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7 Days / 6 Nights Trekking Machame Route

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Duration

7 days

Cancellation

No Cancellation

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

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Overview

The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. The descent is made via the Mweka route.

Dodo Group offers Machame as a seven-day group climb or as a six-day private climb. The six-day variation combines days four and five, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.

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What you will do

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Day 1

Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
Distance: 11 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave the park gate, we walk through the dense rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge until we reach the Machame Camp.

Day 2

Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp
Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Heath

We leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path up to a steep, rocky ridge. On the Shira Plateau, we pass through heather and open moorlands, then cross a large river gorge to Shira 2 Camp.

Day 3

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower
Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 3 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitudes is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Day 4

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Day 5

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Day 6

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 7

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

Included/Excluded

  • All park fees.
  • All entries fees.
  • Rescue fees.
  • Insurance fees.
  • Camping facilities.
  • Oxygen.
  • Potters, Tanzanian Guides and Cook.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Private mobile toilet.
  • Hotel two nights free.
  • Destination Covered Kilimanjaro
  • Airfare.
  • Tips for Tanzanian Guides, Porters.
  • Extra days.
  • Personal need.
  • Personal climbing gear.

Duration

7 Days

Activity Types

Hiking

Activity's Location

FAQs

Rescue Team:
Always ready to take off and make sure you are safe we are a partner with KilimanjaroSAR, the first and only helicopter-based search and rescue company in Africa operating on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and to all Tanzania’s national parks. Driven by the passion of saving lives our rescue team is on standby 5-minute after receiving a distress call. We believe that there is nothing more important than performing every rescue mission in a safe and right protocol. For a successful helicopter evacuation on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, one should acquire travel insurance that covers medical evacuation 6000 meters above sea level. For Safari goers any travel insurance is applicable.

What kind of travel insurance do I need for a helicopter evacuation on Mt Kilimanjaro?

Travel Insurance that includes Medical Evacuation Coverage up to 6,000 meters above sea level. It is very important to ask your travel insurance provider to include this type of coverage within the policy that you purchase. Ensure your policy is not on a reimbursement basis.

Is the same insurance required for evacuation on Mount Meru?

Technically no, climbers will require travel insurance coverage up to 5000 meters.

Why standard insurance packages do not cover high altitude trekking?

The risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) increases dramatically above 2800 Meters, as do the costs of emergency medical services and evacuation.

Is it possible for DODO to evacuate a client without proper insurance?

Yes, it’s possible. Kilimanjaro SAR is committed to saving the lives of all climbers. In case a climber lacks the proper insurance coverage, they will have to pay for evacuation costs after they have fully recovered.

Can DODO help you attain proper insurance?

No, it is very simple and affordable to purchase travel insurance that covers climbing up to 6,000 m online or over the phone in any country. But it is important that you understand your policy and what you are paying for.

Do I have to submit my insurance policy to my tour operator prior to hiking?

Yes, the sooner the better — even a month prior to your visit is ideal.

What kind of insurance is required for evacuation within national parks and game reserves?

Any travel insurer that lists medical evacuation (altitude detail is unnecessary), but remember to ensure that the policy is not a reimbursement policy, which means you “pay and claim” for the costs

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