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6 Days Machame Route

  • 6 Days 5 Nights
  • Min Persons : 2
  • Jan -Dec


The Machame Route, also known as the “Whiskey Route,” is one of the most popular routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. This route is preferred by many climbers due to its scenic beauty, challenging terrain, and high success rate.

The Machame Route starts from the southern base of the mountain and takes trekkers through diverse landscapes, including rainforests, moorlands, alpine deserts, and the arctic zone near the summit.

Price Includes

  • Park fees: Entrance, camping/hut, and rescue fees for Kilimanjaro National Park.
  • Guide and staff fees: Professional, licensed mountain guide and support staff (cooks and porters) wages.
  • Accommodations: Tents during the climb
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks during the climb. Meals are usually prepared by a cook.
  • Transportation: Ground transfers to and from the starting and ending points of the climb.
  • Equipment: Group equipment such as dining tent, table, chairs, and cooking equipment.

Price Excludes

  • International and domestic flights: You'll need to arrange and cover the costs of your flights to and from Tanzania.
  • Visa fees: Costs associated with obtaining a Tanzanian visa.
  • Travel insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance, including coverage for high-altitude trekking, medical evacuation, and trip cancellation.
  • Personal gear: Clothing, hiking boots, trekking poles, headlamp, sunglasses, sleeping bags, and other personal equipment.
  • Tips: Tips for the guides, porters, and cooks are not included and are expected. Tipping guidelines vary, but a general range is $200-$300 per climber, to be divided among the crew.
  • Additional meals and accommodation: Meals and accommodations before and after the climb in Moshi or Arusha.
  • Optional equipment rental: If you need to rent any personal gear such as a sleeping bag or trekking poles, this cost is typically not included.
  • Personal expenses: Souvenirs, snacks, beverages, and other personal items purchased during the trip.
  • Oxygen or hyperbaric chamber: Costs associated with renting or using supplemental oxygen or a portable hyperbaric chamber, if required.

What to Expect

When embarking on the 6-day Machame Route climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, you can expect a challenging but rewarding journey with varied landscapes and breathtaking views. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

  1. Varied terrain and vegetation zones: The Machame Route takes you through five distinct vegetation zones: rainforest, heath and moorland, alpine desert, and the arctic zone. You’ll experience a wide variety of flora and fauna as you ascend.

  2. Challenging but non-technical climb: The Machame Route is considered a challenging trek due to its relatively fast pace, steep inclines, and high altitude. However, it does not require any technical mountaineering skills. Some sections, like the Barranco Wall, require a bit of scrambling, but it is manageable for most trekkers.

  3. Acclimatization: The 6-day Machame Route offers less time for acclimatization compared to the 7-day option. However, the “climb high, sleep low” approach on Day 3 aids in acclimatization. It’s crucial to maintain a slow and steady pace, drink plenty of water, and listen to your guide’s advice.

  4. Camping: Accommodation on the Machame Route consists of tent camping. Be prepared for basic facilities and shared sleeping arrangements with your fellow trekkers.

  5. Weather conditions: Expect varying weather conditions during the climb, including hot and humid days in the rainforest, cold nights at higher elevations, and potentially windy conditions near the summit. Weather can change rapidly on the mountain, so be prepared for anything.

  6. Physical fitness: The 6-day Machame Route is demanding, and a good level of physical fitness is required. Prioritize cardiovascular and strength training in the months leading up to the climb to ensure you’re in the best shape possible.

  7. Altitude sickness: The risk of altitude sickness is present on any high-altitude trek, including the Machame Route. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. It’s important to monitor your body’s response to the altitude and communicate any concerns to your guide.

  8. Guided experience: The Machame Route is a fully guided experience, with a knowledgeable and experienced team of guides, porters, and cooks. They’ll assist with navigation, setting up camp, and meal preparation, allowing you to focus on the climb.

  9. Summit night: Summit night is the most challenging part of the trek, with a steep ascent in cold, dark conditions. However, reaching Uhuru Peak and witnessing the sunrise over Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that makes the effort worthwhile.

  10. Cultural interaction: Throughout your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with local Tanzanian guides, porters, and other support staff. This cultural exchange can be an enriching and rewarding aspect of the climb.

Overall, the 6-day Machame Route offers a challenging and exhilarating experience for those seeking adventure and an unforgettable journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Remember to train well, pack appropriate gear, and enjoy the journey!


Day 1: Machame Gate (1,800 m) to Machame Camp (3,000 m)

  • Drive from Moshi or Arusha to Machame Gate, which typically takes 2-3 hours.
  • Upon arrival, complete registration formalities with the park authorities.
  • Begin your trek, walking through the lush rainforest with its dense vegetation, taking about 5-7 hours to reach Machame Camp.
  • Along the way, you might encounter wildlife, such as blue monkeys and various bird species.
  • Arrive at Machame Camp (3,000 m), set up camp, and spend the night there.

This first day of the climb will take you through the rainforest zone, allowing you to acclimatize gradually as you gain altitude. It’s essential to maintain a slow and steady pace to enhance your acclimatization process.

Day 2: Machame Camp (3,000 m) to Shira Camp (3,840 m)

  • After breakfast, start your trek from Machame Camp to Shira Camp.
  • Leave the rainforest zone and enter the moorland zone, characterized by giant heather and lobelia plants.
  • The hike will take approximately 4-6 hours, with a gradual ascent.
  • Enjoy stunning views of Kibo (the main summit of Kilimanjaro) as you approach Shira Camp.
  • Arrive at Shira Camp (3,840 m) and set up camp for the night.

On day two, you will continue to acclimatize as you gain altitude. The change in vegetation from rainforest to moorland provides a unique and beautiful landscape. Remember to keep a steady pace and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Day 3: Shira Camp (3,840 m) to Lava Tower (4,630 m) to Barranco Camp (3,960 m)

  • Begin the day by hiking eastwards through the Shira Plateau, gradually gaining altitude.
  • Continue your ascent towards the Lava Tower, a large volcanic rock formation. This portion of the trek takes around 4-5 hours.
  • Reaching Lava Tower (4,630 m) will help with acclimatization as you’ll be exposed to higher altitude before descending.
  • Descend into the Barranco Valley, taking about 2-3 hours to reach Barranco Camp.
  • Overnight at Barranco Camp, which offers stunning views of the Barranco Wall and the Western Breach.

This day is crucial for acclimatization, as you “climb high and sleep low.” This helps your body adapt to the altitude and increases your chances of reaching the summit successfully.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) to Karanga Camp (4,035 m)

  • Start the day by tackling the Barranco Wall, a steep rock face requiring some scrambling skills. It usually takes about 1-2 hours to climb the wall.
  • Enjoy panoramic views from the top of the wall, then descend into the Karanga Valley.
  • Cross the valley and make a short, steep climb up to Karanga Camp (4,035 m).
  • The trek from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp typically takes 4-5 hours.
  • Overnight at Karanga Camp.

Day 4 is a relatively shorter day in terms of distance, but the challenge of climbing the Barranco Wall adds excitement to the journey. The shorter day also allows for further acclimatization and helps to conserve energy for the upcoming summit push.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) to Barafu Camp (4,640 m) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) to Mweka Camp (3,100 m)

  • After breakfast, leave Karanga Camp and head towards Barafu Camp (4,640 m). This portion of the trek takes about 3-4 hours.
  • Arrive at Barafu Camp in the early afternoon, rest and prepare for the upcoming summit attempt. Have an early dinner and try to get some sleep.
  • Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb typically takes 6-8 hours and is considered the most challenging part of the route due to the steep incline and high altitude.
  • Reach Stella Point (5,685 m) on the crater rim, where you’ll be greeted by an incredible sunrise.

Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,100 m) to Mweka Gate (1,640 m)

  • Wake up at Mweka Camp after a well-deserved night’s rest following your summit success.
  • Enjoy breakfast and then begin your descent through the rainforest, heading towards Mweka Gate.
  • The descent usually takes 3-4 hours, during which you’ll enjoy the lush green vegetation and possibly spot some wildlife.
  • Upon reaching Mweka Gate (1,640 m), you’ll sign out with the park authorities and receive your summit certificates (green for Stella Point and gold for Uhuru Peak).
  • Meet your transport and drive back to Moshi or Arusha, where you can celebrate your incredible accomplishment and begin your journey home or continue on to your next adventure.


What is the success rate for the 6-day Machame Route?

The success rate for the 6-day Machame Route is lower than the 7-day option due to the shorter acclimatization period. However, it still has a relatively high success rate compared to other routes, with estimates ranging from 60% to 80%, depending on the trekker’s fitness level, preparation, and weather conditions.

How difficult is the 6-day Machame Route?

The 6-day Machame Route is considered moderately difficult. While it doesn’t require any technical climbing skills, it features steep inclines, high altitudes, and a faster pace than the 7-day option. A good level of physical fitness and prior experience with high-altitude trekking are recommended.

What is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route?

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route is during the dry seasons: January to mid-March and June to October. These months offer better weather conditions, increasing your chances of a successful summit and providing better visibility for the stunning landscapes.

How do I prepare for the 6-day Machame Route?

To prepare for the 6-day Machame Route, focus on cardiovascular and strength training, with an emphasis on endurance exercises. Also, practice hiking with a loaded backpack and, if possible, complete high-altitude treks to acclimate your body to the elevation. Additionally, ensure you have appropriate gear, including high-quality clothing and footwear, and a suitable

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