6 Days Machame Route - Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

  • Duration 6 days
  • No Of People From 1 person

6 Days Machame Route - Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

The Machame route is also known as the “Wiskey route” and most popular and successful route leading to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience. Because of the longer hiking hours and the steeper trails compare with the Marangu route.

Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by support crews. The Machame route is a very scenic and beautiful route, which can be completed in 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days, allowing for more time to acclimatise.

The key to the success of the Machame route is its topography, allowing hikers to climb high and sleep low, helping towards better acclimatisation. There are however two drawbacks on this route:

The Machame Route is favored by many trekkers for its beautiful scenery and the opportunity for gradual acclimatization, which can improve the chances of reaching the summit. While it's more challenging than the Marangu Route, it's a fantastic choice for those seeking a more adventurous and scenic journey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Firstly hikers will need to pass an area just before the Shira ridge and hike the Barranco Wall, both of which are physically demanding and also present a potential problem for hikers with a fear of heights.

Route Overview:
Duration: The standard duration for the Machame Route is 6-7 days, although variations of 7-8 days are also common. The additional days are often used for acclimatization.
Difficulty: It's considered a challenging route due to its steep and rugged terrain. However, it provides trekkers with more time for acclimatization, increasing their chances of reaching the summit.
Scenery: The Machame Route is known for its stunning and varied landscapes, from lush rainforests to alpine deserts and glacial terrain.

The Machame Route is one of the most popular and scenic trekking routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Here are the highlights of Machame Route

  • Machame Gate: The trek begins at the Machame Gate, located at an altitude of approximately 1,800 meters. Trekkers need to register and go through park formalities before setting out on their journey.
  • Rainforest Zone: The route starts in the lush rainforest, where you'll pass through dense vegetation and have opportunities to spot wildlife and various bird species.
  • Shira Plateau: The Machame Route takes trekkers through the Shira Plateau (3,840 meters) on the way to the summit. It offers unique panoramic views of the mountain.
  • Lava Tower: On day three, trekkers reach Lava Tower (4,630 meters), an iconic lava formation that provides breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape.
  • Barranco Wall: One of the highlights and challenges of the Machame Route is the Barranco Wall, a steep ascent that requires some scrambling. The reward is spectacular views and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Karanga Valley: Trekkers descend into the Karanga Valley and then ascend to the Karanga Camp (3,995 meters), which is an essential acclimatization point.
  • Barafu Camp: The final campsite before the summit attempt is Barafu Camp (4,673 meters), from where trekkers start their midnight ascent to Uhuru Peak.
  • Uhuru Peak: The climb to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) is challenging due to altitude and cold temperatures, but reaching the summit is an incredible achievement. Trekkers are rewarded with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Mweka Route Descent: After reaching the summit, the descent typically follows the Mweka Route, taking trekkers back through the rainforest zone to Mweka Gate, where the trek ends.

Regal Trails Adventures

Tour Features


Budget tour

This budget tour includes camping and hotels

Private tour

This tour will be organized exclusively for you and won’t be shared with others.

Can start any day

If availability permits, this tour can start on any day.

Can be customized

You can request changes to this tour

Suitable for solo travelers

Solo travelers can book this private tour.

Minimum age of 7 years

The minimum age for this tour is 7 years.

Activities And Transportation


A transfer from and back to the airport is included

Getting around: hiking/walking



You will be greeted by a Regal Trails Adventures representative when you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and taken to the Luxury Lodge in Moshi B&B for the night. Your head guide will meet you for a briefing, to check your equipment, and to make arrangements for you to rent any additional equipment.



Itinerary

DAY 1: MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP: 10.75K /7MI | 5-6 HRS | RAINFOREST

Regal Trails Adventures

Departing from Moshi a 45-minute drive will take you through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate.

We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here.

Elevation: 1811m/5942ft to 3021m/9911ft
Altitude gained: 1210m

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DAY 2: MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAMP: 5.3KM/3MI | 4-5HRS | MOORLAND

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After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we emerge from 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. Temperatures begin to drop.

Elevation: 3021m/9911ft to 3839m/12,595ft
Altitude gained: 818m

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DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP – LAVA TOWER – BARRANCO CAMP: 10.75KM/6MI | 5-6HRS | SEMI-DESERT

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Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization.

From Shira Plateau we continue east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the Kibo peak before we then continue, South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev. 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower, we come to a second junction, which leads to the Arrow Glacier. We then continue to descend to overnight at Barranco Camp.

Elevation: 3839m/12,595ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 147m

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DAY 4: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP: 8.5KM/5MI | 6-8HRS | ALPINE DESERT

Regal Trails Adventures

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

This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles. An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.

Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 646m

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DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT: 4.86KM /3MI UP | 5-7HRS | – MWEKA CAMP: 11.5KM /7.2MI DOWN | 5-6HRS | GLACIERS, SNOW CAPPED SUMMIT

Regal Trails Adventures

Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.

We continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers trying to stay warm and focused on the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way.

Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!

After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.

Elevation: 34662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gained: 1233m
Descent to 3106m/10,190ft
Altitude lost: 2789m

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DAY 6: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI: 9.1KM/6MI |3-4HRS | RAINFOREST

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After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye.

We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!

Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m

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Inclusions

  • Professional, English-speaking Wilderness First Responder & CPR certified Guide
  • Proper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters)
  • Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights Bed and Breakfast)
  • Airport Transfers
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water and Full Board Meals
  • All National Park & Hut Fees, Crew Permits and VAT
  • Quality Imported Equipments
  • Gate Transfers
  • Portable Private Toilet and Porter

Exclusions

  • Flights
  • Visa fees
  • Tips for porters and mountain crew
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Energy food & beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Personal hire gear such as trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Additional lodge nights

Destination Details
Mount Kilimanjaro is situated three degrees south of the equator in Northeastern Tanzania. As the tallest mountain in Africa and the world's highest free-standing peak, it is renowned for being one of the seven highest peaks globally. Interestingly, it stands out as the most accessible and least technically challenging to climb. The ascent requires no specialized climbing skills, making it achievable for individuals with moderate fitness levels.

Is This Expedition Suitable for You?
Upon arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you'll receive a warm welcome and be transported to your accommodation in Moshi. We recommend a day of rest before commencing your trek, with the option to use your transfer from Nairobi as a rest day. If time permits, explore local attractions like rice fields and rainforests, indulge in shopping in Moshi, or simply relax by the pool or with a massage.

Your trekking guide will brief you the evening before your journey, emphasizing the need to separate a dedicated bag for the trek. Rental equipment is available, and any excess luggage can be securely stored in your Moshi hotel. The following morning, enjoy a substantial breakfast before finalizing trip preparations at the trekking office. The drive to the trailhead, depending on the route chosen, may take up to an hour and can be quite rugged.

At the park gate, climbers complete final preparations and sign the national park registration book. Porters organize their packs, carrying essentials like food and water. It's crucial to have all daypack items with you, as porters move swiftly. The daily hike typically begins between 8-9 am, lasting 5-6 hours at a deliberately slow pace. The terrain lower down is breathtaking, offering fascinating views, while higher up, the vast landscapes unfold. Camps provide ample time for absorbing the surroundings and capturing memorable photographs.

The summit hike starts around midnight, adjusting to your chosen route and group speed. Depending on your fitness, some may halt at the crater rim, while others push on to the mountain's highest point. Guides prioritize a swift descent to minimize altitude issues, leading you past the last campsite to the next for an overnight stay.

Traveling Together
Group sizes are limited to 5-7 people, with the option to combine groups on the same route and day. Private groups are available at no extra cost, and efforts are made to accommodate single travelers within a group.

Guides and Support Crew
A local guide, proficient in English, Spanish, French, or German, is mandatory for Kilimanjaro treks. Porters accompany the trip to carry luggage, food, and equipment, leaving you with only a daypack for essentials.

Tips for Guides and Porters
Tips are provided after your trek. Small bills in U.S. dollars, Euros, or Tanzanian shillings are recommended. The suggested tip is $15/day

Transportation and Finances
Except for airfare, all Regal Trails Adventures trips cover transportation costs and arrangements within the destination country. Tanzanian shillings are the local currency, though U.S. dollars, Euros, and credit cards may be accepted at larger establishments. ATMs are available in major towns like Moshi and Arusha.

Kilimanjaro Climber’s Packing List

  • The porter's load is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds).
  • Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $5/day.
  • Store electronics in sealed waterproof bags (double-sealed if possible).
  • Wrap clothing in plastic bags.
  • In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants, and jacket at a minimum.
  • Add any other items you might need during the day since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
  • Regal Trails is interested in purchasing second-hand gear for rentals.
  • You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters or donations to the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society.
  • You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the Springlands Hotel for no charge.
  • You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at the Springlands Hotel for $1/day.
Baggage
  • Day pack, for you to carry
  • Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
  • Plastic bags
Clothing
  • Inner layer should be wicking – no cotton
  • Next layer should be insulating and warm, and the top layer should be waterproof but breathable.
  • Layers are essential as temperatures vary greatly.
  • Shorts for the first and last day only
  • Pants for hiking and lounging in the evenings
  • Short-sleeved or t-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts for hiking and lounging
  • Long underwear
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Down jacket or ski parka for temperatures well below freezing plus wind
  • Rain jacket and pants needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
  • Underwear and sport bras for women
Cold Weather Accessories
  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)
Footwear
  • Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle support
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • Gaiters
  • Hiking socks for warmer conditions
  • Wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture
Sleeping
  • Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping pad and repair kit
  • Tents are supplied by Regal Trails Adventures at no charge
  • Foam sleeping pads are provided by Regal Trails at no charge (Thermarest is highly recommended, however)
Other
  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
  • Get 3 liters of bottled water before the trip.
  • Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use steripens for water sanitization.
  • To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
  • Sun hat with brim
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Money ($400 or more in cash and/or travellers cheques, including some small U.S Dollar, Euro, or Tanzanian bills)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera, film, tripod
  • Video camera, tapes
  • Batteries
  • Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook, journal, pencil, and pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Electricity adapter
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
  • Chocolate or pens for village children, momentos for guides, porters, and other climbers
  • Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
  • Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
  • Sewing kit
  • Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
  • Business cards
  • Alarm clock
  • Calculator (for currency conversion)
  • Swim suit for hotel swimming pool
Toiletries
  • Toilet paper (and baggie to carry used paper while on trail)
  • Small towel
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
  • Comb, mirror
Documents
  • Passport
  • Yellow fever certificate
  • Tanzania Visa
  • Medical insurance
  • Address book
  • Vaccination records
  • Airline tickets
  • Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
  • Maps, guidebooks
  • Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and travellers cheques numbers. Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.
First Aid
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin
  • Throat lozenges
  • Bandaids
  • Moleskin
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
  • Bandages and tape
  • Diahrea medicine
  • Antihistemines
  • Ace bandage
  • Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
  • Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
  • Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
  • Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
  • Diamox (talk to your doctor)
Packing for your flight to Africa
  • U-shaped neck pillow (blow-up)
  • Books/magazines
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Walkman and music
  • Eye shades, ear plugs
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid
  • Critical climbing gear (in case baggage is delayed)

  1. What is the best time to trek Mount Kilimanjaro?

    The best time to trek is during the dry seasons, typically January to March and June to October.

  2. How difficult is the climb?

    Kilimanjaro is challenging but does not require technical climbing skills. A good fitness level and mental preparation are essential.

  3. What trekking routes are available?

    Popular routes include Machame, Marangu, Lemosho, and Rongai. Each offers a unique experience and varying difficulty levels.

  4. Do I need a guide for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    Yes, a certified guide is mandatory for all treks on Mount Kilimanjaro.

  5. What is the accommodation like during the trek?

    Accommodations range from basic mountain huts to tents, depending on the route. Private toilet tents may be available on some routes.

  6. How cold does it get on the summit?

    Temperatures can drop well below freezing at the summit, so adequate cold-weather gear is essential.

  7. What about altitude sickness?

    Altitude sickness is a risk. Our itineraries include acclimatization days to minimize this risk.

  8. What should I pack for the trek?

    A comprehensive packing list is provided, including clothing, gear, and personal items.

  9. Is training necessary for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    While no technical skills are required, regular aerobic and cardiovascular training is recommended to enhance your endurance.

  10. Can I charge electronic devices during the trek?

    Charging facilities may be available at some campsites. It's advisable to bring portable chargers and spare batteries.

  11. Are there age restrictions for Kilimanjaro trekking?

    Most operators have age restrictions, and participants should be in good health. Consult with your guide and healthcare professional.

  12. How do I book a Kilimanjaro trekking tour?

    Contact our team to discuss available dates, routes, and booking details. Advance reservations are recommended.

  13. What is the cancellation policy?

    Review our cancellation policy, including refund conditions and any associated fees.

  14. Is travel insurance required?

    Yes, comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for trekking and medical evacuation, is mandatory.

  15. How can I prepare for high-altitude trekking?

    Research and follow our pre-trek preparation guide, including fitness routines and altitude acclimatization tips.

  16. What is the currency used in Tanzania?

    The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). While major cities may accept U.S. dollars or euros, it's advisable to use local currency for better exchange rates.

  17. Is it necessary to get vaccinated before traveling to Tanzania?

    Yes, certain vaccinations, including yellow fever, are required. Consult with your healthcare provider or a travel clinic well in advance of your trip.

  18. What is the best time to visit Tanzania?

    The best time to visit is during the dry season, from June to October. This is ideal for wildlife viewing and trekking activities.

  19. What languages are spoken in Tanzania?

    Swahili is the official language, and English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. Learning a few Swahili phrases can enhance your travel experience.

  20. What are the must-visit attractions in Tanzania?

    Tanzania is renowned for its wildlife and natural wonders. Key attractions include the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar's beaches, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

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