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Machame route 7 Days Itenerary

Day by day Activities

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you are met after passing through customs. Transfer toNgare Sero Mountain Lodge and have a comprehensive briefing and equipment check with your climbing manager and your guide. Overnight at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge

Accommodations: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner

Altitude gain: 5,380 to 9,350’; Hiking time: 5-7 hours, 7 miles

Drive from Arusha to Mt Kilimanjaro National Park, passing by the village of Machame to meet your climb crew at the Machame Gate. As you begin the gentle ascent, the trail winds though the verdant afromontane rainforest that beards Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes. Moss and tattered lichen dangles from tall branches, tree ferns rest in soft cradles, and begonias, busy lizzie impatiens, and violas bloom year-round in multiple colors on the forest floor. Many species of birds – as well as colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and other creatures of the forest – can be seen and heard. The first camp is set amongst giant heather at Machame Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

9,350 ft to 12,500 ft, 3 miles, approx. 4-6 hours

Leaving the glades of the rainforest behind, you continue on an ascending path along a steep ridge onto heather-clad moorland. This is known as the heath zone and, as the vegetation becomes more sparse, attractive helichrysum and lobelia are the only plants dominating the harsh mountain landscape. Various geological features can be observed, ranging from lava tubes to glacial valleys. A picnic lunch is taken on trail today. Continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau. By now you can see the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers, and after a short hike you reach the Shira Camp. Your tent tonight can definitely be described as “a room with a view” looking out towards the snow-dusted Kibo peaks. Overnight Shira Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

13,044 ft to 13,123 ft, 3 miles, 4-5 hours

You now have a relatively short day to reach Karanga Camp, after conquering the intimidating Barranco Wall. Be prepared to use all four limbs as you traverse the wall to the top of the Karanga Valley. From here, follow a path that sojourns through many inclines and declines to Karanga Camp, arriving in the late afternoon. Our selection of Karanga Camp is strategic – significant time at altitude is essential for safe acclimatization. Sunsets here are particularly spectacular with views of the southern glacial valleys and ice fields towering over 3000 feet above you. Overnight at Karanga Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

13,123 ft to 15,288 ft, 2 miles, 4-5 hours

Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in this high camp, allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp, yet in the evenings splendid views of Mawenzi Peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before resting for the evening. Overnight at Barafu Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

15,288 ft to 19,341 ft to 12,467 ft, 3 miles ascent, 7 miles descent, 7-8 hours ascent, 4-6 hours descent

Depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit, and this is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure. Most likely by dawn, as the first rays of light start to appear across the Tanzanian landscape, you arrive near the rim at Stella Point, at an altitude of 18,652ft. Here, you are rewarded with the most glorious sunrise you are ever likely to see, appearing over Mawenzi Peak.

Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! Take as many pictures as you can! After a short celebration at the summit, begin the ebullient trek down. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Camp, arriving before dusk. With every step the air has more and more oxygen so although your legs will be jelly your heart will be light. Overnight Mweka Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

12,467 ft to 5,380 ft, 6 miles, 3-4 hours

After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and at around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your hotel for a well-deserved shower and a celebratory dinner!

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you have a dayroom to pack, freshen up, and get ready for your flight home or your onward adventures in East Africa.

Price Range

$ 2200
Per person Sharing
Can be Customized

The trek begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of mountain, which is just a short drive from Moshi or Arusha.

The hike starts within Kilimanjaro’s lush, fertile, montane rainforest. As you might expect, the lower slopes receive a quite a bit of precipitation. The trail may be steep and slippery, so trekking poles are advised. As the route heads toward the Shira Plateau, the trees disappear and are replaced by low brush in the heather zone.

Then, the route climbs high to the volcanic plug, Lava Tower, before dropping and circling below the South Icefield. This circular pathway from Barranco to Karanga to Barafu is known as the southern circuit. As it traverses halfway around the mountain, climber’s are exposed to great vistas.

The long, strenuous approach to the summit is made from the east through endless switchbacks up increasingly loose gravel until we reach the crater rim at a mark known as Stella Point. Then the route is relatively flat for another hour to Uhuru Peak – the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The quick descent follows the Mweka trail.

The Machame route is considered a difficult route. The reason being that it is a steep trail and has more elevation gain than other routes.

A route profile, sometimes called an elevation profile, is a side view of geographical data which focuses on elevation. The Machame route gains and loses altitude throughout the trip, which requires more fitness to hike compared to other routes that are more of a gradual ascent.

However, this up and down movement is actually very beneficial for acclimatization because it follows the “climb high, sleep low” principle. Climb high, sleep low is a strategy by which you sleep at a lower elevation to which you have ascended during the day. This is known to stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells which carry oxygen.

So even though the route profile is considered difficult, Machame’s summit success rate is decent, around 70%-80% when done over 7 days.

There are seven major routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Each is well maintained, and each route has different pros and cons.

The seven routes on Mount Kilimanjaro are:

  • Machame Route
  • Lemosho Route
  • Marangu Route
  • Rongai Route
  • Shira Route
  • Northern Circuit Route
  • Umbwe Route

Foot traffic on the routes is regulated by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. It is required to have a guide for tours on Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging peak to climb. Many people tackle the mountain every year, and not just hard core backpackers and experienced mountaineers. It is suitable for beginners or novices as well.

Everyday people, including accountants, engineers, food servers and teachers, successfully reach the top. Children as young as 6 years old and seniors as old as 89 years old have done it. Experts agree that anyone who is in average physical shape can climb Kilimanjaro, which is why the mountain is so popular amongst the general adventure seeking population. No technical mountaineering ability is required.

We guide over 1,000 clients to the summit of Kilimanjaro annually. Many of our participants have never been on such a tall mountain and have limited hiking experience. It shows us that you don’t have to be super fit or even a particularly strong hiker.

As long as you are in decent shape, you have a good chance of reaching the top.

The key to climbing Kilimanjaro is ascending slowly. By gradually increasing the elevation, the body has sufficient time to adapt to the low oxygen environment. Trip length is the most important factor when it comes to successfully climbing Kilimanjaro as the primary reason people fail is due to altitude sickness, not physical exhaustion. In other words, those who acclimatize well will most likely make it to the top. Those who don’t will not.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It stands an impressive 19,341 feet tall over the Tanzanian plains. Mount Kilimanjaro is also the tallest free standing mountain in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range (such as Mount Everest and the Himalayans).


The weather on the mountain varies widely depending on the elevation and season. It can be extremely cold near the summit, so warm, windbreaking clothing is a necessity. Heavy rain is also possible at any time, so quality waterproof gear is mandatory. All climbers should be well equipped.

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry season. January, February, July, August, September, October are the best months to go. The rainy season occurs during the months of March, April, May, June, November and December. Kilimanjaro can be climbed year round.

The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro on the Machame route ranges from $2,000 to $6,000 depending on which operator you choose, the duration of the trip, and the number of clients in your party.

The Machame route can be climbed in 6 or 7 days. Because of the increase in park permits, crew wages, and food costs, the price of the 7 day Machame route is higher than the 6 day variation.

At the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 21 to 27 °C and at the summit, Uhuru Peak, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius).

The Machame Route climb can be done in a minimum of six days (five nights) on the mountain. However, it is most often tackled over seven days (six nights), for a better altitude acclimatization schedule. The success rate is significantly higher when using the seven day route.

The Machame Route is approximately 62 km/ 37 miles from gate to gate, with an elevation gain of about 16,000 to 17,000 feet.

Machame is designed for those with above average fitness and some hiking experience. But, plenty of first time trekkers use the route as well and do just fine. It is rated as one of Kilimanjaro’s better routes and thus is recommended. It is certainly a better choice than the typical tourtist’s route – Marangu.

The table below depicts a variation of the 7 day Machame climb with starting and finishing points, altitude, distance and hiking time. This is considered to be the ideal Machame route variation.

The Kilimanjaro National Park authority has declared all the travelers above ten years can go for a successful Kilimanjaro Climb.


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