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The Machame - Western Breach route


Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (Shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok  

Machame - Western Breach route

Important update: currently the Western Breach routes are closed until further notice due to dangerous rockfall!

The information below if just for reference, no trips are being offered through the Breach as this moment. The regular Machame route is open as always.

If Marangu is the "CocaCola" route, then the Machame Route is the "whiskey" route. It is the second most popular and arguably the most scenic route on the mountains. All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served on the floor of a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. It is done over six to seven days, so acclimatization is easier, and the success rate is fairly high. It is for physically fit people with some hiking experience.

This alternative ending to the standard Machame route cuts off to summit via the Western Breach.

This route is shorter in distance, but the final day is very steep up rock in the dark. Or you can use extra days (recommended anyway), climb the steep sections during the day and sleep in the crater.

Most people descend down the Mweka trail and stay at the Mweka camp the final night on the mountain. An alternative is to descend the Marangu route if you like crowds, but availability may be limited in the Horombo Hut.  

This route is possible in 6 days if you are already acclimatised, but 7, 8 or more is recommended. (The extra day(s) can be spent resting at one of the higher camps or even in the crater itself.)


Please also see this FAQ about length of Kili trips and advantages and dangers of the Western Breach routes.

Machame - Western Breach Route Itinerary

6 to 7 days, 60 km


Moshi Booked into accommodation in Moshi for overnight
Day 1 To Machame Hut
1830m to 3100m
About 5 hours
The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once we reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, firewood, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. The guides will be pleased to assist with any additional information. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail to the first uniport hut which is located at an altitude of 3, 048 meters. Lower down, 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 Hut. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy our dinner, and overnight. e have now reached an altitude of 3,100 meters.
Day 2 To Shira Hut
3100m to 3840m
About 4 hours
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 at 3,658 meters. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira Hut camp site. For acclimatization purposes, some parties stay here an extra night.
Day 3
Acclimatization Day
We walk around the Shira plateau and maybe walk towards the Lava tower for acclimatization (you can also camp there).
Day 4
To Arrow Glacier
3840m to 4850m About 3 hours
 Depart from Barranco, ascending slowly to the Arrow Glacier at 4,850 meters. Dinner and overnight at the Arrow campsite. 
Day 5 To Summit and Mweka Hut
4850m to 5895m
(and down to 3100m)
About 11 hours
Early morning, commence the ascent to the summit on very steep rocky and heavy scree up to Uhuru Peak (5, 895 meters), the highest point in Africa. Scrambling will be needed and it can be snowy and icy up this way. From here we descend going straight down to the Mweka encampment (lunch and rest at Barafu Hut) for dinner and overnight. This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep. Beer and soda may be available for purchase at the Mweka Hut -- the only place on this route.
Day 6 To Moshi
3100m to 1830m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. 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 raingear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi. Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!

Check out the trips page for the current 7summits Kilimanjaro trips prices

Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (Shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok