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Climb Kilimanjaro Summit


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Mount Kilimanjaro stands on the East African plateau, on the Tanzanian side of the Kenya border, overshadowing its smaller sister volcano, Mount Meru. Mount Kilimanjaro is deemed to be a dormant volcano, created during the formation of the Great Rift Valley in the Pleistocene era.


Kilimanjaro National Park comprises all of the mountain above the tree line. The name 'Kilimanjaro' has varying interpretations, from "Mountain of Greatness", Mountain of Whiteness", "Mountain of Caravans", and "Small Mountain of Caravans" which are all names derived from the Swahili, or Chagga dialects. In addition, there is a word in Swahili, “kilima” which means top of the hill. An additional claim is that it comes from the word "kilemakyaro" in the Chagga language, meaning "impossible journey".


Albeit a bit steeper, the Machame route is often considered to the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, accommodation on the Machame route is in tents, which are included in the cost of the climb.  However, like with all other routes, porters carry all of your equipment and supplies and a cook prepares all your meals. The Machame route is also referred to as the "Whiskey route", and offers one views of incredible late afternoon sunsets at Shira Camp, to breathtaking views of Kibo as the later afternoon mists clear.  The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days and follows the acclimatization principle of “climb high and sleep low” For this reason, the Machame route takes you from 3200m at Shira Camp, high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the third day and back down again to 3950 for an overnight stay at Barranco camp (3950m)


Machame Route itinerary


Day 1: Arrive

Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight hotel.


DAY 2: Machame

Your day starts around 06h00 with breakfast, after which you head to Machame village and on to Machame camp to start trekking. Rain in the forest is possible although the paths are in very good condition having been re-worked in 2005. About half way, you will stop for lunch before continuing up to Machame camp in the late afternoon.


DAY 3: Machame to Shira

You will head out of Machame camp and climb quite steeply for about for the hour until you are above the forest area and then follow a more gently gradient toward the base Shira Plateau. Then you will head up the rocky outcrop before heading in an easterly direction, towards Shira Camp.


DAY 4: Shira to Lava to Baranco

After breakfast, you will quickly leave the moorland scrub behind and enter into a moonscape of semi-alpine desert, while you hike constantly upwards toward Lava Tower. After Lava Tower your route will head down by almost 680m to the Baranco camping.


DAY 5: Baranco to Karanga to Barafu

Early morning, you will head up the impressive Great Barranco Wall. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over several ridges and valleys where you will see the magnificent giant Senecio Kilimanjari. You will then join up with your later descent route where you will head left up the ridge for another hour, before reaching Barafu Hut.


DAY 6: Barafu to Uhuru to Mweka

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you will head off 'pole pole' into the night. Heading in a North westerly direction you will ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point (5685) on the crater rim. The hike up is about 6 hours. The remainder of the climb to Uhuru Peak will take anything from 1-2 hours. After your moment of glory, you will head back to Barafu, in about 2 hours where you will have a chance to rest, buy a cola or two before heading down towards Mweka hut (3100m).


DAY 7: Mweka to Hotel

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour scenic hike back to the Park gate. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.


Day 8: Depart

After breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your departure flight home.


End of services




For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link telephone and email link on the right




Location: Tanzania

Total Tour Duration: 8 Days

Accommodation: Hotel, Tents

Minimum Group Size: 1

Departures: All Year

Best : Dec – March, June to October



Distance: approx100km

Group size: minimum of 1 person

Altitude : High - risk of altitude sickness

Non technical trek

Fully guided by registered mountain guide

Porter climber ratio: approx 4 to 1



Northern Circuit

Machame Route

Umbwe Route

Rongai Route

Shira Route

Lemosho Route

Marangu Route

Kilimanjaro short treks

Full Moon dates

Trekking Map

Meals on the Mountain

For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link below:

Machame Route


Mt Kilimanjaro Difficulty Indicator: 

Extended trek with some climbing required over rock, or snow. High altitude trekking but not technical expertise required. Altitude climbed per day is 1000m




Other tours in Africa: 

Rwanda Gorilla

Uganda Gorilla

Uganda Rwanda Safari

Kibeho Pilgrimage

Kenya Safari

Cycling in Kenya

Mt Kenya

Tanzania Safari


Mt Meru





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Last modified: December 02, 2019 

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