8 Day Machame Route
he Machame Route known as the “Whiskey” route, begins at Machame Gate. It is located on the southern base of the mountain, in its green, abundant rainforest. We climb to the Shira Plateau, then traverse the mountain beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Icefield. We will make our summit approach from Barafu Hut. The total time on the mountain is 6 days.
Our trips begin and end at your lodge in Moshi, Tanzania. Clients may arrive at any time on day 1.
Try to arrive at your lodge in Moshi before 3 PM the day before your climb. With prior arrangement, an airport pick-up to your lodge is available from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), or simply make your own way by taxi. We will gather in the afternoon for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
Drive: 45 minutes
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Machame National Park gate, we begin to trek through a beautiful and lush forest. We have a picnic lunch en route. We camp at Machame Camp (9,800 ft).
5-6 hours · 6.7 miles elevation: +4,400 ft.
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the center of the plateau at Shira One (11,600 ft).
4-5 hours · 3.3 miles · elevation: +2,800 ft.
A morning of sustained ascent and panoramic views brings us to lunch near Lava Tower(15,150 ft). The trail then descends to the bottom of the Barranco Valley (12,800 ft), where we stay in the spectacular Barranco Camp sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below.
7-9 hours · 7.5 miles · elevation: +200 ft.
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo with superb vistas of the Southern lcefields. The terrain changes to scree with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows. We trek past Karanga Camp (13,100 ft) and continue along a path on compacted scree that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach Barafu Hut (14,800 ft). After dinner. we sleep early to prepare for the early morning final ascent.
7-11 hours · 6.6 miles · elevation: +2,000 ft.
We start our ascent by headlamp about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded switchbacks and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (18,800 ft) in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak(19,345 ft) passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast. and after some refreshments, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite. Millenium Camp (12,500 ft).
11-15 hours · 8.2 miles · elevation: +4,545 ft. gain · -6,845 ft. loss
A sustained descent on a well constructed path takes us through a lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Mweka (5,400 ft); where we are transferred to your lodging in Moshi.
4-6 hours · 7.6 miles · elevation: -7,100 ft.
After breakfast, we can arrange for a private transfer or taxi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Drive: 45 minutes