All-Women’s Climb Along the Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Kilimanjaro | Tanzania
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to climb Kilimanjaro

  • Trip Highlight

    Test yourself on the Roof of Africa, the fourth highest of the Seven Summits

  • Trip Highlight

    Stunning scenery climbing through five diverse climatic zones

  • Trip Highlight

    Machame Route is the most popular one on Kilimanjaro for a reason

At 5,895m (19,341 ft), Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. This dormant Tanzanian volcano is one of the Seven Summits that every mountaineer has on their bucket list—with some determination, an expert guide, and a group of hard-driving women by your side, you too can try to reach the Roof of Africa. Passing through the cultivation zone, the Machame Route takes you through tropical rainforest, moorland, and alpine desert, until you reach snow and ice at the top. The route allows you to acclimatize to the high altitudes, making the summit success rates relatively high. Join a group of like-minded ladies on this truly life-changing experience and cross off Kilimanjaro from your bucket list!

Season

June

Nearest city

Your tour begins in Moshi, Tanzania

Duration

10 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

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All-Women's Climbing along the Kilimanjaro Machame Route

10 days

This 10-day climbing adventure takes you to the exotic Kilimanjaro, where you’ll develop the requisite skills to move efficiently and safely through varying terrain at high altitudes. The Machame route is often considered the most scenic approach to Kilimanjaro’s summit crater. You’ll traverse through five different vegetation zones, from the lush plains of Tanzania to the volcano’s glaciated peak. With a great support team, all meals included on the trek, and enough time to acclimatize to high altitudes, you’ll maximize your chances of reaching the Roof of Africa.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tanzania

Once you reach Moshi, your guide will transfer you to your hotel, where you will go over the itinerary, check your gear, and meet the group for a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Dinner

Aerial view of the city of Arusha, Tanzania

Day 2: Sightseeing & preparations

Use this day to explore the local culture by touring the Nkwaranga Village on Mount Meru. Once you get back to your hotel, make final preparations for the climb.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Fruits for sale on Arusha street. Tanzania.

Day 3: Commence Ascent of Kilimanjaro

In the early morning hours, you will take a ride to Machame Gate, from where you’ll trek to Machame Camp at 9,927 ft (3,026m). Along the way you’ll pass through the village of Machame and the dense rainforest on a winding trail.  

Accommodation: Machame Camp
Elevation: +4,000 ft/ +1,219m
Distance: 7 miles/ 11km
Duration: 5-7 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Posing in from of the Machame Gate, start of the trek

Day 4: Machame to Shira

After a hearty breakfast, follow the path up to a steep, rocky ridge and through a large river gorge until you reach Shira Camp at 11,500ft (3,500m), the second camp on the Machame Route. 

Accommodation: Shira Camp
Elevation: +3,000 ft/ +915m
Distance: 3 miles/ 5km
Duration: 4-6 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Climbing the mount Kilimanjaro, Machame route - night view over the Shira hut (3766m) campsite (Tanzania)

Day 5: Shira — Lava Tower — Barranco

Visit Lava Tower, a 300-foot (91-meter) tall volcanic rock tower formed by the volcanic activity that happened on the mountain centuries ago. This short trip will help you with acclimatization. After visiting this natural wonder, you’ll head back down passing the unique Senecio Forest until you get to the Barranco Camp at 13,044 ft (3,976m). 

Accommodation: Barranco Camp
Elevation: +2,800 ft/ 853m
Distance: 6 miles/ 10km
Duration: 6-7 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

View of the Lava Tower in the alpine desert zone of the Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro, under a light cloudy sky on a dry day on the Tanzanian volcanic mountain.

Day 6: Barranco to Karanga Camp

Begin your day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall and climb the steep, but non-technical cliff before you reach the Karanga Camp at 13,106 ft (3,995m). 

Accommodation: Karanga Camp
Elevation: +1500ft/ 457m
Distance: 3 miles/ 5km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking steep terrain with natural steps

Day 7: Karanga to Barafu

After a good night’s sleep, pack up and head to the Barafu Camp at 15,331 ft (4,673m). This is the ending point of the Southern Circuit, which offers views of Mawenzi and Kibo, as well as the peak. Rest and prepare for tomorrow when you’ll summit Kilimanjaro!

Accommodation: Barafu Camp
Elevation: +1,800 ft/ 549m
Distance: 2.5 miles/ 4km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Posing at the Barafu camp

Day 8: Summit

Summit day! Today you’ll test your skills and determination on the iconic Uhuru Peak at 19,341 ft (5,895m)—the highest free-standing peak in Africa. After a very early start, as you climb the most challenging portion of the way, you’ll be motivated and pushed forward by the most magnificent sunrise over Mawenzi Peak. After some pictures and a few moments to really soak up the views, descend back to Millennium Camp at 12,530ft where you’ll spend the night.

Keep in mind that the climb to Uhuru Peak is a great challenge and the summit is by no means guaranteed. However, if you come well-equipped and well-prepared, listen to your guides, and if the weather cooperates, you’ll maximize your chances of reaching the top.

Accommodation: Millennium Camp
Elevation: +4,200 ft/ 1,280m, -5,000 ft/ 1,524m
Distance: 10 miles/ 16km
Duration: 9-12 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Above the clouds on Kilimanjaro

Day 9: Mweka Gate to Moshi

After a challenging day, this descent to the Mweka Gate will seem like a breeze. Once you come to the end of your Kilimanjaro trail, head to the bustling Moshi.

Accommodation: Hotel
Elevation: -5,000 ft/ -1,524m
Distance: 5 miles/ 8km
Duration: 5-6 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Happy hiker leading the way

Day 10: Departure

Go around the city and explore Moshi before boarding your plane. If you feel like staying a bit longer, your guide will be happy to help you with suggestions!

A row of small aircraft used to ferry passengers to and from numerous dirt strips in the bush of Northern Tanzania.
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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Kilimanjaro

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, please refer to the Tanzania’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, English-speaking mountain guide with extensive knowledge of the area accompanied by local Tanzanian guides
    • 7 days of climbing
    • Airport transfers during the tour
    • Transportation during the tour
    • Accommodation
    • Main meals pre- and post climb
    • Meals on the trail (including water, coffee, and tea)
    • Team gear including mountaineering tents (double occupancy), kitchen, mess tent, bathroom setup, and team medical kit
    • Real-time GPS tracking and communication
    • Porter support up to 15kg per person
    • Pre-climb cultural tour of a Tanzanian village

What’s not included:

    • Transportation to Tanzania
    • Tanzanian visa (can be obtained either on arrival or in advance as an eVisa)
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Personal backpacking and climbing gear (including sleeping bag)
    • Climbing snacks (make sure to bring at least 2,500 calories of snacks)
    • Medical, travel, and rescue insurance (rescue insurance is mandatory – American Alpine Club or RipCord are recommended)
    • Sodas and alcoholic beverages
    • Personal expenses 
    • Safari costs or extra hotel nights in case of early arrival / late departure
    • Guide gratuities — optional

How fit do I need to be?

To climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame route, you need to be in excellent physical condition. Although the climb is best suited for those who have previous experience with endurance endeavors, you can also try to summit Kilimanjaro if you’re a first-time backpacker with extremely good fitness levels.

You will be hiking between 2-7 miles (3-11 km) a day, tackling between 2,000-7,000 ft (600-2,100+ m) of daily elevation gain while carrying 10-18 lbs of equipment (4-8 kg). While every day has its challenges, summit day is the most difficult, as it comes on the heels of five days of continuous extortion without rest days. To test if you’re ready, we recommend completing a trail half-marathon or hiking 15 miles (24 km) while carrying 20 lbs (9 kg). If you’re not feeling dead by the end of the day, you should be good to go.

The effects of altitude can be felt at elevations as low as 8000ft. Throughout the expedition, you will hike and sleep at elevations ranging from 4,600ft to >15,000ft (High Camp) with Kilimanjaro’s summit at nearly 20,000ft.  Kilimanjaro has a mountain-wide summit success of 45-55%. If you come physically prepared, pack adequate gear, and bring a lot of willpower, you’ll greatly increase your chances of reaching the top.

What if I’ve never climbed before?

No prior experience with climbing and backpacking is necessary, but it is always welcome. Although climbing Kilimanjaro is physically strenuous, it’s still suitable for first-time backpackers with a desire to push themselves in a mountain environment. Above all, your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. Listen to the given instructions and you’ll greatly increase your chances of completing the climb.

What about required equipment?

Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

    • Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
    • Waterproof duffle bag (around 80L, max weight allowance is 15kg/ 33lbs)
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2-3L capacity)
    • Warm sleeping bag (20F or 0F) & compression stuff sack
    • Sleeping bag
    • Sleeping bag liner (optional)
    • Headlamp & spare batteries
    • Glacier glasses & ski goggles
    • Insulated mountaineering boots & light hiking boots
    • Thick wool socks & thin trekking socks
    • Gloves (lightweight liner gloves, softshell gloves, insulated mittens)
    • Expedition-weight insulated puffy jacket
    • Hardshell (GoreTex) wind- and waterproof shell jacket
    • Softshell jacket
    • Warm mid-layer top & long-sleeve hoodie
    • Short or long-sleeved base layer top
    • Softshell pants & hardshell (GoreTex) pants
    • Fast-drying base layer bottom (no cotton)
    • Underwear
    • Buff, sun hat, and beanie
    • Light towel
    • Set of town clothes
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, chapstick with SPF, etc.)
    • 100% UV Sunglasses
    • Adapter
    • Camera — optional

You will need clothes for hiking during the day, resting in the evening, and for sleeping. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Your clothing should be lightweight, breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying, which means no cotton.

Tents and group gear will be provided by your guiding service, but you’re required to bring your own backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. If you do not have trekking equipment, such as sleeping bags and backpacks, you can rent it with KitLender.

The porters will carry your main duffel bag. The weight of this pack on Kilimanjaro is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds) per person. Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter. 

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • The group size for this adventure is 3-8 women climbers with guides. 
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Climbing days in Kilimanjaro can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, most people fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. From there, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or take a shuttle for a 40-min ride to Moshi. 

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. 

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