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 Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Machame (7 Day Route)

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The Machame route, or 'Whiskey route', is extremely popular despite being steep and long. It allows climbers to "trek high and sleep low", the perfect strategy for summit success!

Highlights in 60 seconds

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) & transfer to Moshi Town

We pick you up from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi town, where you spend the night.

At the hotel, your guide will brief you on the upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. If you're missing anything important, not to worry, we offer gear rentals.

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A 30-minute drive from Moshi gets us to the gate to the Machame route.

After completing park registrations, we begin our trek!

The first section of the route climbs steadily and passes through magnificent, dense rainforest.

This is a lesser-trodden path to the Kilimanjaro summit. In places, it can get somewhat overgrown, and it is often wet and muddy underfoot.

Trekking distance: 10km / 6.2 miles (6–7 hours).

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Our route continues up through the forest with a steep ascent onto the Shira Plateau with rewarding views of the mountain.

Looking back, you will be able to see Mount Meru rising high above Arusha City in the distance.

We spend the night at Shira Camp.

Trekking distance: 4.8km / 3 miles (5–6 hours).

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As we walk on the high moorland, the character of the landscape completely changes. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach.

We spend the day hiking at altitude (up to 4,600m) but stay the night at the lower-lying Barranco Camp (3,972m). Sticking to the mountaineering code of "walk high, sleep low" helps your body’s acclimatisation process.

Trekking distance: 10km / 6.2 miles (7–8 hours).

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Our day starts by descending into the Great Barranco ravine. We then exit up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a steep climb over rock, not technical but long and tiring.

Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head toward the Karanga Valley. From here, we have another ascent to our night’s camp at Karanga (3,963m).

For those feeling strong, we go for a mid-afternoon acclimatisation trek up to around 4,200m before descending back to camp for the night.

Trekking distance: 5.5km / 3.4 miles (5–6 hours).

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After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Barafu Camp. The climb will take us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation cover. It’s a tough, steep walk made more difficult by the altitude.

On arrival at camp, we eat and spend the afternoon resting in preparation for a long night and day ahead. It is important to keep hydrated and warm at camp.

We have an early dinner and then try to get some sleep, as we get up between 11:00 PM and midnight to start the climb to the summit.

Trekking distance: 3km / 1.9 miles (3–4 hours).

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We get going around midnight, walking steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. We climb scree for 4 to 5 hours, gaining incredible height over a short distance.

We should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5,739m) by first light. Spectacular ice cliffs surround us with breathtaking views (weather permitting) of the jagged Mawenzi Peak and beyond.

Another hour’s walking takes us to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895m).

After celebrating our success, we begin our descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending back to Barafu Camp for breakfast.

Finally, we head down to Millennium Camp for a well-earned rest.

Trekking distance: 13.4km / 8.3 miles (12–15 hours).

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A gentle trek takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka Gate.

Here we complete park formalities and (hopefully) receive certificates that you can hang up with pride!

We are then met by our vehicles and return to the hotel in Moshi, where you can treat yourself to a hot shower (and a cold beer or two) before our evening celebration.

Trekking distance: 12.1km / 7.5 miles (6–7 hours).

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You have a free day to wind down after the trek before your flight home.

Depending on flight times, you may want to explore Moshi town and grab some souvenirs before heading to the airport.

If you can spare an hour of your day, we welcome you to plant a tree as part of our environmental conservation efforts in the Kilimanjaro region.

Our guide will arrange an airport drop-off that works best for the group.

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What's Included

Included
  • Professional mountain guides, cooks, and porters.
  • Accommodation: You stay in a hotel before and after the trek. During the trek, you sleep in tents.
  • All tour permits and camp fees.
  • -29°C Extreme Limit sleeping bags and mats.
  • Airport transfers (three available pick-up times depending on your flight).
  • All food during the 7-day trek (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  • Dinner at the hotel on the first and last nights, as well as breakfast on departure day.
  • Filtered water throughout the trek.
  • Tree donation in support of local environmental conservation projects.
Not Included
  • International and local flights.
  • Lunch on the first and last day.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal travel/rescue insurance.
  • Visa fees.
  • Single supplement: US$90 per person (optional).
  • Portable toilet: US$150 per group (optional).
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 5.0

40 verified reviews

Alison
Alison

(Mar 2024)

An amazing, well-run experience from start to finish! I trekked the Machame 7-Day route in late February and can not have asked for more from our team of dedicated, always-smiling porters to are exceptional, friendly and motivating guides. The route was more beautiful than I anticipated and you take it very slow (get used to hearing 'pole pole'). It was a tough hike with some very windy conditions on summit night but I think an achievable goal for anyone who is fairly fit and willing to put in extra training. I'd also recommend taking the extra night (7 days) as I felt the extra day of acclimatisation made a big difference. Do it, you won't regret it! P.S. Don't forget to add on a safari afterwards🦁.

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David
David

(Aug 2023)

Had a fantastic trip from start to finish, everything was well organised and catered for from the guides and porters to the food.

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Karen
Karen

(Aug 2023)

Just got back from an amazing summit to Kilimanjaro, absolutely faultless trip, guides Derek and Augustine were amazing, encouraging and very professional, only thing I would probably do differently is book a toilet, now we didn’t initially because we thought someone has to carry it, but it gets emptied at each camp and especially in the middle of the night if you have to get up it’s difficult to navigate where the toilets are in each camp. I celebrated half a century during the trip and the chef even baked a huge cake iced cake and they all sang to me at night, totally memorable experience which I will never forget, definitely take ear plugs, vitamin C tabs to flavor water, take some nice treats to share around and most of all be kind, these guys work hard and earn little so tip whatever you can at the end. We booked the hot springs and waterfall tour as we had 1 day spare and didn’t fancy traveling 5 hrs each way to do safari, roads are slow and a bit crazy so we were glad we just booked a day tour after.

Edward
Edward

(Apr 2023)

What a great experience. If you are trying to persuade yourself to do this trust me just do it. You won’t regret it. (Even in the wet season)! And you will be proud of yourself for achieving this. Overall, Great communication and planning by the team. The whole team were super friendly and helpful which took away any stresses related to that. The hike itself. They scale the support team well so you have a head guide / chef and other support staff carrying the heavier bags/ tents / food etc. you will only be carrying your day pack. You are going to be amazed how quickly and effortlessly they can carry these items up the mountain. Most days aren’t too long in terms of hiking (depending how fast you are) but give you ample time to acclimatize. The summit day is something else. Depending how fast you are you will leave anywhere between 11pm and 2am (maybe later if you are even fitter) to reach the summit for sunrise. I would consider myself pretty fit but found the summit day pretty tiring, especially the last push before Stella Point. You won’t regret putting the effort/ training in before. Food was great too. Considering you are camping you still get freshly (and tasty) cooked hot meals and packed lunches on longer days. Pro tips: 1) I would highly recommend paying extra for the portable toilet. I read the same online before I went and opted for it and after seeing (smelling) the toilets on the mountain I’m happy I paid the extra 😊😮 2) wet season clothes A poncho is not optional but a MUST. It rained every day on the hike. When it poured it really poured and I was thankful I had a poncho and great rain gear. Trying to dry clothes / gear between days is limited so this will save you putting on wet trousers again or having a wet bag. 3) camp entertainment As mentioned some days aren’t the most demanding and you have sometime to kill in the camps. I had audio books but had downloaded a few episodes/ movies. Make sure you download quite a few. They weigh nothing! 4) pillow Bring an inflatable pillow for the camping. 5) extra treats The supporting team really appreciated sharing the treats brought from home. 6) safari make sure you do a safari. I had one day spare at the end of the trip and opted to go to the ngorongoro crater. Even though it was a super early start (3am) it was amazing and out of this world. Lion king in real life! 7) wet season Don’t necessarily be put off by the idea of hiking in the wet season. Besides from dealing with the rain the benefit is there are not as many people hiking / camping. There were only 5-6 other tourists I saw hiking. Looking at the size of some of the camps I can only imagine how busy the mountain would be in peak season.

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Rebecca
Rebecca

(Feb 2023)

Do not hesitate to book this trip! What an absolutely fantastic experience. I wouldn’t change a thing. Our guides Edwin, Vincent and Patrick were very professional and made sure our whole group was safe and extremely well taken care of. Edwin was very knowledgeable and ensured all aspects of the trip were explained and day to take made sure we were ready and prepared for what lay ahead. The whole team of porters were just super, we had such a good laugh with everyone and the team spirit was wonderful. A 5 star experience.

FAQs

Before you go

The Machame route is considered a moderately difficult route. It involves steep ascents. Hiking days on the 7-Day option are short compared to other routes. The high altitudes make trekking more difficult. While prior hiking experience is beneficial, those with a good level of fitness and determination can complete the route successfully. To train, we recommend running or playing sports at least two to three times a week. It's also great to do a few practice hikes with a 5kg rucksack before you arrive for your trek.

The best time to climb the Machame route is during the dry seasons, from January to mid-March and from June to October. These months generally offer better weather conditions and higher visibility, increasing the chances of a successful summit.

When you go above altitudes of 2,500m (as is the case on Kilimanjaro), there is less oxygen which poses a risk of altitude sickness. High altitude sickness can happen to anybody, regardless of age or fitness. Symptoms vary between individuals but commonly include headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and numbness in fingers and toes. These symptoms can come on unexpectedly and get severe quickly. To decrease the chances of experiencing altitude sickness, you need to allow your body time to acclimatise properly. Although impossible to completely prevent, we've designed our itineraries to give guests the best chance to adjust to the altitude changes. This 7-day route provides an extra day to acclimatise, which is, in our opinion, preferable to the 6-day Machame option. Ahsante guides have years of experience in recognizing and helping guests deal with altitude sickness. Note that oxygen is not used on Kilimanjaro to help guests reach the summit or to 'treat' altitude sickness. The only cure for altitude sickness is to immediately descend to lower ground. In severe cases, oxygen may be given to provide enough temporary relief to allow the affected guest to descend. In extreme cases, altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro can be fatal. We put your safety first. Our guides have years of experience, and their decision on whether or not to continue is final.

See inclusions and exclusions above.

We recommend that you check in with your personal healthcare advisor or travel doctor before your trip to Africa. We have provided a useful link below where you can find information on vaccine requirements.

The following is a packing list for Kilimanjaro: Documents: • Passport • Travel insurance details • Boarding passes for flights • Two passport photos • Driver’s license (if needed) • Cards and cash Gear and clothing (please make sure that you have non-cotton clothing for trekking): • Sleeping bag liner (optional) • Trekking boots: all-season, lightweight • Two base-layer t-shirts (e.g. running t-shirts) • Fleece/soft-shell jacket • Waterproof jacket • Down jacket for warmth • Travel clothes and city wear • Underwear • Base-layer trousers (optional) • Waterproof trousers • Trekking trousers • Trekking shorts (optional) • Multiple pairs thick wool mountaineering socks • Lightweight and breathable trekking socks • Gloves and wool hat • Small daypack (35l capacity is generally fine) • Duffel or rucksack with straps to go over your back • Dry Liner or Dry Bag • Water bottle/thermos: At least 2L. Nalgene bottles best. • Sunglasses • Suncream • General toiletries, contact lenses, glasses (if needed) • Towel • Electronics (head torch, travel adaptor, phone & charger) • Lip balm • Travel wash • Hand sanitiser, wet wipes • Trekking poles (pptional) Please note that all plastic bags, regardless of their thickness, are prohibited from being brought into Tanzania. This excludes packaging for medical supplies. If you don't want to purchase your own kit or need to travel light, you can hire most of the equipment from our guides in-country. Get in touch for the list and rental prices.

Most non-citizens need a Tanzanian tourist visa. This is easily obtained upon arrival. Tanzanian visas are also available online. Beware when purchasing your visa online, as there are many illegitimate companies trying to sell them. Below is a link to the official Tanzanian High Commission UK website. While applying for a visa, you will need the following host company details: Full Name: Ahsante Tours & Safaris Limited Mobile number: +255759690257 Email: info@ahsantetours.com Company name/Registration number: 100817209 Physical address: Plot 29-A, Karanga Drive, Moshi – Kilimanjaro Accommodation (where you will stay): Weru Weru River Lodge Address: P.O.Box 855, Mailisita, Moshi-Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

It is customary in Tanzania to tip guides and porters. The amount that you tip is completely up to you. As a good rule of thumb, generally, participants will tip around US$200 per customer (not per guide). You can give this to the head guide, and they will distribute it amongst the team of guides, porters, and cooks.

Yes, If you are travelling solo and would like your own room and tent for the duration of the trip, you can pay for a single supplement. The single supplement is an optional extra with a cost of $90 per traveller. This is payable in-country. Should you not wish to apply the single supplement, we will pair you with another group member to share accommodation during the trek (twin hotel room and shared tent).

On your trip

You have chefs with you on the hike who can cater to all dietary requirements. During the trek, you will be provided with three nutritious and filling meals each day to keep energy levels high. Please provide full details of any dietary requirements and allergies on your Trip Form. You will receive a link to fill this out shortly after booking. You can also update the form on your Skyhook dashboard. Note that lunch (at the hotel) on your first and final day is not included.

Portable toilets are an optional extra. The cost for this extra service is $150, payable at our offices, in-country. The group can decide whether they would like this extra service and split the cost between group members.

Most groups have 12 people, with a maximum of 14.

This is a 7-day version of the popular Machame route up Kilimanjaro. There is a shorter option (6-Day Machame Trek). If you have the time, we strongly recommend this longer option. The extra day is extremely beneficial to the acclimatisation process and gives you the best possible chance of reaching the summit.

Accommodation during the trek is in campsites in spacious tents shared between two people. The campsites provide basic facilities, such as toilets and dining tents. In Moshi (before and after the trek), you stay in hotel accommodation.

Every day on the trek we will provide you with filtered water to fill up your bottles. The water is filtered and boiled by a Katadyn filtration system. We recommend you also bring water purification tablets or a filter bottle.

The start and end point of this tour is Kilimanjaro International Airport. There are three pick-up times (10:00 AM, 5:00 PM or 11:59 PM). On the last date, you can fly at any time. Your guides will arrange transfers that work best for the group. Guests typically fly with BA, Air France, or Qatar. However, we'd recommend comparing a few airlines.

Other FAQs

The success rate of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame route is approximately 85% to 90%. Proper acclimatisation, physical fitness, and following the guidance of experienced guides significantly increase the chances of reaching the summit.

Kilimanjaro is very close to the equator, so the temperatures are very similar year-round. They can range from around 20°C(68°F) at the base to -10°C (14°F) on the summit. The dry season is June-September, and during these times, there is typically just a dusting of snow on the summit. These are also the busiest months. The wet season is Nov-May, where snow depth on the summit can regularly be 20-30cm.

Yes, of course! Safari in Tanzania is an amazing experience - simply message the Skyhook team before/ after booking and we'll help you arrange a 2-7 day safari.

Climbers must be at least 10 years old to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Any person under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Your head guide is Holyfield

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Ahsante Tours, based in Moshi.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Holyfield