Kilimanjaro Machame Route sample day plan
Often called the “Whiskey Route” this is a scenically beautiful trail, longer and much gentler than Umbwe or Marangu (the “Coca Cola Route”). Our itinerary provides valuable acclimatization by having an extra day, but shorter walking days during the trek. We’d love to organise any route you wish, like Rongai - Marangu combination or Lemosho.
DAY 1: You can reach Arusha either by plane or by road from Nairobi. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in or near Arusha.
DAY 2: After breakfast transfer to Machame Gate (100 km) and (1850 m) where your hike starts after an introduction to your crew. Today's hike takes only 6 hours (15 km) and takes you through the natural rain forest and giant heather between River Weru and Makoa to the Machame Hut at 3000 m.DAY 3:
Today's hike takes (5-6 hours/8 km) and leads you down a gorge where you cross several dry riverbeds before ascending a cliff. Here you can view the Shira Plateau, the oldest of Kilimanjaro's 3 calderas and enjoy a well-deserved lunch break. The last part to Shira hut at 3800 m takes you past Shira cave to Shira Hut on level ground before ascending a rocky platform where the hut is situated.
DAY 4: After breakfast at 7.00 a.m. you leave Shira Hut for a long hike (7-8 hours) to Karanga Valley on the southern circuit. The path takes you through sparse vegetation to the start of the alpine desert where you branch to Barranco Hut leaving the Lava Tower Rock on your left. Lunch will be taken at the Barranco Hut where Western Breach Ascenders will spend their night while the others proceed for another 2-3 hours to the Karanga Valley camp site.
DAY 5: Non Technical Climbers. After filling the water containers at the Karanga River the hike takes you to Barafu Hut at
4600 m. The path soon leaves after a 2 hours gentle walk the moorland and dry heather and takes you through a steep rocky section to Barafu Hut for a magnificent view of Kibo, Mawenzi and the plains below. The hike takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Technical Climbers Climbers choosing to ascend via western breach will have to hike up to the Arrow Hut which is damaged by an avalanche at 4800 m. The path leads you direct in direction of the western breach, past the orange rocks of the Lava Tower Hut and finally through steep scree to a platform at the base of the western breach where you will spend your night in tents.
DAY 6: Non Technical Climbers. After a short night and a hot drink, the final ascend starts at between midnight and 1.00 am. This section is getting gradually steeper as you zigzag for 5-6 hours the frozen scree or depending on the season the frozen snow fields before you reach at sunrise the Stella point (5700 m) on the crater rim from where you can watch sunrise and the magnificent ice fields. After a short break, you then proceed along the crater rim to the Uhuru peak (5895 m) reaching there at about 8.30 am. After your summit photo and meeting the technical climbers coming from the west you then descend to Barafu Hut for lunch before dropping to Mweka Hut (3100 m) where the night will be spent in tents.
Technical Climbers. After a short night and a hot drink, the final ascend starts at between midnight and 1.00 am. This section is still a non-technical route but climbers should be familiar with the use of ropes and ice axes as well as walking with crampons. After a 4-5 hours walk on steep scree, which is often snow covered, you reach the crater rim at the Great West notch where you have to use your hands to reach the crater floor. After another 2 1/2 hours pat the Rebmann glacier and a steep rocky section you will meet the 'non-technical colleagues' at the Uhuru Peak. After your summit photo you descend via Barafu Hut to Mweka Hut at 3100 m.
DAY 7: The final leg which takes about 4 hours starts heading for Mweka gate (1400 m). Here you will be awarded your certificate before proceeding with your program.
You can spend a well deserved night at Arusha or Moshi, fly back to Nairobi or start your safari in Tanzania or Kenya. Or travel to the coast to relax.
There are different routes on Kilimanjaro. Please ask us for shorter or longer itineraries. We only work with reliable mountaineers to spare you non pleasant experiences by booking along the road.
Important: Climbers must be prepared to walk for up to 9 hours a day and on the day of the Uhuru peak ascend, for up to 14 hours.
Western Breach climbers have to bring an ice axe and crampons. Our porters carry 8 kg of personal climbing gear.