Those who can spare six (6) days to hike to the summit of the Kilimanjaro, we highly recommend taking the Machame Route as it allows time for acclimatization. Unlike the other six (6) day routes, this trail exposes hikers to higher altitudes quicker (on day three) which gives their bodies an early opportunity to adopt to the change in altitude. Nevertheless, the route necessitates that one is in good physical condition so as to manage the challenge associated with it.
This route is generally challenging especially on days four (4) and Five (6) which give a pretty hard route plan. On the fourth day you will climb from Barranco to Barafu. Right after your dinner, you will have a very short night’s rest as the summit day will start at around midnight. On day six (6) this trail will require
6 Days Machame Route Kilimanjaro Itinerary
DAY 1: Transfer from Machame Gate to Machame Camp
You will be transferred from Moshi town to the gate of the Kilimanjaro National park a drive which will take about fifty (50) minutes. You will drive through Machame village found on the lower mountain slopes. Once at the park headquarters, you will be briefed and then begin the trail walking along a winding trail through the rain-forest to the ridge. Because the trail is muddy and very slippery, we recommend that you use trekking poles and gaiters. You will proceed to the Machame Camp where you will have your meal and spend the night
Route Plan: Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation: 5,400 feet to 9,400 feet
Distance Covered: 11 kilometers
Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours
Habitat Moved: Rain Forest
DAY 2: Transfer from Machame Camp to Shira Camp
After an early breakfast, you will leave the rainforest and ascend crossing through a small valley. The trail will lead you along a steep rocky edge that is covered with heather, and you will follow it all the way to the end of this ridge. You will then head westwards to a river gorge where the Shira campsite is located, and there you will rest, have your evening meal and take your night’s rest.
Route Plan: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation: 9,400 feet to 12,500 feet
Distance Covered: 5 kilometers
Hiking Time: 4 to 6 hours
Habitat Moved: Moorland
DAY 3: Transfer from the Shira Camp, Lava Tower and end at Barranco Camp
Starting at the Shira Plateau you will ascend eastwards to the ridge, and go through the junction that heads to the Kibo peak. As you advance you will change directions and move south eastwards to the Lava Tower also known as ‘Shark’s Tooth’ a very impressive rock formation. Not long after there, you will reach another junction, and this takes you to the Arrow Glacier which stands at an elevation of 16,000 feet. You will make the final descent of the day to an altitude of 13,000 feet where you will find the Barranco camp where you will have your evening meal spend the night. Although you complete this day at an almost similar elevation as you began, this day is very important to help acclimatize your body as the summit day draws nearer.
Route Plan: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 12,500 feet to 13,000 feet
Distance: 10 kilometer
Hiking Time: 6 to 8 hours
Habitat Moved: Semi Desert
DAY 4: transfer from Barranco Camp, to Karanga Camp and finish at Barafu Camp
You will have an early breakfast at the Barranco camp and then proceed along a steep ridge on the Barranco wall until you make it to the campsite at Karanga Valley. From there, you will proceed to the junction that connects with the Mweka-Trail, before finally reaching the Barafu camp. This is where the southern circuit which offers various views of the mountain summit ends. You will camp here, rest, have your night meal and get an early sleep as you prepare to make it to the summit the following day. At this point you can actually see the Kibo Peak as well as the Mawenzi peak.
Route Plan: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,000 feet to 15,000 feet
Distance: 9 kilometers
Hiking Time: 8 to 10 hours
Habitat Moved: Alpine Desert
DAY 5: Uhuru Summit via Machame Route, descend to Mweka Camp
You will begin this day’s hike to the summit very early between midnight and 2:00am. You will hike between the Ratzel glacier and the Rebmann glacier, head North West and ascend across the thick gravel to Stella Point at an elevation of 18,600 feet found on the rim of the crater. This section of the trail is the most challenging both physically and mentally.
Once at Stella Point, you will have a brief rest and if the weather is good, you will be able to see the most breathtaking sunrise. From this point you will ascend for about an hour traversing the snow covered terrain all the way to the Uhuru peak. The Uhuru summit which stands at a height of 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) is the highest point on Mountain Kilimanjaro and it is considered as the Roof Top of Africa. Actually climbers who are faster will be able to see the sunrise at the Uhuru summit.
After spending some time at the summit resting and taking some photographs, you will begin the descent to the Mweka camp which will be the final destination for the day, making a stopover for lunch at the Barafu camp. During the descent, you will use your trekking poles and gaiters to traverse the loose gravel. The Mweka camp is located on the upper side of the forest, so expect some rainfall or mist in the late afternoon. You will have your evening meal before having your night’s rest.
Route Plan: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Summit to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 15,300 feet to 19,345 feet (and descent to 10,000 feet)
Distance: 5 kilometers ascent (and 12 kilometers descent)
Hiking Time: 7 to 8 hours ascent (and 4 to 6 hours descent)
Habitat Moved: Arctic /rain-forest
DAY 6: Transfer back to Moshi, End of Trek via Machame Route
This is the final day of this 6 Days’ hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro. After your breakfast at Mweka Camp, you will descend to the Mweka- Park Gate where you will be awarded your summit certificates. As you descend along the lower part of the forest trail towards the button of the mountain, you will realize that the terrain is very muddy as slippery. So once again, you will use your trekking poles together with the gaiters. You will continue to walk for approximately one hour until you make it to Mweka village.
Your driver will be waiting for you at Mweka village, and he will transfer you back to your hotel in Mioshi town.
This will be the end of our 6 Day Machame Climb on Mount Kilimanjaro
Route Plan: Mweka Camp to Moshi Village
Elevation: 10,000 feet to 5,400 feet
Distance Moved: 10 kilometers
Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
Habitat Moved: Rain Forest