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Highlights


Our favourite route for a 7 day climb
Great acclimatisation as you "walk high, sleep low"
Climbs up through all 5 climate zones
One of the routes with the best success rate
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Machame Route

machame route image
Prices from £2025 Prices From $2630 Prices From €1960
9 days
Prices from £1885 Prices From $2455 Prices From €0
8 days

The Machame route, known for reasons nobody seems to know, as the "Whiskey" route, is now the most popular route on the mountain. Its popularity reflects the high success rate achieved on this route and the fact that it can be climbed in 7 days.

The approach to the Machame route is from the southwest of Kilimanjaro. The route ascends up through the jungle to Shira Camp and then traverses south towards Barranco via Lava Tower. From there you climb up the Great Barranco Wall before arriving in base camp at Barafu. The final climb is via Stella Point and the descent is on the Mweka route. You can download the detailed itinerary by clicking the link here.

Novice climbers are sometimes nervous about how they will cope  with the Great Barranco Wall but this is just a short scramble that is really not that tricky and you will be helped by your guide every step of the way. One stride around a rock outcrop is the most precarious part you will experience. Thousands of climbers safely travel this route each year, let alone the Kilimanjaro porters carrying heavy loads.

Climbers sleep in supplied tents at designated campsites, and eat meals either outdoors or inside a large dining tent. Staff prepare all meals and set up the tents.

Because it has a great success rate and is really attractive the Machame route is undoubtedly the busiest on the mountain. To help mitigate this we make sure all our groups hit the trail early and get ahead of the crowds. We also send part of the porter team ahead of you so that they get into the campsites early to get a good spot and make sure that your tent is ready and there is a nice hot drink and snacks when you arrive

Although the Machame route can be climbed over 6 days we recommend taking 7 days. The extra day makes a huge difference to the success rate as it improves acclimatisation and allows you two easier days before you tackle your long summit night. Our climbers invariably say they have benefited from the extra day.

During the main trekking season we run at least one open climb on the Machame route each week, and often more. Each group can accommodate 10 people, and we guarantee to run every booked climb, no exceptions. Our open groups are very popular with fundraisers climbing Kilimanjaro for charity, and we welcome all such climbers. For more information, please see our schedule and availability below.

If you want to make the climb with an open group on a particular date that isn’t on our schedule, please contact us and let us know. Often times we can arrange a new group for a particular set of days upon request.

Detailed Itineraries

Day 1Arrival

You will arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport, where a Kandoo driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi.

Day 2From Machame Gate to Machame Camp

At the start of day two, Kandoo will drive us from our hotel to the Machame Gate for registration. This will be our last chance to use a proper toilet before the day's trek through the rainforest!

We will follow a 4WD track before turning off onto a foot-only trail on our way to Machame Camp. Lunch will be eaten on the trail, and the night will be spent at Machame Camp.

  •  Elevation: From 1800 metres to 3000 metres
  • Trekking distance: 11 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
Day 3From Machame Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Day three will see us trek from the Machame Camp to Shira 1 Camp. We'll leave the rainforest behind, seeing the vegetation grow more sparse and the paths become dustier as we ascend. We'll have rocks and boulders to contend with as we near the famed Shira Plateau.

  •  Elevation: From 3000 metres to 3850 metres
  • Trekking distance: 9 kilometres
  • Trek time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Environment: Moorland
Day 4From Shira 1 Camp to Barranco Valley Camp via Lava Tower

Day four takes us up from Shira 1 Camp to Lava Tower. We will then descend again to the campsite in the Barranco Valley. This is an excellent example of the 'walk high, sleep low' strategy in practice.

The Lava Tower ascent is quite gradual, and we will have an opportunity to rest and eat lunch when we arrive. Along the way, look for excellent views of Helm Glacier, the Western Breach and Kibo.

  •  Elevation: From 3850 metres to 3950 metres
  • Highest point: 4600 metres (Lava Tower)
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Semi-desert
Day 5From Barranco Valley Camp to Karanga Valley Camp

Day five is a shorter trek, but an energetic one. Just after breakfast we will ascend to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We'll be above the clouds at this point, and will be able to see the land spread out below us for miles.

Again, we will descend for the night, making camp in the Karanga Valley. Along the way, look for the Decken, Kersten and Heim Glaciers above the valley.

  •  Elevation: From 3950 metres to 3930 metres
  • Highest point: Great Barranco Wall
  • Trekking distance: 7 kilometres
  • Trek time: About 4 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert
Day 6From Karanga Valley to Barafu Hut

From Karanga Camp, we join the Mweka Descent Trail, and continue along it to the Barafu Hut. The Hut marks the end of the Southern Circuit, along which we will have enjoyed views of the summit from many different angles.

This is another short day, so we'll have a chance to relax a bit, and prepare for the summit day in the morning. Take some time to enjoy the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi which are clearly visible from Barafu Hut.

  • Elevation: From 3930 metres to 4600 metres
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometres
  • Trek time: Around 3 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert.
Day 7From Barafu Hut to summit at Uhuru Peak, descent to Mweka Camp

Day seven begins just before midnight, and will be the most difficult, both mentally and physically. 

We'll have a warm drink and a snack before we set off, threading between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers. Next we'll cross some heavy scree to reach Stella Point (5732 metres) along the crater rim. There we'll have a short rest and enjoy a unique sight: sunrise at the very top of Africa.

Another hour's hike brings us to Uhuru Peak, the real summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Next, we'll descend to Barafu Hut again for lunch, then to Mweka Camp (at 3100 metres) for our last dinner on the mountain, and some well-earned sleep.

  •  Elevation: From 4600 metres to 3100 metres
  • Highest point: 5895 metres (Uhuru Peak)
  • Trekking distance: 20 kilometres (7 kilometres ascent / 13 kilometres descent)
  • Trek time: 12 to 15 hours (6 to 8 hours ascent / 6 to 7 hours descent)
  • Environment: Alpine desert/stone scree/ice-capped summit.
Day 8Descent from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Day eight is our last on the mountain, and will see us trek from Mweka Camp back to the park gate where you will receive a certificate of your achievement.

Expect the last bit of the route to be muddy, but keep an eye out for Columbus monkeys and other jungle wildlife in the trees!

  •  Elevation: From 3100 metres to 1800 metres
  • Trekking distance: 8 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
Day 9Departure

After a night in a warm, comfortable bed at your hotel in Moshi, we'll take you to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flight.

Congratulations! You've made it!

Days 1Arrival

The Kandoo team will meet you at Kilimanjaro airport and transfer you to your pre-climb hotel. Later you will attend a pre-climb briefing with your Lead Guide to prepare you for the challenge ahead.

Days 2From Machame Gate to Machame Camp

After breakfast we will collect you from your hotel for your transfer to Machame Gate for registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent along the forest trail to Machame Camp.

  •  Elevation: From 1800 metres to 3000 metres
  • Trekking distance: 11 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
Days 3From Machame Camp to Shira 1 Camp

We start walking, leaving the rainforest behind, and continue our ascent, crossing a small valley and up to a steep rocky ridge, covered with heath. Our route now turns west onto a river gorge until we reach Shira 1 Camp.

  •  Elevation: From 3000 metres to 3850 metres
  • Trekking distance: 9 kilometres
  • Trek time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Environment: Moorland
Days 4From Shira 1 Camp to Barranco Valley Camp via Lava Tower

Today we will climb up to 4600m to the base of the Lava Tower for lunch and acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may, for the first time, feel the altitude. After lunch we will descend again by almost 650m to Barranco Camp, following “walk high, sleep low” golden rule of acclimatisation.

Our descent to Barranco Camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall.

  •  Elevation: From 3850 metres to 3950 metres
  • Highest point: 4600 metres (Lava Tower)
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Semi-desert
Days 5From Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp

A short, but fun day, starting with a scramble to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.

  • Elevation: 3950m to 4600m
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Time: 7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Days 6From Barafu Hut to summit at Uhuru Peak, descent to Mweka Camp

You will be woken at 23:30 with tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers through heavy scree up to Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop to witness the magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). We are now only an hour away from the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro.

From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose scree going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

  • Elevation: From 4600 metres to 3100 metres
  • Highest point: 5895 metres (Uhuru Peak)
  • Trekking distance: 20 kilometres (7 kilometres ascent / 13 kilometres descent)
  • Trek time: 12 to 15 hours (6 to 8 hours ascent / 6 to 7 hours descent)
  • Environment: Alpine desert/stone scree/ice-capped summit.
Days 7From Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Your final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.

  • Elevation: From 3100 metres to 1800 metres
  • Trekking distance: 8 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
Days 8Depart

We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Kilimanjaro Airport for your departing flight.

What's Included

Included
  • Meet and greet on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport and transport to your hotel
  • Hotel accommodation for the night before and night after your climb (B&B basis)
  • Prices are based on 2 people sharing a tent, and in the hotel, a twin or double room
  • All Kilimanjaro National Park Authority Fees
  • Services of our qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and cooks
  • Mountain Hardware Trango 3 sleeping tents and sleeping mats. Please note that sleeping bags are not included but are available to hire
  • Mess tent with table and chairs
  • Private toilet tent for use by the group
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the mountain. Filtered drinking water every day.
  • Certificate for your successful summit ascent
  • Emergency oxygen (for descent only)
  • Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport
Not Included
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips for crew – KPAP recommend approx US$250 pp (unless in a group of 2 or below)
  • Entry visa for Tanzania (US$50 for most passport holders)
  • Personal travel insurance (must include trekking to 6000m)
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear
  • Personal medicine
  • Meals, snacks and drinks not specified
  • Single tent and hotel occupancy costs an additional £150 per person and must be requested at time of booking

Availability

Last Updated July 6 2016
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
Ref: K161010KG
Arrival: October 9 2016
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K161016KGW
Arrival: October 9 2016
Days: 9
Price: £1899 $2480 €1960
Comment: Special Offer
Ref: K161024KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: October 23 2016
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K161027KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: October 26 2016
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
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Route: Machame
Arrival: December 18 2016
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K161229KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: December 28 2016
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K170102KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: January 1 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K170127KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: January 26 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: FULLY BOOKED
Ref: K170206KG
Arrival: February 5 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K170220KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: February 19 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Limited Spaces
Ref: KT170312LTC
Arrival: March 11 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K170325KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: March 24 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170612KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: June 11 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
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Route: Machame
Arrival: July 2 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170716LTC
Arrival: July 15 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170807KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: August 6 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170828KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: August 27 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170904KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: September 3 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT170917LTC
Arrival: September 16 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K170924KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: September 23 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K171002KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: October 1 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: K171023KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: October 22 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Limited Spaces
Ref: KT171204KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: December 3 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces
Ref: KT171225KG
Route: Machame
Arrival: December 24 2017
Days: 9
Price: £2025 $2630 €1960
Comment: Spaces

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1HOW DIFFICULT IS THE MACHAME ROUTE?

The Machame route is considered relatively difficult. Trekkers will need to ascend the Barranco Wall during day four and hike up the steep incline of Kibo during summit night. No technical climbing is required.

Q2WHAT IS THE DISTANCE OF THE MACHAME ROUTE?

The exact trekking distance from gate to gate is 62km or 37 miles.

Q3WHAT IS THE MACHAME ROUTE SUMMIT SUCCESS RATE?

Due to its climb high sleep low profile, summit success rates on the Machame route are very high. Whilst there are no official statistics, the average success rate across all operators is 85% for the 7 day trek and a 73% success rate for the 6 day trek. However, Kandoo have a 90% summit success rate for the Machame route.

Q4WHAT IS THE SCENERY LIKE ON THE MACHAME ROUTE?

The scenery is extremely varied and you will pass through 5 climatic zones on your way to the summit. The trek begins in rainforest on the lower slopes before continuing up into the low alpine zone of wild grasslands and moorlands. From there you trek into the high alpine zone before reaching the glacial zone. You will encounter many incredible vistas and visit stunning places such as Shira Plateau, Barranco and Lava Tower.

News and Views

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Sharon King

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Mark Whitman

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