Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

Kilimanjaro | Tanzania
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5 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

  • Trip Highlight

    Climb Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa

  • Trip Highlight

    Pass through five different climates during your journey

  • Trip Highlight

    Uncover Kilimanjaro’s rainforests, alpine deserts, volcanic craters and glacial valleys

Climbers from all over the globe journey to Tanzania with one objective in mind: Kilimanjaro. On this 9-day hiking tour of the Machame Route, you’ll summit Africa’s highest mountain at 19,341 feet. Begin your adventure at Machame on the southwest part of Kilimanjaro, once one of the most prosperous villages of the Chagga people. From there you’ll pass through five different climate zones, traversing evergreen Afromontane forests accompanied by birds twittering, high moorland, desert zones, scree slopes and glaciers. You can also expect to see remnants of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic activities, such as calderas or the Lava Tower. Make your way through the 37-mile (62 km) trail and reach the Roof of Africa, the Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro’s highest summit!

Season

Year-round

Nearest city

Your tour begins in Moshi, Tanzania

Duration

9 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

9-Day Climbing Kilimanjaro Tour via the Machame Route

9 days

Hike and explore Kilimanjaro’s palette of climates with this nine-day tour that ends with an ascent to the Uhuru Peak—the highest peak in Africa! Take on the Machame Route and get going through diverse landscapes every single day. Recharge your batteries in quality hotels and tents by night and eat freshly prepared food every day. Your experienced guides will make sure you have the best experience possible climbing Kilimanjaro!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Your expert guide will pick you up from the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania. You’ll then be taken to your hotel in Moshi city, the second-largest tourism hub of Tanzania and the capital of Kilimanjaro region. Your guide will brief you on what to expect on this tour and make sure you’re prepared.

Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort

Fruit market in Moshi City.

Day 2: Moshi — Machame Camp

Only an hour’s drive from Moshi separates you from beginning your 9-day adventure. After completing some final park formalities, your trip will start at Machame Gate. The first section of the trail involves jungle bashing through Afromontane forests. The path is less worn and it can often be wet and muddy. Your trekking for the day ends at Machame Camp at 10,170 ft (3,100 m), which sits near the border of the rainforest zone and the low alpine zone. Spend the night at the camp.

Accommodation: Machame Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 4-6 hours, 6 miles/ 9 km
Altitude gain: 3,870 ft/ 1,210 m

Hikers going through rainforests of the Machame Route.

Day 3: Machame Camp — Shira Caves

Your route continues on up through the forest until you reach the steep ascent to the Shira Plateau. Stretching out over 8 miles (13 km), the Shira Plateau is actually a caldera—what you’re seeing today are remains of a volcano boasting deep valleys and weather-beaten lava flows. Looking back, you’ll be able to see Mt Meru, Tanzania’s second highest mountain and a dormant volcano rising high above Arusha town. Your camping spot for the day are the Shira Caves.

Accommodation: Shira Caves
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 4-6 hours, 3 miles/ 5 km
Altitude gain: 2,430 ft/ 740 m

Overnight stay in the Shira campsite.

Day 4: Shira Caves — Barranco Camp

A walk-high-sleep-low day ahead of you! Hiking on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. You’ll traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the monumental Lava Tower in the desert portion of the mountain and finally reach the Western Breach. You’ll spend your day at high altitudes of 15,092 ft (4600 m), but for your night’s sleep descend to the Barranco Camp at 12,795 ft (3,900 m). While it’s a long day, it’s also an opportunity to abide by the mountaineering code in order to aid your body in altitude acclimatization. Spend your night at the Barranco campsite.

Accommodation: Barranco Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 6-7 hours, 6 miles/ 10 km
Altitude gain: 197 ft/ 60 m

Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro.

Day 5: Barranco Camp — Karanga Valley

Kick of the day by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. Exit steeply, up what has been termed the Breakfast Wall, which divides you from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rocks, but not overly technical. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, head towards the Karanga Valley at 13,123 ft (4000 m) for the night.

Accommodation: Karanga Valley
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 4-5 hours, 3 miles/ 5 km
Altitude gain: 328 ft/ 100 m

Flora of the Karanga Valley.

Day 6: Karanga Valley — Barafu Camp

The day is characterized by a short hike on terrain formed by scree. Hike arid land towards Barafu Camp at 15,092 ft (4,600 m) where you’ll have the entire afternoon to rest before ascending towards the summit. The terrain here is tough—strong winds often rip over this campsite in the desolate alpine desert. However, the far-reaching views of the Mawenzi peak make the struggle worth it. Take your time to rest and save your energy for tomorrow. Spend the night at Barafu Camp.

Accommodation: Barafu Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 2-4 hours, 2.5 miles/ 4 km
Altitude gain: 1,969 ft/ 600 m

Mawenzi peak in Tanzania.

Day 7: Barafu Camp — Uhuru Peak — Millennium Camp

Here’s where you get to show what you’re made of! In order to stay away from the heat of the sun as much as possible, depart around midnight and hike steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. You’ll be climbing scree for 5-6 hours, but also gain incredible height over a short distance. Arrive to the crater rim at Stella Point as the first rays of sunshine emerge. You’ll be surrounded by ice cliffs within the crater and views of the Mawenzi peak. All that’s left to do is to conquer an hour’s walk to your goal—the summit of Uhuru, meaning freedom, at 19,341 ft (5,895 m). Having climbed the celebratory 4,252 ft (1,296 m), take some photos and begin your descent. Continue going down scree slopes back to Barafu Camp for breakfast before finally heading down to Millennium Camp. Spend the night there for a well-deserved rest and rejoice at your victorious climb!

Accommodation: Millennium Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 6-8 hours, 7.5 miles/ 12 km
Altitude Loss: 948 ft/ 289 m

Uhuru peak on the top of Kilimanjaro.

Day 8: Millennium Camp — Moshi

A gentle trek takes you down through the rainforest to the Mweka Gate where park formalities will be completed. You’ll receive your certificate of ascent, courtesy of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. Drive back to Moshi for a well-deserved shower and a cold beer!

Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Hiking: 4-5 hours, 6 miles/ 10 km
Altitude loss: 4,462 ft/ 1360 m

Return to Mweka.

Day 9: Departure Day

Your guides will transfer you to Kilimanjaro International Airport. If you’re planning on staying in Tanzania for a bit longer, you can extend your tour to wildlife safari in the northern circuit to Serengeti and Ngorongoro of Zanzibar, but at an additional cost.

Meals: Breakfast

Elephants and Kilimanjaro in the backdrop.
Reviews

Reviews (5)

Chika Faith about Eco-Africa Climbing on TripAdvisor

Eco-Africa Climbing is legit my best East Africa Tour Group!!! They took us in and for the duration of our tour and gave us more family that we could imagine. They were caring, thoughtful and always one step ahead to ensure that our safety and travel goals were met then they superseded them ☺️. I am a very very satisfied customer to say the least and will recommend them to anyone who cares to ask.

Suzanne Brume about Eco-Africa Climbing

I climbed Kilimanjaro with Eco Africa Climbing and 12 other climbers. The attention to detail was wonderful; each team member – the guides, chefs, and porters aka kili fighters – presented an air of joy, care, and total love for their jobs. They helped us every step of the way and went above and beyond to make sure we had a lovely experience. We could not have done this with better people or a better company, and I definitely got to the top because of their expertise and care. I’d recommend the company to anyone looking to climb!

Jacque Tietjen about Eco-Africa Climbing

I climbed Kilimanjaro with Eco a couple of weeks ago and it was a great experience! Everyone is very kind and professional. Before arriving I was not aware how large of a team I would have so take note that for one person I had a guide, a chef, a waiter, and 8 other porters! This company partners with an organization that supports fair and ethical treatment of porters so they must hire many to carry all of the tents and food for the entire trip. However they are all amazing! They are super supportive and encouraging. I had a blast and I highly reccomend them if you want to climb Kili.

TVP Adventures about Eco-Africa Climbing

We are incredibly proud of Eco-Africa Climbing and how they brought our dreams of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to life. We brought a group of 12 climbers to Tanzania and once we got there, they took charge of ensuring that everyone was well informed and prepared for the 7-day adventure. The guides, Kilifighters (including a woman) and chefs were all integral to the success of our climb and our team will be using Eco-Africa Climbing for all our future climbing expeditions in Tanzania. You’re in good hands with them! We give them the maximum rating and then some more!

Chikky Akanuhor about Eco-Africa Climbing

Where do I start from? 12 of us from Nigeria climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Eco Africa Climbing. The love, care and affection from the Eco Africa team was real. The team went all out to ensure we could summit. I could give a detailed review of each guide and would have only amazing words. I was impressed by the culture that was passed down from the Lead guide to the kili fighters. I’m typically a critic and would have started pointing out faults at this point, but there is absolutely nothing for me to change. I received a 5 star treatment and I’m proud of Eco Africa Climbing. We would definitely do more business together.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Machame, 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 Machame, Kilimanjaro, 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!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • Experienced, local hiking guides with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Adequate number of guides, cooks and porters (carrying maximum of 32 lbs/ 15 kg per person)
  • 7 days of trekking and climbing + 2 days for arrival and departure
  • Transfer to and from the route gates
  • Transfer from and to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Tents and camping gear
  • 2 nights in a hotel in Moshi
  • 3 full fresh meals daily (menu specially designed for climbers — choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals)
  • Drinking water and hot water provided daily
  • Sleeping mattress pads, dining tents, sleeping tents
  • Transportation to the trailhead and back
  • Park fees and permits
  • Portable toilets
  • Emergency evacuation (if the climber has insurance)
  • Safety devices
  • All park fees, camping fees, rescue and team fees
  • Tanzania’s 18% VAT on tourism activities and park fees

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Accommodations prior to and after the trip
  • Personal hiking/ trekking gear (can be rented in Tanzania)
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $50 per trip)
  • Snacks, personal medicine, water purifying tablets
  • Extra porter for excess gear (can be rented for $30 per day)
  • Single supplement for a single tent and a single room ($250 per trip)
  • Airport transfer for those who don’t come with the group

How fit do I need to be?

The Machame route is considered a difficult one—compared to some other Kilimanjaro routes, the days are longer and the walks are steeper. It is a demanding trip better suited for people with at least some hiking experience. Still, it does not require technical skills or mountaineering equipment such as ice axes, crampons, harnesses, and ropes. Therefore, even if you’re a first-time trekker with excellent fitness and a desire to push yourself in a mountain environment, this 9-day climbing tour in Kilimanjaro might be for you.

What about required equipment?

All climbing and camping equipment will be provided by your guiding service. Here’s what you’ll need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 35-45L bag)
  • A duffel bag (maximum weight of 32 lbs/ 15 kg)
  • Hiking poles — optional
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Warm hat and a buff or scarf
  • Sun hat
  • Warm gloves or mitts and thin liner gloves are also useful
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Waterproof gaiters
  • Warm jacket – fleece or down jacket, potentially ski jacket
  • Waterproof jacket over the top
  • Fleece tops or hiking shirts/sweatshirts
  • Base layers or T-shirts
  • Pair of trekking trousers and shorts
  • Leggings or thermal bottoms or running tights
  • Several sets of underwear – cotton best avoided
  • Several pairs of good quality trekking socks
  • Waterproof trekking boots
  • Trainers or flip flops/sandals
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Favorite snack bars
  • Headtorch
  • Powerpack for charging phones etc
  • Wash kit
  • Flask for hot drinks — optional, useful on summit night
  • Earplugs — optional
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $50 per trip)
  • Pillow — optional
  • Sleeping bag thermal liner — optional

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Keep in mind that it can get very cold in some of the camps due to strong winds.
A porter can carry a max of 32 lbs/ 15 kg per person. There will be multiple porters depending on the amount of baggage and in case your baggage weighs more, you can hire another porter for an additional fee.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

  • For this group adventure, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 12:1. Group trips are guaranteed to depart, regardless of the number of climbers.
  • All prices are per person and don’t change as the group size grows.
  • If you wish to stay in a single room/ single tent, the supplement is $250 for the whole trip.

Climbing days on the Machame route 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.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 1 month (30 days) prior to departure. If you do not pay the remaining balance by the due date, your guides reserve the right to cancel your reservation, with the deposit being forfeited. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty three (33) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of seventy-five percent (75%) of the total amount paid.
    • For cancellations eight (8) to thirty two (32) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to your Climbing Kilimanjaro Tour, most people fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. You and the rest of the group will be picked up by the guides at an arranged time. If you’re not joining the group at that time, you’ll need to get a taxi ride, rent a car or take a shuttle to Moshi.

You’ll meet your guide at the Panama Garden Resort in Moshi.

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