7 Days Machame route

7 Days Machame route


This is a 7-day Kilimanjaro hike starting at Machame Gate to the south west of the national park. It ascends sharply through afromontane forest, into the heath zone and on to the edge of the remnants of the Shira Volcano. The route then circumnavigates the main peak, Kibo, anticlockwise. En route we pass some spectacular features such as giant steps and glacial valleys. The final ascent is from Barafu Camp. It is a night time ascent to Uhuru Peak via Stella Point. The descent is via the Mweka Route.

After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. At the gate your crew finalise packing and after finishing with formalities you start hiking from Machame Gate. Today's hiking is through verdant afromontane forest and is steep in places. A picnic lunch is taken on trail during the hike before reaching Machame Camp for the night.

From Machame Camp you hike to Shira Camp. The first section is relatively steep and altitude is gained rapidly but you will still make it to your next camp in time for a hot lunch. The zone you pass into today is known as the heath zone where attractive heliochrysum and lobelia plants become apparent. Various geologic features can be seen today from lava tubes to glacial valleys.

Today is a “walk high sleep low” day. You ascend into alpine desert to Lava Tower (Alt: 15,092ft, 4600m) where lunch is taken before descending to Barranco Camp. This is a long day but note that the next time you head to this altitude is in two days time at base camp – a great acclimatisation day!

From Barranco Camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga Camp. Today is a relatively short day’s hike and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising. In the evening a practice walk for the summit is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable with the kit you are going to summit in.

Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp; yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the rest of the evening.

Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence are the name of game to reach the summit (Uhuru Peak: 19341ft, 5895m) and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point (Alt: 18,865ft, 5750m) affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down however. The first stage is to get back to our base camp for a quick change of clothes and refuel before the long hike downhill to Mweka Camp. The downhill is hard on the knees and walking poles at this stage are highly recommended. You should reach Mweka Camp before dusk for your final night on the mountain.


After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well deserved shower! Later that evening you will be visited by Am Realistic Tour And Safaris Representative to congratulate you, to find out how the trip went and to answer any final questions you may have about your onward journey.