9 Day Machame Route
he Machame Route known as the “Whiskey” route, begins at Machame Gate, located at the southern base of the mountain, within its green, abundant rainforest. We climb to the Shira Plateau, then traverse the mountain beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Icefield, before summiting from Barafu Hut. The 9 day Machame route is recommended because it provides an additional acclimatization day and shortens some of the daily hikes. The total time on the mountain is 7 days.
Our trips begin and end at your lodge in Moshi, Tanzania.
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 (5,400 ft), 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 through rocky hills with wide views of the Shira Plateau (11,000 ft). From our camp near Shira Hut (12,600 ft), we take in the unforgettable views of Mt. Meru as she floats among the clouds.
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 Icefields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga Camp (13,100 ft), the last water point on the approach to the summit.
4-6 hours · 3.2 miles · elevation: +300 ft.
We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach Barafu Hut (14,800 ft) for lunch. There is a short acclimatization hike to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (15,700 ft). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the early morning final ascent.
3-5 hours · 3.4 miles · elevation: +1,700 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 zig-zags 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 (19,341 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); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village, where we are transferred to our 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