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Description

The seven-day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7 day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is split up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested. The 7 days Machame route is highly recommended and is one of the most popular options on Mt Kilimanjaro.


Day 0: Pre-trek Briefing

If you have opted for the optional airport transfers, we will pick you up from Kilimanjaro Airport or Arusha airport and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi.

Pre-trek briefing at your Moshi hotel. You should be planning to arrive atleast one day before the start of the trek. Today we will spend in having a pre-trek briefing. We will also review your equipment and rent any equipment which is needed.

 

Day 1: Hotel to Machame Camp

Drive from Moshi to Machame Gate takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
Distance: 11km/7mi
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Meals: Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Walking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Moorland
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Climbing Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.

Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Distance: 4km/2mi
Climbing Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3090m/10,150ft
Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Hotel

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Monkey Adventures vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (around 60 minutes).

Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Forest
Meals: Breakfast

 

Tanzania Safari FAQ's

How Does the Difficulty of the Machame Route Compare to Other Routes?

The Machame Route is considered more challenging than some other routes. It involves trekking for 4-7 hours a day for about a week, with significant elevation gain each day. The Barranco Wall and the steep ascent up Kibo on summit night are particularly challenging, although no technical climbing skills are required.

Is Altitude Sickness a Concern on the Machame Route?

Altitude sickness is a serious concern on the Machame Route. The route design includes acclimatization time, but trekkers should be well-informed about the risks, symptoms, and warning signs of altitude sickness. The seven-day+ variations of the route allow for more acclimatization and is generally recommended for those concerned about altitude sickness.

What Are the Differences Between the 6-Day and 7-Day Machame Itineraries?

While both itineraries cover the same route, the 7-day option provides better acclimatization with appropriately elevated overnight camps and a less taxing schedule before the summit attempt. The 6-day itinerary, with its rapid altitude gain, is not recommended unless you are an experienced climber with prior acclimatization.

What is the success rate of the Machame route?

We do not believe in success rates as each hiker and individual can be very unique in their experience and bodies ability to acclimatize. That being said we would say a 7 day trek via the Machame route has a good chance of reaching the peak, a 8 day trek has an excellent chance of reaching the peak. Longer routes usually contribute significantly to higher success for reaching the summit.

Why is the Machame Route an Ideal Choice Compared to Other Routes?

The Machame Route is an ideal choice for many climbers due to its scenic beauty, providing varied landscapes and incredible views. It offers a balance of challenge and accessibility, with no need for technical climbing skills, and a high summit success rate, especially for the 7-day trek. The route's design, which includes a "climb high, sleep low" acclimatization strategy, contributes to its popularity and effectiveness.

How Busy Is the Machame Route?

Due to its popularity and lower cost, the Machame Route can be crowded. Many groups may be encountered along the trail, especially during peak seasons. To avoid crowds, some trekking groups start their journey earlier in the day.

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The Machame route has a fairly good success rate, thanks to many ups and downs allowing better acclimatization. To ensure a higher success rate it is best to take your time. The 7-day itinerary has an average summit success rate of 85%. For the 6-day itinerary success rate drops to 75% on average.

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