Machame Route

 Panoramic view from Barranco CampThis challenging yomp to the summit of Kilimanjaro is suitable for regular hill walkers. The route offers stunning views of Kilimanjaro’s Breach Wall.

The route starts above the village of Machame on the south-west slopes of Kilimanjaro and traverses around to the east. On reaching the Shira Plateau, climbers spend several days above 4000m before setting out for the summit. This is excellent for acclimatisation and accounts for the Machame routes high success rate. 

Day 1. Arrive in Arusha. Hotel transfer.

Day 2. Drive from Arusha to the Machame Park Gate at 1790m. Trek to the Machame Camp at 3100m on a good path with some steep sections through forest and heather moorland. 5 – 7hrs, 1310m of ascent.

Day 3. Trek from the Machame Camp to the Shira Camp at 3048m on the edge of the alpine desert. Good path, steep and rocky at times. 5 –  7hrs, 840m of ascent.


Day 4. Trek from the Shira Camp to the Barranco Camp at 3950m (via the Lava Tower at 4500m). Follow a good path with some height gain and loss. Fantastic views of the breach wall. 5 – 7hrs, 110m of overall ascent.

Day 5. Trek from the Barranco Camp to the Karanga Camp at 4035m. This involves climbing the steep Great Barranco Wall (easy scramble/ steep path – 1.5 hrs)  8 – 9hrs, 650m of ascent. Fantastic views of Kibo and Mawenzie. Alpine desert. An awesome day on the mountain.


Day 6. Trek through the Alpine Desert from the Karanga Camp to the Barafu Hut at 4600m. 3hrs over a rocky path, steep at times. 565m of ascent. A short day in preparation for the summit climb.

Day 7. Set off at midnight to Uhuru Peak at 5895m via Stella Point. Steep frozen scree, snow and ice in patches. 6 hours to Stella Point, followed by a 1 hour trek around the crater rim to the summit. Retrace your steps back down to the Barafu Camp (break for an hour) then join the Mweka route and trek down to the Mweka Camp at 3080m, 7hrs. As with all of the routes on Kilimanjaro, the summit climb is tough. This is a 15hr day involving 1295m of ascent followed by 2815m of descent.

Day 8. Stagger down to the Mweka Park gate at 1630m. 1185m of descent on aching legs. Mandatory bottle of Kilimanjaro larger. Hotel transfer. Clean up, and catch the evening flight home.