5 Nights Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Machame Route

Trip Overview & Highlight

Machame Route 7 Days Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

The Machame Route is often referred to as the “Whiskey” route, offering a more challenging and adventurous trek up Kilimanjaro compared to the easier “Coca Cola” route, Marangu. It’s the second most popular path to the summit and is renowned for its stunning scenery along the way.

During the 6 days journey, climbers stay in tents provided by the tour operators, with meals served either in a dinner tent or al fresco on a blanket under the sky. This route allows for better acclimatization due to its longer duration, increasing the chances of a successful summit attempt.

The Machame Route is best suited for physically fit individuals with some hiking experience, as it involves steep ascents and descents through varied terrain. The descent typically follows the Mweka trail, with the final night spent at either Mweka or Millenium camp before leaving the mountain.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route Highlight:

  • Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp
  • Day 2: Hike Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • Day 3: Hike Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
  • Day 5: Hike Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
  • Day 6: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
  • Day 7: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi town or Arusha city


  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Round-trip Kilimanjaro Airport transfers (shared)
  • National Park gate fees
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Oximeters
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)

  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks (budget $450-650/person)
  • Sleeping bags and personal gear
  • $50 for a single tent
  • Low season discount in April/May

Tour Plan

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp

Drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (30-45 minutes). The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We depart the park gate and walk through the rainforest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations, 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.

-- Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
-- Distance: 11km/7mi
-- Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
-- Habitat: Montane Forest

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Machame Camp

Day 2: Hike Machame Camp to Shira Camp

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rainforest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

-- Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
-- Distance: 5km/3mi
-- Walking Time: 4-5 hours
-- Habitat: Moorland

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Shira Camp

Day 3: Hike Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

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 southeast towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth" (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

-- Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
-- Distance: 10km/6mi
-- Walking Time: 5-6 hours
-- Habitat: Semi-desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Barranco Camp

Day 4: Hike Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall (elev 4250m/13,900ft), through the Karanga Valley (elev 4050m/13,250ft) to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.

-- Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
-- Distance: 9km/6mi
-- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
-- Habitat: Alpine Desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Barafu Camp

Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

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, you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

-- Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
-- Down to 3090m/10,150ft
-- Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
-- Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
-- Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mweka Camp

Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi town or Arusha city

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). From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Don't forget to tip your guides and porters.

-- Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
-- Distance: 10km/6mi
-- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
-- Habitat: Forest

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel or Lodge

Tour Map


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