MACHAME 7 DAY CLIMB
7 day private camping trekking tour + 2 nights hotel stay
The Machame route is increasingly the most popular and perhaps the most beautiful trekking route on Kilimanjaro. It begins in the rainforest and soon opens up to offer spectacular views of Mount Meru, Shira Ridge and Kibo peak, the main summit point of the mountain. This route has more steep sections than the more constant Marangu or Rongai routes and is a tougher ask of the climber, but the diverse and interesting terrain and the vistas are well worth it. Machame joins the longer Lemosho route at Shira Camp 2.
Start: Machame Gate (1790 m)
Finish: Machame Camp (3020 m)
Altitude: ↑ 1230 m
Walking time: 5-6h
A long first trek that offers a beautiful climb through the mountain forest.
Start: Machame Camp (3020 m)
Finish: New Shira Camp (3845 m)
Altitude: ↑ 825 m
Walking time: 4-6h
Wonderful views of the Shira Ridge and the Kibos mountain range. The route is shorter than the previous day.
Start: New Shira Camp (3845 m)
Finish: Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Altitude: ↑ 815 m ↓ 680 m
Walking time: 6-7h
A longer stage with great views and fantastic vegetation.
Start: Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Finish: Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Altitude: ↑ 100 m ↓ 25 m
Walking time: 3-4h
Begins with a steep climb then rises and falls. Additional climbing day for a better acclimatization.
Start: Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Finish: Barafu Camp (4640 m)
Altitude: ↑ 605 m
Walking time: 3-4h
Moderate ascent. Views of the southern glaciers. The altitude will become noticeable.
Start: Barafu Camp (4640 m)
Finish: Uruhu Peak – Mweka Camp (3080 m)
Altitude: ↓ 1255 m ↓ 2815 m
Walking time: 10-14h
Very steep, long and cold climb to Stella Point. Spectacular panoramic views of the creator ridge and the summit. Relatively steep and long descent with the altitude playing a major role.
Start: Mweka Camp (3080 m)
Finish: Mweka Gate (1630 m)
Altitude: ↓ 1450 m
Walking time: 2-3h
Easier and relatively shorter descent with good paths. Luscious rainforest.
Kilimanjaro Airport – Usa River
Once you have arrived safely at Kilimanjaro airport you will be met by one of our friendly drivers who will transfer you to the Meru View Lodge in Usa River. Should you arrive early you can explore the small town of Arusha, which is only a short taxi ride away, or you can just relax at the lodge and get ready for the days ahead. You will also meet with one of our operations staff who will explain everything you need to know regarding your trek and check all your equipment.
Day 1 Usa River – Machame Gate (1790 m) – Machame Camp (3020 m)
You will be picked up after breakfast and make your way to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate for the start of your climb. Once you have arrived your guide will get started with the formalities (entrance forms) while you observe all the different teams and mountain crew getting ready for their expedition. It’s always a fascinating experience for clients to watch them load all the different items for the trip. As soon as everything is prepared your adventure will begin. The destination for today will be the Machame Camp which you should reach in about 5 – 6 hours. On route you will experience a wonderful rainforest with ancient trees, primeval ferns, liana & lichen to mention but a few. Another favourite to look out for on this day is the black and white thumbless colobus monkeys. Once you arrive at your campsite for the night you have time to relax before enjoying a well deserve dinner prepared by our own cook.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 2 Machame Camp (3020 m) – Shira Camp (3845 m)
Although today is a shorter stretch then yesterday you will still have an early start which will allow you to reach today’s destination around mid-afternoon. The landscape changes dramatically from the green mountain rainforest into moor and heath land. You will have a beautiful view of the mountain range from your campsite which is situated at the Shira Plateau. The glacier of Kibo also lights up as the sun sets for the evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Shira Camp (3845 m) – Lava Tower Hut (4640 m) – Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Today is a good day for the body to acclimatize for the days to follow. You will climb roughly 700 m but will sleep on a level not much higher than the night before. We will start at Shira Plateau and make our way up to Lava Tower at around 4640 m, after a rest we will continue through the Barranco Valley until we reach our destination for the day the beautiful Barranco Camp. Today’s trek will be approximately 6 – 7 hours, during which time you will experience the alpine desert as well as the Barranco Valley with its small lobelia plants and giant senecio’s. You will sit down for a well-deserved dinner before it’s time to rest in preparation for the next day.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Barranco Camp (3960 m) – Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Just after breakfast we concur the famous Barranco Wall. You might need your hands once in a while for better grip, but with that being said, there are no climbing passages, and as safety is very important please listen to our guides who will ensure you get to the top safely. There will be a lot of ascents and descents today followed by a walk along the mountain ridge. This will reward you will a great view of the glacier of Kibo. Walking time today will be 3 – 4 hours with the Kibo summit all the time on your left accompanying you to your camp for the night.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Karanga Camp (4035 m) – Barafu Camp (4640 m)
Barafu Camp is our destination for today and will be reach after 3-4 hours. Most of this time you will be walking through the moon-like alpine dessert. After a satisfying dinner you will have an early night and a good rest. The highlight of your trip is now only some hours away.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Barafu Camp (4640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka Camp (3080 m)
The climb will start at midnight. You will be woken up just before that to have some tea and biscuits. Around 5 – 7 hours later you will reach Stella Point which is the crater rim of Kilimanjaro. After another 1 – 2 hours you will reach Uhuru Peak at a height of 5895 m. This is truly a magnificent sight standing on top of Africa’s Highest Mountain watching the sunrise. This view will be one to remember and will make every minute of the last couple of days trekking worth your while. You will descent along the same way back to Barafu Camp which you will reach after 1 – 2 hours. The rest of the mountain team will be there waiting for you with some well deserve snacks and refreshments. You will rest for an hour or two before making your way to Mweka Camp where you will spend your last night on the mountain.
Day 7 Mweka Camp (3080 m) – Mweka Gate (1630 m) – Usa River
After breakfast you will have a traditional farewell ceremony from all your mountain crew. After a short 2 – 3 hours walk through the rainforest our driver will be waiting for you at the Mweka gate. You will then be transferred back to your hotel for a well deserved shower, a cold drink, a debrief and the awarding of your certificate of achievement. The rest of the day is yours to relax and to reflect back on this once in a lifetime experience.
Usa River – Kilimanjaro Airport
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro Airport or can head out on safari with us.
- Trekking tour according to the itinerary
- Accommodation in tents and hotels as indicated in the itinerary
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Personal porter
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Drinking water
- Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
- Camping equipment – tents, sleeping mattress and camping furniture
- Portable toilet and toilet tent
- National park fees
- Rescue fees
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages other than water (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
- Sleeping bag (can be rented, please ask us at the time of the booking)
- The group size is the client’s decision and can vary from a solo hiker to a group of over 50 guests.
- On a private climb, you choose you hiking partners. You will not be teamed up with strangers.
- As per the national park authorities, the minimum age for climbing Kilimanjaro is 10 years but seeing that children are more prone to altitude sickness than adults, we recommend a minimum age of 14 to 16 years. There is no maximum age restriction, but a medical check-up is advisable for people over the age of 60.
- Kilimanjaro is one of the few mountains of its height, than can be summited without mountaineering skills or experience. You should, however, be healthy and fit enough to manage the 4-6 hour hike each day, as well as the 12-14 hour hike on the day of the summit. For the last stretch, much endurance and willpower is needed.
Generally yes. We do, however, discourage any attempts during the main rainy season (end of March to beginning of June). During the short rainy season (November), daily short rainfalls and cloudy views can be expected. From December until the end of February, temperatures are at their highest and rainfall is at its minimum. The best time to travel is between the end of June and the middle of October, when temperatures are a little lower and there is almost no rain.
The Machame route also known as the ‘Whiskey route’ is the most picturesque route and offers hikers spectacular views of the summit. However this is also the route with the most exposure to unpleasant weather conditions such as rain, clouds and fog. On the other hand, this is the reason why the vegetation here is so beautiful and dense. Seeing that the Machame route is steeper and because of all the ups and downs, this route is physically more demanding than the Marangu and the Rongai routes. The descent follows the Mweka route.
Overnight accommodation will be in two-man tents and sleeping mats are provided. Single travellers usually share a tent with another group member of the same gender. Single tents can be provided on request at additional cost.
There are no ablution facilities except for basic long-drops (very simple latrines), but on private climbs mobile chemical toilets are included.
- Fresh water will be collected from the available sources on the mountain and is boiled before it’s served. Porters will carry water in canisters for the higher areas, where no more fresh water is available. All meals are freshly prepared by your cook.
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
- Breakfast usually consists of fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, toast and jam, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. For lunch you are usually provided with a lunch box that contains sandwiches, boiled eggs, chicken etc.
- For dinner you will be served a soup and bread followed by the main course that either consists of red meat or poultry served with some sort of starch (chips, mashed potatoes, pasta or rice) and vegetables. For dessert you will get fresh fruit, hot chocolate, coffee or tea and milk.
- Breakfast and dinner are served in a mess tent that is equipped with a table and chairs while lunch is enjoyed en-route.
- We are able to provide meals for vegetarians or people with other dietary requirements or food allergies but we need to know in advance in order to cater for special requests.
Almost every hiker attempting Kilimanjaro will notice the altitude and the thinner air. Fitness fanatics are just as likely to suffer from it as couch potatoes. Symptoms include headaches that are often accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea. More often than not, symptoms are mild, allowing you to continue to ascend. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and a rapid descent is required, after which your body tends to recover quite quickly. Please however always keep in mind, that severe altitude sickness can be life threatening and it may even lead to death. We do not recommend the use of medication, as it suppresses the symptoms of altitude sickness. We do however encourage you to drink enough water to replace the fluids lost from the physical activity. Two to four litres per day are recommended, as well as mineral supplements (magnesium) to help replace lost minerals and to prevent muscle cramps.
- Unfortunately there are no state of the art mountain rescue services like the ones to be found in the European Alps for example. If you no longer have the ability to walk, you will either be carried or transported on a wheeled stretcher. This is by no means a pleasant experience which is why we encourage you not to overstrain your body and to travel safe. Helicopters can only land at a lower altitude and are therefore rarely used.
- Please ensure that you are covered by your health insurance while travelling. If you do not have sufficient coverage, we highly recommend taking out appropriate travel insurance. Your insurance should cover all your medical expenses including costs for rescue and repatriation.
- It is common practice to tip the members of your mountain crew after the climb. Tips make up a large portion of their income and are therefore highly appreciated. Below are some guidelines based on a group (not per person)
- Guide: 15-18 USD / day
- Assistant Guide: 12-15 USD / day
- Cook: 8-10 USD / day
- Waiter: 7-9 USD / day
- Porter: 6-7 USD / day
- Of course the above is just a guideline. If you are happy with the service received, you are welcome to show this when it comes to tipping.
- If you plan to tip in USD, please make sure the notes have been printed after 2004 as any earlier dated bank notes are not valid and can therefore not be used in Tanzania.
- Travel bag, backpack or kitbag, weighing no more than 12kg. Please do not bring a suitcase or trolley bag, as this type of luggage cannot be carried by the porters.
- Day backpack with rain protection.
- High quality sleeping bag for harsh conditions (at night temperatures can drop to -20°C).
- Different layers of clothing including thermal base layers, fleece clothing, trekking pants, warm jacket and water-resistant top layers as well as a warm headgear.
- Water-resistant and comfortable hiking boots and a variety of trekking socks.
- Please note that the above list is not complete and these are just a few things that you will have to bring with you. Once we have confirmed your booking, you will receive a more detailed list.
- Citizens of all nationalities need to contact the embassies of their travel destination to check the visa regulations.
- In general, European citizens can apply for a Tanzanian Tourism Visa upon arrival in Tanzania.
- It is the sole responsibility of every traveller to be in possession of the required documents and visa that allows them to enter their holiday destination.
- The trekking tour starts and ends in Tanzania, a yellow fever region, which is why we recommend a yellow fever vaccination.
- Although there are no mosquitoes at high altitude, Tanzania is within a malaria region. It is up to you if you wish to take medication, but we suggest that you speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side-effects.
- Although Tanzania does not require proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.