Kili Footprints - Mount Kilimanjaro

Also known as “The Whiskey Route,” Machame is one of the more scenic routes on the mountain. It is a popular route among climbers due to its high summit success rate. Allowing you to “climb high, sleep low”, this route gives your body enough time to adjust to the changes in altitude over several days.

Machame offers only tented accommodation and begins at the Machame Gate at the southern base of the mountain, with the approach to the summit made from the east. You will also descend the mountain via a different route, finishing your climb at Mweka Gate.

Climbs can take six or seven days; however, we would always advise choosing the longer route for the best chance of acclimatization and reaching the summit.



Meet-and-greet at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your accommodation in Moshi Panama garden Resorts

Once you have arrived in Moshi, we will arrange a pre-climbing brief with one of our mountain guides to ensure that you have all the correct gears and equipment. We will also talk you through what to expect on your climb to the highest point in Africa and answer any questions/concerns you may have.

Day 1:  Machame Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to Machame Camp (3,000m/9,800ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,200 metres / 3,900 feet

After breakfast, you’ll get picked up from your accommodation in Moshi and driven to the starting point at Machame (approx 45 minutes).  The climb starts at Machame Gate (1,800m), followed by a 5 to 6 hour walk through dense rainforest and coffee plantations to reach Machame Camp (3,000m). Here you will also get a very good chance of witnessing Black and White Colobus monkeys, as well as many different species of brightly-coloured birds.

Day 2:  Machame Camp (3,000m/9,800ft) to Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft)

Elevation Gain: 840 metres / 2,800 feet

This day’s trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams. Here you will start to get fantastic views of Kibo, the summit cone of Mt. Kilimanjaro, while continuing along a rocky ridge to Shira Plateau. The hike to the next campsite which is the Shira Camp (3,840m) takes approximately 6 hours.

Day 3:  Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) to Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,650ft) via Lava Tower (4,550m/14,900ft)

Elevation Gain: 710 metres / 2,300 feet
Elevation Loss: 700 metres / 2,250 feet

The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning with sweeping vistas across to Meru and the Shira Needles. This day’s trek lasts for about 6 hours with a steady walk taking you past Lava Tower (4,550m), where you stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend into the Barranco Valley towards Barranco Camp (3,850m). Although you will finish today’s climb at almost the same elevation as you started, this is very good practice for acclimatisation and will help prepare your body for summit day.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,650ft) to Karanga Camp (3,995m/13,106ft)

Elevation Gain: 145 meters / 456 feet

This will be a shorter day of hiking (taking approximately 4 to 5 hours) to allow for acclimatization. After breakfast, you will begin to ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys – but don’t worry, this sounds more difficult than it actually is! You will then cross a series of hills and valleys before descending to Karanga Camp (3,995m). If you are feeling up to it, in the afternoon you have the opportunity to hike in the Karanga Valley where giant senecios and lobelia grow; however, you are well advised to rest as much as you possibly can to prepare for the climb ahead.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (3,995m /13,106ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m /15,100ft)

Elevation Gain: 605 metres / 1,994 feet

The scenic climb to Barafu is mostly on a moraine with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seemingly just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Today’s hike will take approximately 4 hours. Rest for the night at Barafu Camp (4,600m) and prepare for the upcoming hike to the summit.

Day 6:  Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,300ft) then descending to Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,295 metres / 4,200 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,785 metres / 9,100 feet

This is where the going gets really tough! The climb to the summit starts at around 12:00am. For about 6 hours you will be climbing the steepest and most challenging part of your journey. Head northwest through the heavy stone scree following multiple switchbacks between Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers until you reach Stella Point (5,685m). After a short rest at Stella Point, you will hike along the crater rim for another hour before reaching your ultimate goal – Uhuru Peak! Congratulations, you have now made it to the highest point in Africa! From here you will descend going straight down to Mweka Camp (with a short, well-deserved rest at Barafu Camp where you can collect the rest of your belongings). The descent usually takes a further 6 to 7 hours.

Day 7: Mweka Hut (3,100m) to Mweka Gate (1,980m)

Elevation Loss: 1,280 metres / 4,220 feet

After eating breakfast, you will begin the easiest part of your adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro! The day is spent descending to Mweka Gate via a scenic path through the rainforest. The descent to the gate will take approximately 5 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Transfer back to accommodation in Moshi.

NB: 6 Day Itinerary for Machame Route – The difference between the six-day and seven-day climbs is that you miss out on an overnight stay at Karanga Camp. On day 4, you trek from Barranco Camp straight to Barafu Camp with lunch in Karanga Valley. This hike takes approximately 7 to 8 hours. 


  1. All park fees (entry, camping, forest department and rescue fees)
  2. All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while on the mountain
  3. Pre/post accommodation (2 nights in mid-range hotel)
  4. Airport transfers**
  5. Camping and facilities
  6. Fair and ethical salaries for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
  7. Transport to and from the gate
  8. Drinking water
  9. Oxygen cylinder and ox meter


  1. Tips for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
  2. All personal mountain climbing gear and equipment
  3. Alcohol, soft drinks and energy snacks
  4. Flights, travel insurance, visa and any required vaccinations

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: Active

Hiking, trekking, biking, and kayaking adventures all over the Tanzania made for outdoor types.

Service Level: Camping

Camping most nights with some hotel/hostel stays to start and throughout; affordable public and private transport.

Physical Rating: 5 – Challenging

Serious high-altitude hikes, cycling, or other instances of heavy exercise. Come prepared to sweat a bit.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 12, avg 5

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

  • 1 Lead guide
  • 1 Assistance guide
  • 1 Cook
  • 1 Waiter
  • 7 Regular porters

* Prices depend on the number of climbers in the group, the route you choose, and how many days you wish to climb. Please contact us directly to receive a quote. 

**Accommodation and airport transfers are included in our Mount Kilimanjaro packages as standard. If you do not require either of these services, let us know and we can adjust your quote.

Interested in the above package? Contact us today to book your climb to the “Roof of Africa” with Kili Footprints!