Kilimanjaro 7-day Machame Route
Climb to the roof of Africa
A challenging trek through Kilimanjaro’s varied ecosystems; from the tropical rainforest to the arctic zone. The Machame route is perfect for all who look for a scenic, yet expeditious route with excellent acclimatization to make it to the summit.
At a glance
Your safety is paramount. We boast a success rate over 97%, All our Wilderness First Responder certified guides has over 200 summits under their belts.
We continuously uphold our ethical standard through our partnership with Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), who ensure fair and ethical treatment of mountain staff.
Room Service anyone?
At camp in the morning, we will wake you up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea and offer a full breakfast in the dining tent.
Day 1 Arrival in Arusha
Meet & Greet at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to your accommodation in Arusha for dinner & overnight. In the evening you will be met by your guide and have briefing and gear check-up to prepare you for the climb.
Overnight at Rivertrees Inn or equivalent.
Day 2 Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Machame Gate (1,800m) to Machame Camp (3,000m)
Hike time: 3-4 hours; elevation change: +820 m; final elevation: 2720m.
Leave Arusha around 07:45AM for Machame Gate with the porters, guides and cooks who will spend the next seven days trekking with you to Uhuru Peak; the roof of Africa. The drive through coffee farms and villages to Machame Gate takes about 1.5 hours. Once you arrive, you will wait at the gate and enjoy a light lunch while we register your climb as the porters and guides make final preparations.
Your first day’s destination is Machame Camp. Each day, porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival. On this first day, you will hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. The forest will thin at the end of the hike and vegetation will change to include heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers. If the weather is clear, view the surrounding area and your ultimate destination – Kibo Peak.
Day 3 Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Machame Camp (3,000m) to Shira Camp (3,840m)
Hike time: 5-6 hours; elevation change: 850 m; final elevation: 3600m.
Departing from Camp after breakfast, the path continues through the heather and moorland. We cross the spectacular Shira Ridge and river streams created during the glacial period in East Africa. After lunch, you will climb the infamous Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled up the Shira Crater. You will have your first view of Kibo’s glacial peak, your camp will be set up by the crew while you rest and wait for dinner. Many people spend two nights here for full acclimatization.
Day 4 Shira Camp to Barranco Camp
Shira Camp (3,840m) to Barranco Camp (3,950m)
Hike time: 5-6 hours; elevation change: +690 m; final elevation: 3950 m.
Although this up and down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of 4,530 meters before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatization. After breakfast, hike East on the Shira Plateau before reaching the junction for the Shira and Lemosho Routes. Continue on through the barren landscape before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch, reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside. Barranco Camp, set among stands of Senecios Kilimanjaro, is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route.
Day 5 Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley
Barranco Camp (3,950m) to Karanga Valley (4,200m)
Hike time: 4-5 hours; elevation change: +250 m; final elevation: 4200m.
Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up the notorious Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places, you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatization.
Day 6 Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp
Karanga Valley (4,200m) to Barafu Camp (4,600m)
Hike time: 4hours; elevation change: +400 m, -980m; final elevation: 4600 m.
After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. Today you will hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner, as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike.
Day 7 Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Barafu Camp (4,600m) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) to Mweka Camp (3,100m)
Hike time: 12 hours; elevation change: +1295m, -1820m; final elevation: 3100m.
Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours you will hike by the light of your headlamp. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point. Despite the distance being relatively short, progress is slow – there is less than half the oxygen than at sea level! Make sure the tube of your camel bag won’t freeze as you need regular supply of liquid.
Uhuru Peak provides a unique satisfaction and usually releases a plethora of emotions. The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately one hour. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos with your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers.
At Barafu Camp enjoy a breakfast and a short break. You still have another 3-5 hours to descent before reaching Mweka Camp. Camp is pitched at 3100 metres/10, 1070 ft.
Day 8 Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Mweka Camp (3,100m) to Mweka Gate (1,500m).
Hike time: 3-5 hours; elevation change: -1600m; final elevation: 1500m.
The final descent takes you through the lower heath section that quickly turns into rainforest. Your time on Kilimanjaro ends at Mweka Gate where the vehicle will be waiting to transfer you back to the airport, or your hotel in Arusha.
Onward Travel arrangements or overnight at Rivertrees Inn or equivalent.
Day 9 Onward Travel arrangements
Airport transfer for onward travel arrangements or post trek extensions.
Why Nale Moru
We know the land.
We seek to show you the authentic Africa. The one that’s at once beautiful and raw, honest and unpredictable. In a place like this, you want to travel with experts. We are a boutique travel company run by experienced guides who have worked these lands for a combined total of 20 years and counting. We take you to our favourite spots, stay at boutique properties in exquisite locations and will never take you somewhere we haven’t been (and loved) already.
We design experiences like no other.
We delight in offering travelers some of the most rare and fascinating moments East Africa has to offer. Group tours and tourist trails are not our style – our itineraries are designed to maximise your safari experience. This includes access to remote areas where you’re likely to have the sunrise to yourself, encounter prominent ecologists and wildlife researchers or receive complimentary room upgrades. Whether it’s the laidback luxury of a casual tented bush camp, the refined elegance of the Singita’s or a boutique house on a remote private concession – we match the flavour of each experience to your style and preference.
We take care of you.
Your experience is our priority. We match you with the most knowledgeable and skilled naturalist guides and meticulously craft your itinerary with the finer details of VIP airport visa service, private transport, necessary permits, and luxury accommodation among many others. We choose only the most reliable suppliers and safest of routes, and we’re always on call to assist you throughout your journey. We understand that your time is precious and take care of everything, so all that’s left for you to do is immerse yourself in the adventure.
We travel responsibly.
We care about the local communities and ecological integrity of the areas we visit. We tread as lightly as possible, use no plastic on safari and provide eco-friendly meal hampers with BPA-free stainless-steel water bottles for your comfort. We are committed to helping East African communities through considered and respectful tourism – and give back as much as we can. That includes carbon offset options, as well as community donations and tree planting. Our commitment to sustainable tourism ensures that African ecosystems thrive and benefit future generations.
We have you covered.
We understand that safaris can be a big investment. So to offer you full financial protection and peace of mind, we carry comprehensive tour operator liability insurance as well as passenger liability insurance. Our safaris also include flying doctor medical evacuation premium.
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Nale Moru Experiential Travel Co.
1215, Old Farm House 2,
Kiranyi, Arusha, Tanzania
Telephone +255 788 835 575
Liability Insurance: T10691