7 DAYS KILIMANJARO CLIMB ON THE MACHAME ROUTE
The “Whiskey Route” Promises Incredible Views
Perhaps because the scenery is so spectacular with a wonderful variety of flora and fauna, this steeper route is very popular. Over half of “Kili’s” climbers prefer this path to the summit.
Great for acclimatization, with the option of taking a different trail down for the descent, the Machame Route offers climbers a strong chance for a successful summit. Called the Whiskey Route because of its challenges, don’t be put off – this route will have you trekking through stunning forests, plus it boasts an unusually high success rate.
Emerging from those thick forests you’ll hike up through alpine moors to the Shira Plateau and then enter a moonscape in the Southern Ice Fields, ultimately making your final push to Uhuru Peak, the summit.
Already a well-modulated route, climbers can add another day to further increase their chances of success.
Along your climb, you’ll be staying in tents, which our porters will carry and set up for you. You’ll need appropriate gear plus a good sleeping bag and we’ve got a complete list for you below.
The truth is the Machame is a very scenic and popular trek but it can be challenging. However, if you are fit, the route’s great acclimatization properties offer the opportunity for a fantastic and successful climb.
Your Climb Itinerary
Kilimanjaro Airport - Moshi
You’ll arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport where an Africa Kenya Safaris driver will greet you and bring you to the Springlands hotel (or similar) in Moshi. Dinner will be served and you’ll rest up on the first night of your Kilimanjaro adventure.
Machame Gate to Machame Camp
It’s climb day! We’ll be up early for a briefing about our climb, what your expectations should be, safety factors, and the general business of how the climb is organized. This will be followed by breakfast and then a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910 m/3,018 ft) to Machame village (1490 m/4,888 ft).
There, you’ll see the guides and porters busy prepping the expedition’s supplies. Then it’s either a 3 km/1.8 mi walk or drive to the Machame Gate. You’ll complete the registration paperwork and set off on your ascent – our destination is the Machame Camp, a hike of about 5 – 6 hours.
We’ll soon enter a lush rainforest with ferns, large trees, and possible sightings of black and white colobus monkeys. Don’t be surprised if it gets rainy here in the rainforest and the trails become muddy. That’s what a rainforest does.
Arriving at your camp, the porters will have warm water for washing and the cook will have a delicious dinner waiting. Time to rest for tomorrow’s adventures but do bundle up as the nighttime temperatures can drop to freezing.
Machame Camp to Shira Camp
We’re on “Kili” now so the trick is to rise early and get our day going. We’ll have breakfast and begin our climb. After about an hour we’ll leave the forest and then enjoy a gradual ascent through scenic heathland.
We’ll take a lunch and short rest, then continue up a rocky ridge to the Shira Plateau. Now opening up in the east, you’ll see the western mountain range with the glaciers of Kibu reflecting the sun’s light.
Just a short hike to go and you will reach the Shira campsite at 3,840 m/12,598 ft. Warm water awaits and dinner will be prepared for you. Tonight’s temperatures may well drop down to below freezing.
Shira Camp to Barranco Camp
Today is all about acclimatization. You’ll climb about 700 m/2,296 ft today but tonight we will sleep at an elevation not too much higher than last night. This “hike high, sleep low” strategy will greatly help you adjust to the elevation.
We’ll head out after breakfast onto a semi-desert stretch of rocky landscape, aiming for Lava Tower at 4,430 m/14,534 ft. The hike will be challenging and some climbers may feel the effects of the thinning air, becoming breathless, and possibly accompanied by headaches.
After about a 5-hour walk, we’ll break for lunch near Lava Tower. And then we will actually descend some 680 m/2,230 ft to the Barranco camping area. This hike will take about 2 hours and along the way, you’ll enjoy the unique desert flora of lobelia plants and giant senecios. Great vistas of the Western Breach will open up providing lots of chances for some beautiful photos.
We’ll arrive at Barranco Camp in a valley below the Breach and the Great Barranco Wall. Get ready for what should be a memorable sunset as you await a well-deserved dinner and rest.
Barranco / Karanga Valley
Today’s challenge is named Barranco, specifically, the Barranco Wall. This will also be a day for further acclimatization with lots of ascents and descents. Scaling the Barranco Wall will require some scrambling, using handholds for gripping and stability. This is still not a technical climb and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure your safety and success.
You’ll reach the mountain ridge and witness panoramic landscapes of desert and forest below. After 3 – 4 hours we’ll arrive at Karanga Camp at 4,035 m/13,238 ft, with lots of time to rest and reflect on our journey. Your tents are pitched on a narrow, stony ridge, so please familiarize yourself with the terrain before sundown to avoid any mishaps.
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Enjoy a high-fuel breakfast before setting out for today’s goal: Barafu Camp. We’ll walk through a high-desert landscape with Kibu visible off to our left. After a 3 – 4 hour trek, we’ll reach Barafu Camp at 4,640 m/15,223 ft, where we’ll have an early dinner and get ready for the next section of the climb: the push to the summit.
Before bedtime, you’ll prepare your gear and clothing for the summit ascent. Some practical notes: replace your headlamp and camera batteries now and bring along a spare set. Also, to prevent your water from freezing, make sure it’s in a thermal flask.
We’ll crawl into our sleeping bags around 19h00/7:00 pm and get a few hours of rest before awakening in about 5 hours for our push to the top.
Barafu Camp/ To Uhuru Summit and Descent
We’ll make sure you are awakened at about 23h30/11:30 pm and get ready for the final ascent with tea and biscuits. And then, we head off into the night with only the moon and our headlamps to guide our way toward Stella Point on the crater rim.
It will take us 5 – 7 hours to reach the Point and for many, this is the moment when they’ll be most tested physically and mentally. But finally, reaching Stella Point at 5,685 m/18,651 ft, we can take in perhaps the most glorious sunrise (weather permitting).
From here on to the summit, expect snow for the next 2 hours on your way up to Uhuru Peak. And then…. you’ve arrived at the top of Africa; you’ve realized your dream, you’ve made it to the top of Kili. Take plenty of photos and savor this very special moment.
We can’t linger too long as cold and fatigue might set in, so we’ll begin our descent back down to Barfu. This trek will take about 3 hours and we’ll enjoy a short rest there, have some refreshments, pack up the rest of our gear, and head down to Mweka Camp at 3,100 m/10,170 ft for dinner, rest, and our final night on the mountain.
Final descent from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
You’re certain to enjoy your final breakfast on the mountain after all you’ve accomplished. We’ll head down to the Mweka Gate, again trekking through the rainforest with more opportunities to spot colobus monkeys. We’ll reach Mweka Gate in about 2 – 3 hours.
Then we’ll continue to Mweka Village where your Africa Kenya Safaris team will bring you to the Springlands Hotel for a warming and delicious hot lunch.
You’ll overnight at the Springlands Hotel where you’ll appreciate a nice, hot shower!
Tips are very much appreciated after your challenging ascent and we have a tipping guide below to advise on how to tip your guides and porters.
This is also the moment when your climbing prowess is recognized. Those who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates. And those who reached the summit at Uhuru Peak receive their appropriately colored gold certificates.
End of Tour and Travel.
Fly back home or embark no wildlife safari
Your Africa Kenya Safaris driver will bring you to the international airport. If you have decided to continue your safari with us in Tanzania then we’ll be on our way to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, or one of our other colorful wildlife parks.
Kilimanjaro – There were probably some moments trudging up that hill when you had your doubts… but you made it. You’ve got the photos, the certificate, and the stories to prove your success. There will never be another moment like this. Congratulations!
- Africa’s tallest peak (Roof of Africa)
- world’s tallest free standing mountain
7 DAYS MOUNT KILIMAJARO CLIMB (MACHAME ROUTE) PRICES FOR 2023/2024
Prices are in USD per person
- 1 -5 PEOPLE – PRICE PER CLIMBER: US$ 2120
- Single supplement for Private climber: US$ 140
- For Airport JRO to Springlands Hotel Return to JRO (Pick up & Drop off Transfers) Per Person(Each Way is US$ 25 Per Person – Sharing Transfer): US$ 50
- Pick up From Arusha to Moshi by Private car (5 – 9 Seaters Car) – One Way: US$ 140
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMB ADVENTURE
Please ensure you have sufficient Medical Cover for the duration of your trip and in particular to cover you while doing the Kilimanjaro Climb. Africa Kenya Safaris recommends WORLD NOMADS . Check them out: https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance
Please note you will need a Yellow Fever Inoculation, this must be done no later than 10 days prior to departure. If you have had any previous history of Liver Disorders you must consult your physician first. Malaria prophylactics are a must.
KILIMANJARO CLIMBING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WITH EXPERT ANSWERS
Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round.
The best months to climb, however, are July to October and December to February, as these are the warmest and driest months respectively.
July, August and September tend to be the busiest months on the mountain.
Another factor to take into consideration is the full moon. Summiting Kilimanjaro on a cloudless evening with the moon as your guide instead of headlamp is without a doubt an unforgettable experience. Also imagine seeing the glaciers glitter in the moonlight – absolutely stunning!
You can also embark on a combined Kenya & Tanzania safari and explore Kenya’s incredible wildlife parks like Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Ol Pejeta, Meru National Park, Samburu National Reserve e.t.c.
After safari, you can also treat yourself to a magical laid-back beach vacation to Zanzibar beach, Diani beach, Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu and Lamu Island.
A straightforward answer to that question is NO! It is illegal to explore Kilimanjaro independently without a guide. Unlike many other treks, it is not possible to just turn up at the foot of Kilimanjaro with a backpack and camping gear and head up the mountain.
Furthermore, Mount Kilimanjaro is not an easy climb, so climbing it with experienced guides is a must not only from a legal point of view but also for your safety.
Yes, at our our Mountain climbing base hotel in Moshi Tanzania, we have a wide array of mountain climbing equipment for hire at competitive prices.
We will send you a comprehensive equipment checklist, including items available for hire, upon inquiry. Prices are for the duration of the climb, not per day, and costs can be paid in USD$ cash at your briefing. All equipment is of good quality, however, we advise bringing your own walking boots, socks, and base layer clothing, as these will inevitably be a better fit than items you hire.
Mount Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing skills and is considered a “safe” mountain. However, climbing Kilimanjaro exposes your body and mind to a number of challenges. On your way to the top, expect to hike about 4-7h per day and around 10-13h on summit day.
The third challenge for your body (beside the hiking and the high altitude) are temperature fluctuations and camping below 0 degrees celsius. Once the sun sets, temperatures go down quickly below 0.
MARANGU ROUTE: The Marangu or main route is by far the most popular way to the summit. The ascent is more gradual and no professional equipment is required. The accommodation on the way up and down is provided in mountain huts with all the basic necessities. There are 60 bunk beds each (for 60 people each) at Mandara Hut (2700m) and Kibo Hut (4700m), and 120 bunk beds (for 120 people) at Horombo Hut (3720m) which is also used for descent. Climbers are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags should be brought along. There are communal dining halls, washrooms and toilets.
It usually takes 5 days/4nights for the round trip. The trek can also be taken in 6 days/5 nights to add acclimatization with an extra day at Horombo Hut. The supplementary cost for an extra day is indicated separately as an option.
MACHAME ROUTE: This is probably the most scenic route up Kilimanjaro. The accommodation on the way up and down is strictly camping (mobile tents) only. This trek is strenuous and may be better suited to more adventurous hikers. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days/5nights on the mountain.
RONGAI ROUTE: There is only one route over on the north eastern side of the mountain, Rongai, which is usually a five night climb. This lesser known track may not be quite as spectacular as the western routes, but it does usually have far lower traffic than the other five night routes. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.It is generally considered to be the easiest of the quality routes on the mountain. Rongai is the best route for people who are looking for a decent quality experience and are perhaps not absolutely confident about their fitness.
UMBWE ROUTE: The Umbwe route, which is based in the south, is a 6-day / 5-night tour and is said to be the most scenic and difficult one offered on Kilimanjaro. The first two days are extremely steep, muddy and generally strenuous making it only suitable for well-trained mountaineers. An acclimatization day is rarely offered on the standard programme, but can be added whereby giving the climber an extra day in the Karanga Valley. The descent trail is the same as the Mweka Route.
LEMOSHO(SHIRA) GLADES ROUTE: The Lemosho Glades route is perhaps the least used initial ascent route on Kilimanjaro, partly because of its remote location and likewise the difficult roads leading to the trailhead. The road to the trailhead is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles and can be impassable during wet periods. The trailhead is at relatively high elevation, and thus we start slow and easy on this route. Buffalo and elephant sightings are possible on the first day trekking through the forest, and the trail is often overgrown from lack of use.
The route is the longest distance to trek up Kilimanjaro, so fitness certainly plays a role in the enjoyment and success of this trek. The Lemosho (Shira) route takes 7 days / 6 nights on the mountain. Overall, the distance covered and the intensity of the final few days make this trek a good choice only for the experienced hiker. The many changes of scenery and spectacular hike across the Shira Plateau make this trek truly special. There are no huts on this route, the accommodation is in mountain tents.
Each route has its own benefits and drawbacks. The Marangu Route is most popular with beginner trekkers, as it is one of the easiest – but you’ll also find it busier than some of the other routes. The Umbwe Route is one of the most difficult, and shouldn’t be undertaken unless you have mountaineering experience.
Why Marangu Route is the easiest and best route for beginners:
The Marangu route is one of the most popular routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that it is the least expensive route, or perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier compared to the Machame route, that takes 6 or 7 days and is nicknamed Whisky Route – for being a tough climb, but with impressive views and a variety of habitats.
Due to a shorter acclimatisation period, it might not be the best option though.
What to consider when choosing your Kilimanjaro climbing route:
When you come to choose your Kilimanjaro route, there are several factors you need to take into consideration. The first of these is acclimatisation – some routes climb more steeply, making altitude sickness more of a risk. The next is the difficulty of the route, in particular the summit night – its success rate gives you some indication of this. The accommodation options and how busy the route is are something to take into consideration. Finally, there’s how scenic the route is – a decent view really enriches the hiking experience.
Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The highest a child can go on Kilimanjaro is 3,100 meters (10,170 feet). Most of the routes on Kilimanjaro reach that elevation by the second day of the climb.
This rule is enforced by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). They will not allow a child under 10 to climb unless under special circumstances. If you desire your child to climb, you must have approval from TANAPA before arriving in Tanzania. Few children have received this special permission.
Who is the Youngest Person to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro?
Several children under the age of ten have requested special permission to climb Kilimanjaro, and were granted right(s) to do so.
Coltan Tanner – from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA – holds the place as the youngest person to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.
Who is the Oldest Person to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro?
Anne Lorimor – from Arizona, USA – is the oldest person to have climbed to Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit. She was 89 years and 37 days old when she stood on top of the continent of Africa.
This was actually Lorimor’s second time climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – she first climbed when she was 85 years old – setting the record for oldest person to summit at that time. Another climber, Angela Vorobeva, from Russia climbed and had beat Lorimor’s record.
Mount Kilimanjaro routes and their variations take between five to nine days to complete. Although Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a “walk-up” mountain, you should not underestimate it and its risks. The overall statistics show that less than half of all climbers reach the summit.
PEAKS ON MOUNT KILIMANAJARO:
Kibo is the tallest of the volcanoes. It rises above two other peaks: Shira to the west and Mawenzi to the southeast. Kibo is dormant, while Shira and Mawenzi are extinct. Scientists expect no volcanic activity anywhere on Kilimanjaro in the foreseeable future.
Mawenzi is the second-highest peak on Kilimanjaro, standing at 16,890 feet. Trekkers get a great view of Mawenzi toward the end of the journey because the most popular summit routes snake up the eastern side of the mountain.
Shira is the shortest “peak” at roughly 13,000 feet in elevation. It was once higher but collapsed to its current height thousands of years ago, creating the bowl-shaped Shira Plateau. Each of our preferred routes, except the Umbwe Route, trek the Shira Plateau within the first 3 days of the climb.
CRATERS & CLIFFS ON MOUNT KILIMAJARO:
At roughly 15,200 feet in elevation on the western side of mountain, the 300-foot Lava Tower looms. The rock formation was created by a volcanic vent long ago. Trekkers with technical mountaineering skills and equipment used to climb Lava Tower, but park officials have since banned the practice. Now, it’s simply a favorite sight for trekkers on the mountain.
The Barranco Wall:
Trekkers still climb this 800-foot cliff that rises over the Barranco Valley to the southwest of Uhuru Peak. The Barranco Wall is simultaneously one of the most difficult and one of our guests’ favorite portions of the climb. Machame, Umbwe and Western Approach trekkers use their hands and legs to “scramble” up the rocky slopes – no technical equipment or expertise required.
You may see a few different glaciers while you trek around the rim of Kibo. The first will likely be the Rebmann Glacier, which is part of the Southern Icefield. Keep an eye out when you pass Stella Point on your way to Uhuru Peak. If you’re lucky, you’ll see this wall of ice standing in the distance down the mountain opposite the crater. You likely won’t get that close to it, though.
If you have your heart set on a close encounter with one of the few glaciers in Africa, Furtwängler is your best bet. This wall of ice is a short distance from Crater Camp inside the caldera on top of Kibo.
POINTS ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO:
This where the Rongai, Marangu and Grand Traverse trails reach the eastern side of Kibo’s rim at roughly 18,650 feet.
This where the Umbwe, Machame and Western Approach routes reach the rim of Kibo at about 18,885 feet. Stella Point is closer to the summit than Gilman’s Point. Trekkers reaching Kibo’s rim from Gilman’s Point will trek to Stella Point on the way to Uhuru Peak.
This is the end of your journey – the summit of Kilimanjaro and the “Roof of Africa” where the iconic summit sign is. It is the highest point on Kibo’s rim.
Don’t underestimate how tough Kilimanjaro is. Too many people do, and don’t make it to the top!
Depending on your current fitness, we suggest that you start your physical training at least two or three months prior to the climb.
Remember, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the whole experience will be for you.
On the day before the trek (arrival day) and the day after the trek (departure day), we stay in a comfortable hotel in Moshi. It has lovely views as well as lovely rooms and facilities to match.
During the climb, you sleep in three-person, four-season dome-style mountain tents, two people per tent. If you’d like a tent of your own, you’ll need to pay a single-person supplement.
Our tents are modern and have an outer flysheet and large vestibules where you can store your equipment during the night.
Tipping is highly appreciated at the end of safari/ hiking:
Tips will vary depending on the length and complexity of the trip, the number of staff on the trip and the number of clients on the trip. Generally, groups like to meet together before the end of the trek to discuss how much they would like to tip each staff member based on their individual trek experience.You should prepare an envelope after your trek for your tip money at the Springlands Hotel.
You can use US dollars, Euros, TZ Shillings or a combination of these. The envelope will be submitted to mountain coordinator.
The following are daily rates for each climber recommended to tip per staff member:
- Per Chief Guide: $15- 20 Per day
- Per Assistant guide: $10- 15 Per day
- Per Cook$10 Per day
- Per Porter: $8-10 Per day
NB: THESE ARE JUST GUIDELINES AND TIPS CAN BE GIVEN TO SAFARI STAFFS/MOUNTAIN CREW ACCORDING TO SERVICES PROVIDED.
For Marangu Route, you will have:
- 1 guide and 1 cook for each 8 climbers,
- 1 extra assistant guide per each
- 3 climbers, 2 porters per climber
For all Kilimanjaro routes except Marangu you will have:
- 1 climber: 1 guide, 3 porters, 1 cook
- 2 climbers: 1 guide, 6 porters, 1 extra assistance guide, 1 cook
- 3 climbers: 1 guide, 9 porters, 1 extra assistance guide, 1 cook
- 4 climbers: 2 guides, 9 porters, 1 extra assistance guide, 1 cook, 1 waiter
On the first day of your climb, you are likely to lose signal before reaching the gate and will not regain it until day two. From then onwards, for most routes, you will find the signal at some point, and sometimes even in camp. On the Rongai route and Northern, Circuit reception can be more limited and tends to be via Kenyan networks, as the routes pass close to the border.
At the base of the mountain, average temperatures are 70 to 90°F (21 to 32°C) throughout the year. On the summit, temperatures range from -10 to 23°F (-23 to -5°C) with windchill. Weather is changeable, and you should be prepared for these extremes. Your guide will help you decide on appropriate clothing in a detailed daily briefing.
Please ensure you have sufficient Medical Cover for the duration of your trip and in particular to cover you while doing the Kilimanjaro Climb. Africa Kenya Safaris recommends WORLD NOMADS . Check them out: https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance
Trekking poles have a number of benefits, especially if you have trouble with your knees or hips. There is scientific evidence they reduce the forces on your body, especially when walking down steep hills. Poles improve power and endurance when walking uphill, as energy output is distributed over more muscle groups. They help with balance on uneven trails and improve posture, which in turn can help with breathing.
KILIMANJARO CLIMBING IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Your Tour Includes
- 2 Nights’ accommodation at Springlands Hotel – Bed & Breakfast Basis
- All park fees
- National Park approved guides and porters
- 18% VAT
- Accommodation on the mountain (Three-man mountain tents used for two people only on all routes except for Marangu Route as accommodation is in huts.) Stools, a mess tent and hot water for washing are provided on the mountain.
- Meals on the mountain
- Transport from Moshi at Springlands hotel to the Starting point of the mountain and return to Moshi at Springlands hotel
- Transfer to and from Kilimanjaro Airport ($20/person one-way)
- Transfer to and from Kilimanjaro Airport
- Transfer from Arusha per private car hire
- Tips to driver, porters and guide
- Items of personal nature
- Climbing gear – sleeping bags, shoes etc.