Machame Route is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. As a result, it can get fairly crowded during the high season. The trek provides sweeping views across the Maasai Steepe, Mount Meru, the majestic Barranco Valley and a variety of habitats. The trail starts from the southern base of Kilimanjaro and enjoys some of the finest forest and moorland scenery on the mountain. The descent path for this route is the Mweka Route.
The great advantage of choosing the Machame Route is the initial 2-day steep ascent that eases the altitude stress in the following days.
7 Days Climbing
10 days in Tanzania
The price is customized based on final hotel choices and other custom preferences.
When To Climb
December – March and June – October are the best months to climb and the best months for wildlife viewing.
April – May and November are the wettest months. The temperatures are colder and the trails turn muddy.
Arrive to Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania
Meet and greet with a Barking Zebra representative at the Kilimanjaro airport. Transfer to your hotel near Arusha for dinner and your overnight stay. We suggest spending 2 nights here to re-cooperate after the long international flight, especially arriving from North America.
Next day we meet with Barking Zebra guides for a detailed climb orientation and a final gear check. In the afternoon relax and acclimatize.
MACHAME CAMP 9,750 ft
Machame Gate 5,700 ft
Distance: 7.2 miles | Hours of trekking: 6-7
After breakfast, we depart to Kilimanjaro National Park. Driving past the banana and coffee plantations, we arrive at the trail-head-Machame gate, where you will sign in at the National Park office. Our trek will start by immediately entering the rain-forest. Enjoy listening to many exotic birds in the canopy above and spotting black & white colobus monkeys.
SHIRA CAMP 11,500 ft
Distance: 5 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5
This morning we leave the last glades of the rain forest behind. Vegetation gets sparser as we ascend into the heath. After a couple of hours we pass the first Lobelia and reach the Shira Plateau – a high altitude desert plateau.
Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones. A slow and steady ascent allows for our bodies to acclimatize to the higher altitude as we cross Shira Plateau.
BARRANCO CAMP 12,950 ft
Distance: 6 miles | Hours of trekking: 6-8
A morning of sustained ascent and panoramic views brings us to lunch near Lava Tower. After lunch, we slowly trek downhill through the giant Senecios toward Barranco camp. The view of the towering peak is spectacular.
KARANGA CAMP 13,200 ft
Distance: 3.6 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5
Today our first challenge is to hike up the Barranco Wall, a 500 ft lava flow. It is a quite spectacular looking obstacle, which in the end usually turns out easier than how it appears. The views of crags and crevasses are stunning from the top of the wall. We continue to walk up and down a greener valley to our camp.
BARAFU CAMP 14,950 ft
Distance: 2.1 miles | Hours of trekking: 3-4
As we begin trekking today the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we work our way to Barafu Camp. Barafu means “ice” in Swahili. The camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our push to the summit.
SUMMIT 19,340 ft – MWEKA CAMP 10,400ft
Summit Dist: 3 miles | Hours of trekking: 7-8
Mweka Camp Dist: 6.8 miles | Hours of trekking: 7-8
At midnight, we set out for the glacier zone atop Kilimanjaro. We’ll walk slowly, drink plenty of water and refuel with small snacks to keep our energy high. Climbing approximately 3,000 feet today we will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the views of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro second volcano cone.
Now the toughest part is over, as we hike along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak – the highest point of Kilimanjaro. We celebrate our achievement with cheers and hugs before descending to Barafu camp. Gaiters and trekking poles come in handy for the loose gravel going down. After a short rest at Barafu we continue to Mweka Camp for dinner and to overnight.
MWEKA GATE 5,360 ft
Distance: 5.3 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5
Descend back through the rainforest and enjoy a farewell lunch with your group at Mweka Gate before heading back to the hotel for a well-deserved shower!
WILDLIFE SAFARI OR FLY HOME
Depart Tanzania or continue on your wildlife safari or to Zanzibar.
Viewing Tanzania at 19,341 feet is absolutely breathtaking and exhilarating. But, so is viewing over one million animals during the great Serengeti migration; observing each of the “Big Five” in their natural and unspoiled habitats; and, personally viewing the abundant, and amazing, wildlife that Tanzania offers.
After your Kilimanjaro triumph, let your body recover amidst Zanzibar’s turquoise-blue waters and picturesque beaches. Lie in the sun, snorkel in pristine waters, enjoy a sailing adventure aboard a dhow, soak in the culture of Stone Town, visit local markets…No matter what you do, the “spice islands” will certainly return that zest in your step.