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The Machame route


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

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

Machame route

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 usually done over seven days, so acclimatization is easier, and the success rate is fairly high. Extending the route with one or two days will increase your summit chances, and enjoyment and decrease your chances of Acute Mountain Sickness, 7 days is the minimum length recommended

With the Machame/South Circuit route, you will circle halfway around the mountain with great views from all angles. This route is approximately 40 km versus 20 km on the Marangu route. It is for physically fit people with some hiking experience.


New: check out the new Waypoints page for GPS waypoints for the Machame route

(An alternative ending is to start on the Machame and cut 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. UPDATE: currently this Western Breach is closed until further notice due to dangerous rockfall, the regular Machame route is open as always)  


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.

 The route is usually done in 7 days but axs on every Kilimanjaro climb 8 or 9 is recommended. (The extra day(s) can be spent resting at Shira plateau or to climb via extra camps.

Machame Route Itinerary

6 to 7 days, 65 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 To Barranco Hut
3840m to 3860m
About 6 hours
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east, 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 4,876 meters. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3,860 meters. 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 4 To Karanga Valley 3860m to 4200m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, which requires scrambling but is not too technical. We continue through the Karanga Valley (4200m) where our camp will be located.
Day 5 To Barafu Hut
4200 to 4600m
About 4 hours
We pass the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue to the Barafu Hut, which is located at an altitude of 4,600 meters. 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 6 To Summit and Mweka Hut
4600m to 5895m
(and down to 3100m)
About 11 hours
Early morning, we continue our way to the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5,985 meters. This part of the climb takes about 6 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. At Uhuru Peak, we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site at 3,100 meters. 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 7 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!


This is the minimum length, longer trips are recommended.

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