7 Days Trek Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Mount Kilimanjaro Photo

Brief Description

The 7 Day Trek Mount Kilimanjaro via Machame is one of best and most recommended Mount Kilimanjaro trekking itinerary and route. On this trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so you can have an early rest, preparing yourself for the toughest part of the climb on Kilimanjaro Mountain.

Day 01: Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

The travel time from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (Machame) takes about 50 minutes. You will pass through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the Mount Kilimanjaro. After the registration at the gate, you now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. You continue a short distance until you reach the Machame Camp.

Day 02: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Moorland

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.

Day 03: Shira Camp - Lava Tower - Barranco Camp

Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert

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 South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft.

We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 04: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

Day 05: Karanga Camp - Barafu Camp

Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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

Day 06: Barafu Camp - Summit - Mweka Hut

Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Habitat: Arctic

Very early in the morning (midnight to 02:00 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 (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see if the (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. If you are a faster hiker you may see the sunrise from the summit.

From the summit, now you make your descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 07: Mweka Camp to Moshi

Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast, you 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 fine to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). After reaching the Mweka Gate, you will say goodbye to your climbing crew after which you will be taken to Moshi town for a hot shower and more rest. We also recommend that you add at least 3 days wildlife game viewing visiting Ngorongoro, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara national park.

Includes

  • Pre & Post Trek accommodation at Parkview Inn or Panama Garden Resort
  • All Park Fees And Rescue Fees
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • All Meals While On The Mountain
  • Arrival And Departure Transfers
  • Guides, Porters, Cook Salaries And Park Fees
  • Large Portions Of Fresh, Healthy, Nutritious Food:
  • Clean, Purified Drinking Water:
  • Fair And Ethical Treatment Of Porters:
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • 4 Season mountain tents
  • Transportation to & from the mountain gate
  • Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters

Excludes

  • Tanzania Visa: $50 Per Person On Arrival
  • Personal Expenses (E.G. Laundry, Telephone, Beverages, Etc.)
  • Optional Tours (Short Safari After Your Climb Etc)
  • Tips And Any Items Of Personal Nature.

Tip on Mountain Kilimanjaro is recommended for group sharing as follows;

  • Guide $15 – $20/guide/day
  • Cook $10 – $15/day
  • Porters $8 – $10/porter/day.

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