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Kilimanjaro Machame route Kili captured in mist
Kilimanjaro 6 days | 5 nights

Kilimanjaro Machame route 6

Kilimanjaro Machame route, popularly known as Whiskey route, is a true adventure with dramatic ups and downs through dense rainforest, moorlands, barren alpine desert and over snow and ice. This itinerary is for 6 days climb, you can add extra day for acclimatization.


See the sunrise from the rim of the crater on Kilimanjaro

Highlights of the journey

Uhuru Peak

Fulfill your dreams and stand on the top of Kilimanjaro

Sunrise views from the rim of the crater

Stop at the rim of the crater to see the most amazing sunrise

Barranco Wall

From a distance it looks like a wall impossible to scale but when you get closer you see that it is quite easy to go up the steep wall

Lava Tower

Amazing formation on the dormant volcano where you make a stop for some photos for your Instagram


African Tours & Safaris founder Arnold Moshi is a trained and experienced Kilimanjaro guide


Hikers on Kilimanjaro at dusk with views of Mount Meru in the west


Day 1: Start Kilimanjaro expedition

At 07:30 your Kilimanjaro guide will pick you up at your hotel and you drive to Machame Gate. En route to Machame Gate your guide will go over the climb with you. The drive to Machame Gate takes about 1,5 hours. At the gate you register at KINAPA:s Office (Kilimanjaro National Park), where all the equipment is weighed and permits issued (just a formality) and then you start walking.

The first hour goes through rainforest, slowly and gradually ascending but after that you will get to some steep climbs. The climb gets less steep after a while when the rainforest gradually gives way to the moor lands where Machame Huts are located. The first day is quite tough.

Walking time: 6-8 hours
Elevation: +1200 meters, end up at 3100 meters
Camping at Machame Hut

Day 2: Machame Huts to Shira Huts

After breakfast at Machame Huts you cross a stream and then start climbing a rather steep trail up the rim of the mountain until you reach Shira Huts located by a semi circular rock formation.

Walking time: 6-8 hours
Elevation: +750 meters, end up at 3850 meters
Camping at Shira Hut

Day 3: Shira Huts to Baranco Huts

On this day you pass by the spectacular Lava Towers on the south side of Kibo and Uhuru Peak. This day ends only 100 meters higher then yesterday but you will have lots of ups and downs and this is an important day for acclimatization. 

Walking time: 5-6 hours
Elevation: +100 meters, end up at 3950 meters
Camping at Barranco Hut

Day 4: Baranco Huts to Barafu Camp

This day is quite long with a lot of ups and downs and you end up about 650 meters than where you start. This makes it a very important day for acclimitazation. The day starts with a walk out of the valley via Barranco Wall on the eastern side. Barranco Wall is a 400-meter high rock wall and it may seem steep and impossible to climb from a distance but is actually quite an easy climb. At the top of Barranco Wall you will stop for a while to enjoy the beautiful view.

After Barranco Wall you will walk with Kibo over your left shoulder for a few hours and then a long downhill takes you down to Karanga Valley. Out of Karanga Valley the climb gets steep again and this is where you normally start to feel that the air is thin and you will feel out of breath quite easily. It is a hard day but the feeling is great when you arrive at Barafu Camp. Barafu is Swahili for Ice and it is very cold at this altitude. After an early dinner you should go to sleep because summit day starts at midnight. 

Walking time: 6-8 hours
Elevation: + 650 meters, end up at 4600  meters
Camping at Barafu Camp

If you choose to add an acclimatization day on your Machame Route climb this day is split into two. On Day 4 you will walk from Barranco Huts to Karanga Valley and sleep at Karanga Valley Camp. On day 5 you continue the walk to Barafu Camp. Adding an extra day gives your body extra time to acclimatize.

Day 5: Summit attempt

Wake up call is at midnight. Get up and get your thermal underwear and warm clothes on. We recommend you bring your ski outfit because it may get very cold (-15 degrees is common). Today you will try to ascent Uhuru Peak via a very long, steep and strenious walk. The walking start with your head torch and in the light of the full moon. Walking to the rim of the crater will take about 6-7 hours and there you will see the most magnificent sunrise of your life so do not forget your camera.

After sunrise you will continue for 1-2 hours to Uhuru Peak for the best view in all of Africa. You only stay at the top for 10-15 minutes before you start descending to Barafu Camp again. Back down at Barafu, 4-5 hours walking, you will have a well deserved breakfast and rest for a while and then you will continue down the mountain along the steep Mweka route, only used for descent. At Mweka Camp you will spend your last day on the mountain. 

Walking time: 7-9 hours to the peak and then 6-8 hours descending
Elevation: +1300 meters and then -2800 meters 
Camping at Mweka Camp

Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate and then back to Arusha

After breakfast you start descending the last bit down to Mweka Gate. On tired legs it will take you about 3-4 hours to descend 1250 meters. The temperature will rise as you descend and it will feel great for sore limbs. At the gate we say goodbye to Kilimanjaro and then, most likely, you will fall asleep in the car on the two-hour drive back to Arusha. 


View from Kibo towards Mawenzi peak


Combine a Kilimanjaro ascent with a safari to Tanzania's iconic parks Serengeti, Lake Manyara and/or Ngorongoro Crater

Included in this expedition

  • 6 days Machame route Kilimanjaro climb. 
  • All park fees on Kilimanjaro and safari
  • Kilimanjaro Expeditions in a private expedition
  • All transfers specified in the itinerary
  • All meals specified in the itinerary
  • All meals and drinks during Kilimanjaro climb
  • Comfortable thick mattress and pillow to make sure you sleep comfortably
  • Expert guiding by African Tours & Safaris Kilimanjaro guides. Our guides are experienced and well trained, they know CPR and carry oxygen.
  • African Tours & Safaris staff coimmittment guarantee; all staff on the expedition eat the same quality food you do, sleep in the same quality tents you do and have proper clothes and personal equipment. All porters are hired via the Kilimanjaro Porters Association and get properly paid and never carry excess luggage beyond restrictions.
  • Top quality food provided by your personal chef, made from locally grown and ingredients. Your chef buys food the day before your trip to make sure you have fresh food.
  • Flying Doctor insurance. For th eunlikely event that you get injured and/or sick during your climb you will be evacuated by helicopter and flown to a hospital in Nairobi
  • 24 h service by your personal guide 
  • 24 h emergency service via our office in Arusha

Not included 

  • International flight tickets
  • Visa for Tanzania
  • Cost for vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag, proper clothes, walking poles and other personal equipment for the Kilimanjaro climb
  • Tips
  • Laundry, Internet and other personal costs
  • Drinks for dinners and lunches eaten at hotels 

Join us for the adventure of a lifetime on Kilimanjaro's famous Whiskey Route