Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

Kilimanjaro | Tanzania
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

  • Trip Highlight

    Conquer Uhuru peak, known as the Roof of Africa

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy the lush greenery and indegenous flora of lower Machame

  • Trip Highlight

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

Standing proudly at a magnificent 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. And with the extreme heights come the even more extreme environments — lava tubes, massive glacial valleys, and craters abound, reminding climbers of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic nature. The hike to the Roof of Africa isn’t technically difficult, but it’s long and often quite steep, meaning that it will test your stamina at times. However, it’s a fantastic journey that every hiker should undertake at least once in their lifetime. In the lower parts of the so-called Whiskey route, you will traverse unique Afromontane forests with fascinating plant life you won’t find anywhere else in the world. As you ascend higher, you’ll find yourself surrounded by volcanic craters, snowy peaks, and alpine deserts. And after you get to the top of the magnificent Uhuru peak, you’ll get an adrenaline rush and confidence boost like you’ve never experienced before. The Cradle of Humanity is calling you. Gather your inner courage and answer the call — you won’t regret it!


January through March and June through October

Nearest city

Arusha, Tanzania, is just under 2 hours away


7 days

Skill level

Beginner to intermediate


Book this adventure

7-Day Climb via the Machame Route

7 days

Hike and explore Kilimanjaro’s marvelous nature with this seven-day tour that ends with an ascent to the Roof of Africa! Conquer the highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain anywhere! Explore an amazingly diverse landscape that never gets dull — from lush Afromane forests and endemic flora to glacial valleys, lava tubes, and volcanic craters, the nature here is incredible. Stay in high-quality tents, eat excellent food and climb with an experienced and attentive crew who will make sure you get the hiking experience of a lifetime.

Trip Highlights


Day 0: Arrival

A driver will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. The staff will make sure you settle in and relax after the flight. Later on, your guide and the Climbs Manager will brief you thoroughly on what to expect on the mountain. They will also conduct a kit check to make sure you have everything you need for the trip.

Aerial view of the city of Arusha, Tanzania

Day 1: Machame Camp

After breakfast, depart to Kilimanjaro. After finishing up with packing and some final formalities, your trip will start from Machame Gate at 1,800m altitude. Hike through verdant Afromontane forests to Machame camp, where you will have a picnic lunch surrounded by endemic flora and a graduation of forest zones! Spend the night at Machame Camp.

Altitude: 9,843 ft/3,000
Distance: 6,8 miles/ 11km
Time: 5 hours

Taken June 2006, this is the camp site for the first night of hiking Kilimanjaro along the Machame route.

Day 2: Shira Camp

Make your way to Shira Camp. The first section of the hike is steep, and you’ll gain altitude rapidly. Have a picnic lunch on the trail. Pass through what’s known as the “health zone” and marvel at the one-of-a-kind helichrysum and lobelia plants. You’ll also see some unique geological features, such as lava tubes and glacial valleys! Spend the night at Shira Camp.

Altitude: 12,631 ft/3,850 m
Distance: 3,1 miles/ 5km
Time: 6 hours

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

Day 3: Barranco Camp

A walk-high-sleep-low day! Ascend into the alpine desert and, if you’re feeling up to it, take a trip to the monumental Lava Tower before getting to Barranco camp, famous for its giant groundsels. Enjoy a nice picnic lunch on route. While this is a long day, it’s also an opportunity to get acclimated to the altitude and the climbs that lie ahead! Spend the night at Barranco Camp.

Altitude: 12,828 ft/3,910 m
Distance: 6 miles/ 10km
Time: 6 hours

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 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After the challenging climb, today’s short hike will be just what the doctor ordered! Ascend the Barranco wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga camp, where you will have your lunch break. If you want, the guides can take you on an afternoon walk and show you some great views of the southern walls of Kibo and deep glacial valleys. Spend the night at Karanga Camp.

Altitude: 13,451 ft/ 4,100 m
Distance: 7 miles/ 11km
Time: 7-9 hours

Stunning evening view of Kibo with Uhuru Peak (5895m amsl, highest mountain in Africa) at Mount Kilimanjaro,Kilimanjaro National Park,seen from Karanga Camp at 3995m amsl. Orange tent in foreground.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu

Ascend to Barafu camp. Have a filling lunch, kick back and relax before the summit bid. The terrain here is tough — strong winds often rip over this campsite in the desolate alpine desert. However, the magnificent evening views of Mawenzi peak make the struggle worth it. After a relatively early dinner, rest for the evening. You’ll need it. Spend the night at Barafu Camp.

Altitude: 15,092 ft/4,600 m
Distance: 2,5 miles/ 4km
Time: 4 hours

Рointer, backpack and sticks at the route to Mawenzi

Day 6: Stella Point and Uhuru peak

Here’s where you get to show what you’re made of! Depart before midnight for the final summit bid of the 19,341-foot-tall Uhuru peak via Stella Point. Patience and Persistence are key here. Arrive near the rim by dawn, as the first rays of light start to appear. All that’s left is to conquer a relatively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Roof of Africa! Get back down to Mweka camp as a better, more confident climber. Spend the night at Mweka camp.

Altitude: 10,171 ft/3,100 m
Distance: 10 miles/ 16.2km
Time: 12 hours

A happy trekker above the clouds on the route to the summit of Kilimanjaro

Day 7: Return

After a hearty breakfast, descend through some more Afromontane forests. After saying your farewells with the crew, get picked up and taken back to Ngare Sero lodge for a well-deserved shower!

Mt Kilimanjaro, with 5.895 m Africas highest mountain as well as worlds highest free-standing mountain. At the Machame route, shot at an altitude of approx. 5800 m. Route to the summit, Tanzania.

Reviews (1)

David A. about African Adventures on TripAdvisor

I just returned from an excellent 3-week trip organized by African Ascents. I climbed Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with Julius as our guide, and Mt. Kenya (Lenana, Pt. John, Nelion and Batian), Mt. Satima and Mt. Longonot in Kenya. African Ascents provides highly qualified staff, great food and a very well organized trip. Thank you for everything you did to make this trip possible.

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 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:

  • 2 experienced, local hiking guides with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Camp crew, a cook, and porters
  • A full 7 days of trekking and climbing
  • Meals during the climb (3 meals per day)
  • Drinking water
  • Safety devices
  • Emergency rescue
  • Transportation to the trailhead and back
  • Tents and camping gear
  • Park fees and permits

What’s not included:

  • Shower/wash tent — available for an additional fee
  • Transportation to Arusha, Tanzania
  • Airport transfers 
  • Accommodations prior to and after the trip

How fit do I need to be?

This climb is best suited for those who have previous experience with endurance endeavors and backpacking, but it is suitable for first-time trekkers and mountaineers as well. Kilimanjaro has plenty of options for beginner climbers, and this 7-day adventure is a demanding trip yet suitable for first-time trekkers with excellent fitness and a desire to push themselves in a mountain environment. Certain sections of the trail are strenuous, steep, and more demanding. Still, it does not require technical skills or mountaineering equipment such as ice axes, crampons, harnesses, and ropes. Your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. As long as you listen to the given instructions, you’ll succeed in completing your climb. 

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)
  • Rucksack with cover (around a 55-65L bag, for a porter to carry your main gear) 
  • Dry bags
  • 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 — no showers on the mountain but you can have a bucket wash
  • Flask for hot drinks — optional, useful on summit night
  • Earplugs — optional
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

For camping, you need to bring:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag thermal liner
  • Pillow
  • Thick foam mat or self-inflating mat (like a Therm-A-Rest) — can be provided by the guide

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 18kg/39.6Lbs, including food, accommodation, wages, etc. 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 4:1 with up to 8 people in a group. 
  • The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family! 

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

Registration for an adventure with your guide requires a 50% non-refundable deposit. The balance of program fees will generally be due 90 days prior to the starting date of the program. It is your responsibility to adhere to the fee payment schedule. Late payment will result in cancellation of program reservations and forfeiture of all fees paid.

If your guide has to make an alteration to the time of departure or return to the your home exceeding 12 hours between the date of your booking and the date of departure to, you can decide no to proceed with the booking. In that case, you can:

  • transfer your booking to another trip without incurring a transfer charge but subject to an appropriate adjustment up or down to the sums payable
  • cancel your booking without penalty.

If your guide increases the basic price of the trip by 10% or more and you do not wish to continue with the trip, you may cancel your booking and get a full refund in respect of the basic cost of the trip but your guide will not be responsible for other incurred costs.

Should you cancel for any other reason the following charges will apply:

  • more than 30 days before the expedition – loss of deposit
  • 20 to 29 days before departure – 30% of total cost
  • 11 to 19 days before departure – 60% of total cost
  • less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total cost.

If your guide is forced to cancel your trip, you will be given the opportunity either to:

  • receive a refund of the basic cost of the trip paid to African Ascents
  • transfer to another trip without charge. If there is a difference in price between the cancelled trip and the trip to which you elect to transfer your booking, your guide will refund the difference if it is cheaper or invoice you for the supplement if it is more expensive.

If the reason for the cancellation less than 8 weeks before the advertised departure date is a lack of bookings, a compensation of $30 per properly booked person will be paid.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Kilimanjaro, you first have to reach Arusha. To get to Arusha, most people fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle. Julius Nyerere International Airport in the capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, is 2 hours away from Arusha by plane. The cheapest way to reach Kilimanjaro is by flying into Nairobi, Kenya, and taking a connecting flight. If you’re feeling adventurous, it is also possible to travel by road from Kenya, as there are numerous bus and shuttle options.

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 airport or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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