The Machame route is our most successful and popular hiking route on Mt. Kilimanjaro, mainly as a result of the following two important factors:

Safari tour package:
A set-date, set-itinerary, group safari
Price per person*:
$1840 - $2370
Includes internal flights:
Length of safari:
7 days
Best months:
All year
Countries visited:
Parks visited:
Activity level:
Extreme - Technical climbing (Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru)
Safari type:
Romantic safaris Romantic Camping safaris Camping Cultural safaris Cultural
*Prices are estimates and used as guidelines only. Please contact the tour operator for an exact quote.
Like this package? Go on, give it a kudu!
1 person gave this package kudus.
This itinerary has been seen 1,066 times.
On day 3 of the hike the topography of this route, allow you to climb high and sleep low – when you start from Shira camp (3 847m) hike up to Lava Tower (4 642m) and then down to Barranco camp (3 984m) to overnight.

The summit attempt path from Barafu camp has less loose scree (rocks) compared to the summit attempt path from Kibo Hut, making it slightly easier to reach the crater rim.


Machame Gate (1828m) – Machame camp (3020m) Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: Approximately 10.8 km Habitat: Montane forest Your day starts early with breakfast, followed by a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame Gate (1828m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment at the gate. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about halfway and will reach the Machame camp (3020m) in the late afternoon. Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on arrival. In the evening the porters will bring a small bowl of washing water to your tent and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.


DAY 2 Machame camp (3020m) – Shira camp (3847m) Hiking time: 6 hours Distance: Approximately 5.2 km Habitat: Moorland You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 847m. The porters will once again supply you with a small bowl of washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.


DAY 3 Shira Camp (3847m) to Lava Tower (4642m) to Barranco camp (3984m) Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: Approximately 10.7 km Habitat: Semi-desert The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4642m after about a 5 hour trek. Lunch is served at a designated area. This is definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 658m to the Barranco camping area. After reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner to be prepared.


DAY 4 Barranco camp (3984m) – Barafu camp (4681m) Hiking time: 8 hours Distance: Approximately 9.4 km Habitat: Alpine desert After spending a night at the great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end usually turns out to be easier than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you will now appreciate just how beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you should reach Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karranga Valley, as there is no water available at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales, the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1214m higher and you will commence with your final ascent attempt, the same night. Prepare your equipment, hiking poles and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.


DAY 5 – summit attempt Barafu camp (4681m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3090m) Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Mweka Camp Distance: Approximately 4.5 km ascent and 10.8 km descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit You will get up around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers the 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5739m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to get going again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life! The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3090m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.


DAY 6 Mweka camp (3090m) – Mweka Gate (1641m) Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours Distance: Approximately 8.5 km Habitat: Forest After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 4 to 6 hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. Some hikers do experience knee problems which could make the descend longer than planned. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Visit the tips page for more info. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5739m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Kilimanjaro Clothing – Overview on all Kilimanjaro clothing requirements, including layered clothing recommendations and the all important outer layer (i.e. jacket)
  • Kilimanjaro Footwear – From hiking boots to socks and gaiters. Your feet are what get you up Mount Kilimanjaro. Don’t fall victim to purchasing bad boots or socks that will give you blisters!
  • Headgear – Here we cover useful gear to keep your head out of the sun during the hot and high solar radiation days that you will experience on Kilimanjaro, as well as keep your head warm and cosy on summit night.
  • In this section we also cover information and recommendations on Kilimanjaro headlamps – you will need a headlamp as you summit overnight
  • Hands and walking – Gloves and walking / trekking pole requirements. Both are critical. The former is very important as your hands are the first to start freezing on summit night. The latter can reduce the impact on your knees by up to 20%,
  • which is a major win when you are descending from the slopes of Kibo
  • Bags – From the Kilimanjaro kit bag to your day-pack. Getting the right type of duffel bag is really important as it will carry all your gear and needs to be of a type that is comfortable for a porter to schlep up Kilimanjaro. Your day-pack will be carried by you so it is key that you get something that is light and versatile – in this section we have provided useful recommendations
  • Sleeping – Kilimanjaro sleeping bag recommendations and other useful sleeping accessories, like an inflatable pillow. The sleeping bag you choose is important as the nights on Kilimanjaro can get below freezing. Here are detailed recommendations
  • Other accessories – Kilimanjaro accessories including water bottles and medications. You can also find detailed information on Diamox (the high altitude sickness prophylatic medication) here.
  • We often receive emails from readers asking for a Kilimanjaro kit list or checklist.
  • Our guidebook, Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit, provides a complete Kilimanjaro packing list which makes it super easy to methodically tick off each piece of kit when shopping or packing your kit bag. If you would like to download the guide and kit list, go here.
  • The Western Breach is the most technically challenging approach to Kilimanjaro. It was closed for a short period in early 2006 after a fatal rockfall claimed the lives of three trekkers. It has however re-opened with a new and safer route configuration, and is steadily growing in popularity.
  • For trekkers interested in the Western Breach we recommend reading my route description here.
  • There are some specific Kilimanjaro kit requirements for the Western Breach that you should be aware of. Many of these items are not mandatory, however should conditions on the Western Breach be adverse you may need the following:
  • Climbing helmet to protect your head from the potential risk of falling rocks
  • An ice axe and point crampons – it is unlikely that you will need these items, however if you are climbing during the wet season it is likely you will encounter sub-surface ice from refrozen meltwater and deep snow. Usually your guides will have the correct gear to cut steps on these sections (we recommend you confirm with your tour operator exactly what gear you will need for the Western Breach)
  • It is very unusual to need rope or a climbing harness. Again we would confirm with your tour operator which Kilimanjaro kit list they recommend you to bring should you decided to climb the Western Breach.
  • Haven’t booked your Kilimanjaro hike? We can put you in contact with the best and most affordable on-the-ground Kilimanjaro Tour Operators – click here for my recommendations.
  • The Ultimate accessory to document your Kilimanjaro Adventure
  • There is literally no better camera to capture your Kilimanajaro experience than the GoPro Hero3+. The footage you can capture with a GoPro on Kilimanjaro is simply amazing – see here for examples.
  • The Hero3+ comes in three editions – Black, White or Silver. Each GoPro package includes a 131’/40m Waterproof Housing, Wi-Fi Remote, Higher Capacity Li-ion Battery, Quick Release Buckle, Vertical Quick Release Buckle, 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount, 3-Way Pivot Arm and a USB Charging Cable. Capture your Kilimanjaro experience like a Pro! Review the bargain prices for the GoPro Hero on Amazon now!
  • Africa Serengeti Safaris
  • Email: info@africaserengetisafaris.com
  • Website: www.africaserengetisafaris.com

Safari tour packages (6)   See all tour packages

Change currency:

Africa Serengeti Safaris

- We offer private/custom safaris
- We offer group tours/safaris
- Our main focus is: High-end safaris
- We book pre/post-safari attractions
T: 255-715206986
Since: May 2015

Parks you will visit

Enlarge map to see all parks and current weather

Animals you will see

Genet cat
Genet cat
Honey badger
Honey badger
Expand/Reduce animals

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Rock climbing
Rock climbing
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Expand/Reduce activities
Shortlisted tour operators You can shortlist up to
5 tour operators