7 Days Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route

The Machame or (Whiskey Route) has a total length of 65km and one of the most popular for Kilimanjaro climbers. We highly recommend 7 days program which offers 95% success rates due to gradual acclimatization and will suit anyone aspiring to climb Kilimanjaro. The short 6-day program is not recommended unless it’s for ONLY those with climbing experience, high levels of fitness and a yearning for a challenge.

Day By Day Itinerary

Machame Gate to Machame Camp

 Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
 Distance: 11 km
 Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
 Habitat: Rain Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. And the drive from Arusha to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park gate takes about 1 hour 20Minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, 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.

Machame Camp to Shira Cave Camp

 Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
 Distance: 5 km
 Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
 Habitat: Moorland After breakfast,

We leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira Cave campsite.

Shira Cave Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp


■ Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft

■ Distance: 10 km

■ Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

■ Habitat: Semi Desert


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.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut (also known as Amsterdam) at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp


■ Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft

■ Distance: 5 km

■ Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

■ Habitat: Alpine Desert After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp


■ Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft

■ Distance: 4 km

■ Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

■ Habitat: Alpine Desert

Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut


■ Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)

■ Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent

■ Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

■ Habitat: Arctic


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 (18,600 ft), 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 may encounter snow on your 1- hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Mweka Camp to Moshi/Arusha


■ Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft

■ Distance: 10 km

■ Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

■ Habitat: Rain Forest 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).