Machame Route

Machame Route

(10-Day Itinerary)

Climb Kilimanjaro

High on the Machame Route pushing toward the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Travel Day

Depart U.S.A. Depending on flight times and connections, travel to Moshi, Tanzania typically takes over 24 hours from the U.S. including a stop in Amsterdam or London. Please be sure your arrival in Tanzania coordinates with the first day of the program.

DAY 1 MOSHI (this is the start date listed on our dates and prices on the website)

We will pick you up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport  (generally at 9:00 PM) and drive about 45 minutes to the hotel in Moshi.


We will have a group meeting in the morning and spend part of the day organizing and packing all of our gear. In the afternoon we may take a hike to stretch our legs or relax by the pool.

DAY 3 MACHAME CAMP (9,750 ft.)

After breakfast we will drive about an hour to the Machame gate, which is the start of the climb. Here we sign in with the national park authorities and begin hiking. The trail here is in great shape and winds uphill through the tropical rainforest for 5 to 6 hours before reaching Machame Hut. The views from our first camp are fantastic.

DAY 4 SHIRA PLATEAU (12,480 ft.)

We start out at about 8 a.m. and enter alpine vegetation. In the distance we can see the first close-up of the snow-capped summit. This is a great day of gradual hiking through fields of heather. At around 10,000 ft. we begin to see the first Lobelia, Protea and giant Senecia plants. This is another 5 to 6 hour day.

DAY 5 BARRANCO CAMP (12,850 ft.)

Today we hike up over a high ridge, and then descend to Barranco camp. Our camping elevation does not change much, but the hike to almost 14,000 feet, helps with acclimatization. Barranco camp has a great view to the south over Moshi.

DAY 6 KARANGA VALLEY (13,200 ft.)

Most groups will move to Barafu camp on this day. However, we believe it’s best to spend an extra day at Karanga to aid in acclimatization and to make the summit day easier. This is a 4-hour day.

DAY 7 BARAFU CAMP (14,950 ft.)

We reach Barafu in about 4 hours. Here we will have lunch, and rest until dinner. Then we will sleep until midnight.

DAY 8 BARAFU to UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft.) to MILLENNIUM CAMP (12,500 ft.)

At midnight we’ll have some hot drinks, don our headlamps and head out. We plan most of our trips around the full moon, but it can still be dark if there are clouds.It will take 6 or 7 hours to reach the crater rim. Sunrise on the Crater is going to be something to remember forever. The sun rising over the plains of Africa and diffuse light highlighting the nearby glaciers is truly a world class experience. After a cup of hot tea, we will continue along the rim for another hour or two before reaching the highest point in Africa, (19,340 ft). Congratulations!We will spend up to a half hour on the summit and then begin the 4-hour descent to Barafu. At camp we will rest for a few hours and then walk down to Millennium camp. This is a great 4-hour walk with each step adding more oxygen. (Many companies will go all the way to Mweka camp at 10,000 feet. This is a bad idea! Imagine summit day. You just hiked from 15,000 ft to over 19,000 ft, then back to 12,000 ft. This is a big day and you are tired. There is no reason to go another 2 hours and 2000 ft on this day. This last 2000 feet after summit day is a great time to sprain an ankle or twist a knee.)


In the morning we have a 3-hour walk down to the road. We then get a lift back to the hotel and a well-deserved shower and a beverage with our guides. We overnight at the hotel.

Day 10

Transfer from the hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport, or head out on Safari!