feat
  • Stay in wood and stone mountain huts along the way
  • Extend your trip with a safari; unforgettable wildlife viewing is the perfect reward

Our Mt Kilimanjaro Rates Includes the following:

  • All Tanzania VAT and Taxes.
  • All airport transfers.
  • Hotel accommodations for 2 nights in Tanzania with bed and breakfast.
  • Transfer from the hotel to the mountain and back.
  • All meals and water on the mountain.
  • All Kilimanjaro National Park fees, camping fees, hut fees and climbing permits.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees
  • Emergency oxygen.
  • First aid kit.
  • Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, trustee porters and cook
  • Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by the Park
  • Camping equipment such as tents, camp chairs, tables and e.t.c.
  • Comfortable Sleeping mattress
  •  Water for washing up daily
  • Porter to carry your duffel bag.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
  • Pulse oxymeter to check oxygen level and heart beat while on the mountain.
  • Portable Chemical Toilet


  • Flights and airport taxes (visa)
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Tips for the trekking team.
  • Health requirements (Yellow Fever compulsory if travelling to Tanzania recommended)
  • Highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in Tanzania.
  • Meals & drinks not specified and snacks
  • Sleeping bag