Machame Route Description
The Machame route is a popular choice and therefore a great choice if you’re trekking solo and would prefer to join up with others on the trek. It’s often referred to as the ‘Whiskey route’ (though we do recommend you stick with water until your return to the hotel!) and has a very impressive success rate for reaching the summit of Uhuru Peak. We recommend that you consider the 7 day trek which will give you ample time to acclimatise for the final trek to the summit, though for those that want a more challenging trek you can make it to the top in 6 days by missing out a night of camping at the Karanga river. The Machame route takes you up a steep path, ascending through the forest. It will then take you beneath the stunning glaciated precipices of the icefields before taking you to the summit. The descent from the summit follows the Mweka route.
On the Machame route your accommodation will be in tents that are provided for you. You will also be provided with a sleeping mat and other camping equipment, so you will only need to bring with you your personal equipment items which are listed in the general information section.
Following your climb of Kilimanjaro along the Machame Route there is the option to spend a few extra days on safari as well as the chance to kick back and give those legs a rest, relaxing on the white sand beaches of Zanzibar island and getting to know the legendary spice island.
Itinerary of Machame Route
- Day 1 – Begins with your arrival at the Springlands Hotel, (B&B).
- Day 2 – You will drive to the Machame Route Park Gate at lies 1800m. From you begin your ascent of the Machame route up the steepening trails that lead through beautiful natural rain forest to a campsite in a clearing on a ridge, (3000m, 5h.), you will begin to experience the magic of Kilimanjaro.
- Day 3 – You carry on along the path as it continues up a moorland ridge through giant heathers covered with mosses and lichens. It gradually becomes rocky before levelling out on the Shira Plateau. (3840m, 4-5h.). A day of amazing flora, fauna and breathtaking views. Here you have the chance for an optional day to spend on this magnificent plateau with excursions to the Shira Needle.
- Day 4 – A rocky path leads east up towards the Lava Tower, dramatic views of the Breach Wall precipices. Shortly beyond this it descends to Barranco campsite (3950m, 4-5h.).
- Day 5 – We begin with an easy Scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley campsite (3h, 4000m.), beneath the icefalls of the Southern Glaciers (Day 5 & 6 combine if no acclimatisation day is required)
- Day 6 – The Machame trail ascends a ridge to a campsite by the Barafu Hut, an airy location with little vegetation (3h, 4600m.),
- Day 7 – A very early start that begins just after midnight for the ascent of the screes leading to Stella Point (6h, 5725m.). From here a further 40mins. leads to Uhuru Peak, the summit and the highest point in Africa. After some time spent at top, celebrating your success we descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and brunch before continuing down to camp at Mweka Hut at 3100m, (11-14h total walking time).
- Day 8 – A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park Gate for a well deserved and much anticipated hot lunch. Drive back to the Springlands Hotel (B&B).
- Day 9 – Leave hotel after breakfast. From here you may be returning home, going on a safari through one of the famous national parks or heading off to relax on the island of Zanzibar.
Why choose the Machame Route
You should consider taking the Machame Route not only if you are after a tougher route, but also if you plan to join up with another group, or if you travelling alone as you’ll meet groups and people along the way.
Besides the Machame, there are four routes you can read about here: Kilimanjaro: Which Route to Take?
General Information: Machame Route
For more information about: what to take on your trip, health and safety information and our packing lists.
ZARA, one of the top three operators in Northern Tanzania. Begun in 1986 by Zainab Ansell as an international travel agency and in 1987 was appointed as an IATA agency. Safari trips, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbs commenced in 1987.
EWP began working with Zara when we were intitially based in Kenya 25 years ago.
Many years of experience in running these trips have now been accumulated and in some years Zara has been the top provider. Zara is mentioned in many publications eg “Kilimanjaro & Mount Kenya” by Cameron M Burns, also on several websites that also provide references to Zara services.
We now have a large fleet of 4x4WD vehicles and over 80 guides working with us. 28 mountain guides are registered to Zara. All of our drivers and guides are experienced and speak English. In addition Zara now own and run two hotels – Springlands hotel in Moshi and the Highview hotel in Ngorongoro conservation area along with the safari Wildcamps in Ikoma, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. This allows Zara to be in complete control of your trek or safari from start to finish, ensuring that you receive the best possible service throughout. Check on Trip Advisor for reviews of Zara.
Prices of the Machame Route trip
COST: 6-Day Machame Route Trek from $1801 per person
Additional day for acclimatisation (if required) $262 pp
Single surcharge (if required) $76
Airport transfers from Kilimanjaro airport can be arranged for $20 per person, each way
For groups of 6 or more we can offer a discount of $30 per person. During the low season (April – 13 June & Nov) we offer a Discount of $50 per person.
To see what is included/not included in the cost and for Tipping guidelines please see check our PDF