6 Days Ultimate Kilimanjaro Trek: Machame Route (Small Group)
Popularly referred to as the ‘whiskey route, the Machame route is one of the most popular and challenging routes to trek up Mt Kilimanjaro – boasting spectacular scenery and traversing a variety of habitats.
With a high summit success rate, this is the perfect itinerary for those looking to take on the challenge of reaching Africa’s highest point.
June – October (Please see departure dates at the end of itinerary)
Starting from USD 2,125
per person sharing
Hike Difficulty: Advance
Arusha – Machame Gate – Machame Gate Camp
Elevation (ft): 5,400 to 9,400
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
After breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, you are greeted by our guide and transferred to Marangu Park Gate in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
On arrival at Marangu Gate, you have time to check in and register with the park guides and porters, before we begin the trek up to Machame Camp through the beautiful Montane Forest.
Machame Camp – Shira Camp 2
Elevation (ft): 9,400 to 12,500
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Leaving behind the misty glades of the rainforest, the trail widens out into a vast expanse of heath – brimming with wild flowers, plants and stony paths.
Turning West, we pass over the river gorge before reaching our camp site.As we ascend, you are able to admire the magnificent views of the giant Kibo massif.
By afternoon, we arrive at Shira 2 Camp where we unpack and rest for the evening.
Shira Camp 2 – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp
Elevation (ft): 12,500 to 15,190 to 13,044
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 7 hours
After breakfast, we hike East up the steep ridge towards Lava Tower – an incredible 300ft tall volcanic rock formation set against a backdrop of desert landscapes and cloud formations.
After lunch near the volcanic tower, we descend through the Senecio Forest to the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall in order to reach Barranco Camp.
Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, this time spent at high altitude is beneficial for acclimatisation.
We then set up camp at Barranco, in time to enjoy an early sunset dinner.
Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,044 to 13,106 to 15,331
Distance: 9 km
Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
Habitation: Alpine Desert
Today, marks a long day as we head to the base of the Great Barranco where we proceed to climb the non-technical but steep façade of the Great Barranco Wall.
From the top of the wall, we cross a series of hills and valleys until we reach the Karanga Valley campsite.
From the campsite, you are able to see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi soaring above the African sky, before we set out to join the Mweka Trail.
From here, we continue up the rocky terrain to Barafu Camp.
Once we arrive at Barafu, we make camp, rest and enjoy an early night in preparation of tomorrow’s summit.
Before it gets dark, be sure to look out and admire the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo which are in perfect view from this vantage point.
Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp
Elevation (ft): 15,331 to 19,341 to 10,065
Distance: 7 km up and 23km down
Hiking time: 8 hours up and 7-8 hours down
Habitation: Scree and seasonal snow
We rise around midnight and commence our trek into the night. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of your trek, as we begin the six-hour climb through the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, traversing heavy scree to reach Stella Point on the crater rim
At Stella Point, we stop for a short rest and enjoy watching the sun slowly rise over the horizon. As we push on, we arrive at Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa and the final stop on our ascent. You’ve reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – the world’s highest free-standing mountain – and have the splendours of Africa at your feet.
Weather conditions on the summit determine how long we are able to spend here taking photographs and admiring the incredible vistas before we begin our descent. From the summit, we make our descent through the rocky terrain, passing through Barafu Camp for lunch and continuing straight down to Mweka Camp. We arrive back to Mweka Camp in the late afternoon, to enjoy a well-earned rest and a last dinner on the mountain.
Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Arusha
Elevation (ft): 10,065 to 5,380
Hiking time: 3 hours
After a leisurely breakfast, we begin the scenic three-hour hike back down to the park gate.
Transfer to your hotel in Arusha for a hot shower, a well-earned rest and to revel in the glory of having completed your summit to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro!
- Return transfers from your hotel in Arusha/Moshi to the park gates
- All park entry fees
- All camping and rescue fees
- Guide and porters’ fees
- All accommodation on the mountain, including three meals a day
- All cooking and kitchen utensils
- International and domestic flights
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in Arusha before and after the climb
- Any items of a personal nature such as: telephone calls, drinks, tips for drivers and guides etc
- Sleeping bags and mountain gear – although we can arrange for you to hire these on request