Machame Route popularly known as “Whiskey Route” is the most difficult of all the routes on Kilimanjaro, better suited for more adventurous climbers. The trekking passes through cloudy forests, Shira Plateau and the Lava Tower at the same time providing superb sceneries across different habitats.
Machame Route Itinerary
Day 1: Zanzibar Booking & Safaris Ltd welcomes you to Tanzania to discover the wild and rugged country of superlatives! Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport you will be met and warmly greeted by Zanzibar Booking & Safaris Ltd representative who will take you to your place of stay in Moshi for Dinner and an Overnight.
Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame Camp (Elevation: 5’380ft – 9,350ft)
In the morning, after breakfast and a thorough briefing, we drive to Machame Gate for Park formalities before we trek up. The climb starts from here and you will walk through the winding trail up across dense forest and the giant heather to Machame Camp for overnight
Hiking Time: 5 – 7hours, Distance: 11Kms, Habitat: Montane Rainforest
Day 3: Machame Camp – Shira Camp 2 (Elevation: 9,350ft – 12,500ft)
Today you will leave the glades of the forest behind and hike on steep and dusty trails. Most of the trail is rather bare of vegetation and provides little shade from heat – the hike is slow with lots of breaks to gradually acclimatize on the various ridges and valleys of the mountain. Across Shira Plateau, you will pass through heather and open moorland and after crossing a large river you will be at Shira Camp 2 for a night stay.
Hiking Time: 4 – 6hours, Distance: 5Kms, Habitat: Heather
Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Barranco (Elevation: 12,500ft – 13,000ft)
From the Shira Plateau, you continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, you come to the second junction which brings you up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. You now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here you rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Hiking Time: 6 – 8hours, Distance: 10Kms, Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (Elevation: 13,000ft – 13’100ft)
Scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then transverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley Campsite. This is a short day walk intended for acclimatization.
Hiking Time: 4 – 5hours, Distance: 5Kms, Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (Elevation: 13,100ft – 15,300ft)
After breakfast, leave Karanga behind and trail up to Barafu Hut, a point that offers stunning views of the summit from various angles. Two peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi can be seen from here and this is where the rest of the day is spent to prepare for the summit on the next day.
Hiking Time: 4 – 5hours, Distance: 4Kms, Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 7: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
(Elevation: 15,300ft – 19,345ft) – Ascend
Start after midnight and ascend between Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, through heavy screes to Stella Point on the Crater rim. The views are spectacular as the first rays of the morning sun hit the surroundings while you are taking a bit of a break! Another one hour’s walk will take you to the summit and it is possible that you will encounter snow throughout this last hour to the summit, Uhuru Peak. At Uhuru Peak, you will have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the whole of Africa.
Hiking Time: 7 – 8hours, Distance: 5Kms, Habitat: Arctic
(Elevation: 19,345ft – 10,000ft) – Descend
Descend to Barafu Hut for a rest and brunch before continuing down to camp at Mweka Hut for the last night and dinner on the mountain. The camp is situated in the upper forest and therefore mist or rain can be a possibility in the late afternoon.
Hiking Time: 4 – 6hours, Distance: 12Kms, Habitat: Forest
Day 8: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate (10,000ft – 5,345ft)
A gentle trek takes you down through the montane forest to Mweka Gate, where you will complete Park formalities and receive Certificates, which you can hang up with pride! Please note that at lower elevations it can be wet and muddy but the gaiters and trekking poles will help. Also keep the rain gears and warm clothes handy. You are then met by our vehicles and return to the hotel in Arusha, where you can treat yourself to a welcome shower (and a cold beer or two!).