Our Second Most Popular Route
The second most popular option among climbers is the Machame route, also known as “the Whiskey Route”. This route offers a wide variety of views, landscapes, and experiences. The starting point of the route, Machame Gate, is only a 20-minute drive from your hotel. Located on the southern slope of Mt Kilimanjaro, Machame Gate will lead you to the top of Kilimanjaro along the exciting footpath which starts at the tropical forest, then runs through all the climate zones, and finishes with the Arctic desert in the summit area.
Camps along the trek are favorably located for a smooth and gradual acclimatization transition process. On the 3rd day, Machame Route converges with Lemosho and Umbwe at Barranco camp.
You can choose between a six or seven-day climb. The latter is highly preferred for better acclimatization transition.
Other Climbing Routes
Machame 7-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), where you will meet a ROA Expeditions representative, and transfer to the hotel under the rate. The hotel will provide all the essentials for a comfortable stay: cozy rooms, hot water, polite staff, a swimming pool, and Internet access. In the evening there will be a briefing with our managers, who will also make sure you are ready to begin the climb.
Day 2: Machame Gate To Machame Camp
A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park’s entrance: Machame Gate (1,800 m). After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group will start trekking up to Machame Camp (3,010 m). The trekking route includes passage through the rainforest (where tropical showers are highly probable), so we recommend you take not only spare clothes but also your raincoats.
This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:
- Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine
- Drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)
- Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.
At night you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.
Day 3: Machame Camp To Shira Camp
After breakfast, you will start trekking up to the second high-altitude camp, Shira Camp (3,845 m). On this day you will emerge from the rainforest and for the first time be able to see stunning views of the Shira Plateau laid out in front of you. Physically speaking, the trek is not very difficult, but you may feel the changes in altitude, so pay attention to your body and remember that choosing the proper pace is extremely important for good trekking. When you reach the camp, you will have lunch and some rest, after which the group will go on an acclimatization hike towards Lava Tower Camp with a 300-meter gain in altitude. Back down at Shira Camp, you will be served a hot dinner.
Day 4: Shira Camp To Lava Tower And Descent To Barranco Camp
Depart Shira Camp after breakfast and head towards Lava Tower ascending from 3,845 to 4,630 m. The rise-and-fall nature of this trek may present some difficulties. However, the 4,600 m altitude at the Lava Tower itself is crucial for proper acclimatization. The lunch break will take place here in order to give you some extra high-altitude time before descending approximately 650 m to Barranco Camp (3,960 m), which is the next overnight stop on this route.
Then you will descend to Barranco Camp (3,960 m). Here you can see the famous Barranco Wall, impressive in both its massive size and steepness! Next day you will be climbing it, but don’t worry: it features a very simple hiking trail.
Note: in those cases where some group members feel uncomfortable climbing up to Lava Tower, the route may be changed to bypass it resulting in the highest point reaching 4,400 meters.
Day 5: Barranco Camp To Karanga Camp
On this day it is best to make an early start to avoid crowding on the way up Barranco Wall. Despite the Wall’s seemingly daunting height and steepness, the actual climb is rather merciful at a mere hour or so. The top provides a great photo opportunity with Kibo Peak as the backdrop. The next part of the day is rife with ups and downs and your guides will choose the best place for individual climbers. A lunch break at Karanga Camp shall be followed by an acclimatization climb towards Barafu with its highest point being 4,270 m. The group then drops back to Karanga Camp overnight.
Day 6: Karanga Camp To Barafu Camp
After breakfast, you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m). Our team will set up a camp for you ahead of time, including tents and sleeping bags, so you can relax. After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization climb towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp with its highest point being 4,800 m, and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner. It is better to spend the remainder of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.
Day 7: Ascent To Uhuru Peak And Descent To Mweka Camp
Departure from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude. Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor their physical and mental conditions. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue your descent to Mweka Camp (3,100 m).
Note: Don’t forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.
Day 8: Mweka Camp To Mweka Gate
The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park’s exit: Mweka Gate (1,640 m). After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates in our office and provide you with a transfer back to the hotel.
Day 9: Departure
Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.
The Climb Cost Includes:
- Return transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to accommodation in Moshi;
- Return transfer from accommodation in Moshi to the entry gate into Kilimanjaro National Park.
- Park Fees: all park fees collected by Kilimanjaro National Park (conservation fees, camping fees, crew fees, vehicle fees, rescue fees,s and all others).
- Accommodation at 3* hotel, one night before and one night after the expedition. You will have all for a comfortable stay – friendly staff, clean rooms, Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a swimming pool;
- Tented accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro (modern comfortable 4-season North Face VE-25 tents);
Please note: by default, you will share a room and a tent with your travel companion. If you travel solo on a group expedition, we will room you with a same-sex participant. A single room is available upon request.
- Breakfast in the hotel before and after the hike;
- All meals on the hike. You will find delicious energy-rich meals on our mountain menus. Our professional chefs will prepare assorted soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Vegetarian/gluten-free/halal options are available at no extra cost;
- All drinks on the hike (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water).
Hiking and safety equipment:
- 4-inch (10-cm) thick and comfortable sleeping mats;
- All group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery, and cutlery);
- Oxygen cylinders and oximeters;
- Complete medical kits including Diamox.
- Professional guides licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park. All guides are holders of Wilderness First Responder certification. All of them have 10+ years of successful experience;
- Dedicated support crew (assistant guides, camp master, porters, cooks, etc.).
- 18% VAT, 1% TDL, and 0.3% Service Levy. ROA Expeditions is an honest and responsible tour operator working in full compliance with the tax law of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The Climb Cost Excludes:
- International flights;
- Visa fee;
- Visa fee (100 USD for American citizens and 50 USD for all others);
- Personal gear rentals;
- Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the climb);
- Portable toilets (if required – 250 USD per unit, one can be shared between 3-4 people);
- Mountaineering insurance. You’ll need special insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro that covers high-altitude trekking up to 6000 m.