Machame route on Kilimanjaro

Machame route Kilimanjaro, More info on the Machame route with maps, distance, pictures, huts, reviews, success rate, package prices and more.

Our all-time favorate the Machame route is the most scenic route on Kilimanjaro.

The Machame route allows you to experience the southwest and south side of Kilimanjaro, traversing up and down and over river valleys on the southern slopes, this increases the body’s ability to naturally acclimatize more properly and increase your chance for success.
All equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside.

From late afternoon sunsets on the Shira Plateau, to the misty revelations of Kilimanjaro great Barranco Wall, the Machame Route offers hikers a continuous scenic slide show. The Machame route is also referred to as the “Whiskey Route”.

The Machame route is highly recommended for people experiencing high altitude mountaineering for the first time. A minimum of 6 days on Mount Kilimanjaro is needed, but for more comfort and to increase your chance of success, 7 days are recommended. Accommodation on this route will be in tents, included in the package, and the porters will pitch your tent for you.

Have a look at our special Kilimanjaro packages for the Machame route!

Important questions and answers about the Machame route on Kilimanjaro

Why choose the Machame route?

The Machame route we have found is definitely of the most opted for routes to consider for your adventure up Kilimanjaro.

While it is not the longest route to reach the summit, the old adage for better acclimatization of “climb-high, sleep-low” comes to mind when using this tented route, with climbs to ridges and descents to valleys marking the approach days to Barafu Camp, base camp for summit, which will definitely aid hikers in their quest to reach the summit.

Why not to consider the Machame route?

Long, challenging route, popularity of this route makes it a busy route.

What is the Machame route success rate for hiking on Kilimanjaro?

Official statistics are not available from the Kilimanjaro national park, but the success rate will depend on the days that you spend on Kilimanjaro.

The Machame route can be done in 6 days or 7 days. We recommend to take 7 days, although 6 days will allow adequate acclimatization.

The Machame route, compared to the other routes, will offer you a high chance or reaching the summit.

No route on Kilimanjaro will guarantee you reaching the summit, but is that not the reason why you want to climb Kilimanjaro? You want to challenge yourself, with the reward being worth so much more at the end.

With Dream World Adventures, through our years of experience and logistical systems in place, we offer our clients a 100% chance of reaching the summit, helping you prepare for your adventure from mental and physical aspect.
Anybody with average fitness levels, the right equipment and armed with knowledge of what lies ahead will stand a good chance of successfully summitting Kilimanjaro and no prior experience is required due to it not being a technical climb at all. Unfortunately though, altitude affects each person differently, irrespective of age, gender and fitness levels and the fear of ‘will I get sick?” plagues all of us before the time.

Only when on the mountain will you know if your body is able to adapt physiologically to the decreasing oxygen levels in the air and decreasing atmospheric pressure.

What Kilimanjaro tour packages are available?

If traveling from South Africa, we also have some great Kilimanjaro packages from South Africa.

Recommended days to plan for on the Machame route?

The Machame route can be done in 6 or 7 days.

We recommend to take 7 days, although 6 days will allow adequate acclimatization.

What is the distance from the park gate to the summit of Kilimanjaro on the Machame route?

From the Machame park gate to Uhuru Peak, the top of Kilimanjaro is has been calculated by the Kilimanjaro National park to be 40 km.

Other Kilimanjaro routes that we also recommend;

While the Machame route should definitely be consider, other routes on Kilimanjaro we recommend will be the Marangu route, Lemosho route, Rongai route or the Umbwe route.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on how to climb Kilimanjaro?

Look no further than our Kilimanjaro online guide.

Machame Route daily itinerary

Marangu route map on Kilimanjaro
More information on our 6 day Machame route, that is set out in a detailed 8 day itinerary that includes your 2 traveling days to and from Moshi in Tanzania.
40 km from Machame park gate to Uhuru peak.
Day one on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Marangu route itinerary

Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania.

The first day of your itinerary, after arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, will be to traveling to Moshi in Tanzania.
Your adventure itinerary will start and finish in Moshi.
If you will be traveling by Air your arrival Airport will be at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a representative of our Tanzanian counterparts and be transferred to Hotel Springlands in Moshi.
This hotel offers great views of mountain Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
You will overnight at Hotel Springlands.

Day two on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route day 01 review

Day 1 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; The Machame Park gate 1 800m
End of day; The Machame camp 2 835m
Terrain; Rain forest / Montane forest
Distance to walk; 11 km
Hiking time; 5 hours

After a relaxing night stay at Springlands your first day on your Machame route Kilimanjaro adventure starts.

Depending on what time your arrived at the hotel on the previous day, you would either have had a detailed briefing with your guide.

Important things that needs to be covered are your equipment, if you still need to rent some gear this is the time to get all in place. Also the meals that will be prepared for you will be covered, if you have specific requirements or needs please remember to communicate this to your guide.

From Springlands Hotel it will be approximately 1 hour drive to Machame Gate, the starting point of your hike on the south western side of the National park.

While you sign in and register at the Machame gate office, the guides and porters will prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment.

The guide will present you with a lunch pack, and drinking water for the first day will be bottled water that you can purchase at Springlands Hotel in Moshi.

It is important to understand that your acclimatization proses starts from day one, and you need to ensure that you allow your body enough time to acclimatize. Also important you keep up with water intake, in order to keep your body’s natural balance. Your guide and his assistant guide will provided the pace for your hike, do not try and go faster.

The first day you will be hiking though the rainforest belt that is found around the park and the first day will take you approximately 5 hours hiking time.

There is a high possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience, ensure to have your wet weather gear handy in your day pack.

Utilizing the full day to reach your first camp on the route, The Machame camp at 2 835m, you can start relaxing as all the normal camp responsibilities are taken care of by your guide and his support team.

Dinner will be prepared by the head cook, and drinking water collected by the porters. Have your containers ready to be filled up by the support team (water will be boiled).

While the water has been tested by the Tanzanian National parks board (TANAPA), it will be saver to use the boiled water that is made available.

Using water purification tablets will add extra peace of mind.

Washing water will also be made available.

Your guide will schedule in a briefing with the group either that evening or the next morning, with a test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.

After enjoying dinner in the dining tent, you will retire to your tent for a good night rest, to be ready for the following day’s adventure.

Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite, with the Sun normally setting & rising just before 7 o’ clock each day.

A good idea will be to take some reading material or some card games to keep yourself busy in the evening.

Day three on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary 02

Day 2 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; The Machame camp 2 835m
End of day; The Shira cave camp at 3 750m
Terrain; Heathland / Moorland
Distance to walk; 5 km
Hiking time; 6 hours

This day for most people will be the easiest day on the Machame route. By now you should be more adapted to the surroundings.

If you have packed your gear like we recommend, in separate plastic bags, getting ready will be much easier.

Breakfast will be early in the morning with a short briefing with your guide on what lies ahead for the day.

Weather plays a huge role, but for most cases the day should entail a much easier hiking experience compared to the rain forest that you hiked though on the first day.

After breakfast you will pack your last things in your duffel bag & your day pack, and collected water that is again boiled and easy for consumption.

The increase in altitude will be around 1 000m.

It will take you about an hour to completely exit the rain forest area and shortly after that you leave the rain forest and enter a Heathland/Moorland area.

After lunch you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau.

By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers.

You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira cave camp at 3 750m.

As you will be arriving early at the camp site, going on a short hike higher up will be of great value for acclimatization.

When you return to the camp site washing water should already be available.

Dinner will be enjoyed followed by a briefing with your guide and the daily test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.

The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Day four on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary 03

Day 3 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; The Shira cave camp at 3 750m
First point of interest; Lava Tower 4 600m
Distance to walk; 7 km
Hiking time; 4 hours
End of day; Barranco camp 3900m
Terrain; Alpine Desert / Semi desert
Distance to walk; 3 km
Hiking time; 2 hours

After breakfast, and the normal camping experience as per the previous days, the Machame route will turn east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower.

Lunch is served in an area what is best described as a fork in the road.
At this point you will have the choice of either ascending higher to Lava Tower, or to take the lower road down to the Barranco encampment.
It is of utmost importance to ascend very slowly here to avoid altitude-related problems.
This part is also normally very warm and dry so remember to cover up with sun block and to drink water regularly.

From Shira to Lava Tower will take you approximately 4 hours and from Lava Tower to the Barranco camp approximately 2 hours.
This descent to Barranco camp offers great opportunities to take some photographs of the Western Breach Wall.

The Barranco camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp site.

Day five on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route day 04 review

Day 4 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; Barranco camp 3 900m
End of day; Barafu camp 4673m
Terrain; Alpine Desert
Distance to walk; 9 km
Hiking time; 8 hours

Start as early as possible to cross over the Great Barranco wall.
The wall looks more difficult and intimidating than it is, but will still take you allot of effort to reach the top.

From the top of the wall a couple of valleys need to be crossed before reaching the Karanga valley.
Here you will be served a big lunch before continuing onto the Mweka route.

The Karanga valley runs a small river and this will be your last water point prior to your descending from the summit.
Your guide will also advise you on this fact. We now continue on the Mweka route up towards the Barafu camp.
Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt.
This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.
Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.

It is our recommendation to add an extra day on the mountain to complete this day. Below you will see how to extend your 6 day Machame route to a 7 day experience.

Day six on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route day 05 review

Day 5 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; Barafu camp 4 673m
First point of interest; Stella Point at 5 756m
Distance to walk; 4,3 km
Hiking time 6 hours
Second point of interest; Uhuru Peak at 5 895m
Distance to walk; 0,7 km
Hiking time 1 hours
Descent down to; Barafu camp 4 673m
Distance to walk; 5 km
Hiking time; Dependent on hikers pace
Descent down to; Mweka camp 3 100m
Distance to walk; 7,5 km
Hiking time; Dependent on hikers pace

Around midnight you will have to start your final ascent to the summit.
You will be woken with tea/coffee and biscuits.

This part of your hike will be done at night to be able to reach Stella Point around first light.
This will be by far the most difficult part of your hike, as you will not only be hiking on a slope of loose gravel, but also be doing so at altitude.
Remember to constantly be on the move and only take short breaks every 1 hour or so to avoid getting cold.
Your equipment that you have on should be able to assist your body to warm itself, and to keep cold wind out, but when not moving this becomes more difficult.

Once arriving at Stella Point, people tend to stay too long and subsequently turn around at this point.
Do not spend more than 10 minutes here as you still have the last leg of your trip to complete.
Another approximate 1 hour’s hike and you will have reached Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa!

After this amazing and emotional experience you will return to Barafu camp via Stella Point.
This will go a lot faster than when you summited and you should arrive back at Barafu camp before lunch time.

Enjoy a light lunch and a short break before continuing down with the Mweka route to the Mweka camp, where you spend your last night on the mountain.

Day seven on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route day 06 review

Day 6 on Kilimanjaro, Machame route climbing day review:

Start of day; The Mweka camp 3 100m
End of day; The Mweka gate 1 640m
Terrain; Rain forest
Distance to walk; 10 km
Hiking time; 3 hours

After Breakfast, you start your final descent to the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village.

Enjoy the scenery as you walk thought the rain forest.
From Mweka village you will be transferred back to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch and a well-deserved hot shower.

It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of your trip.
Tips must only be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel.
This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.

Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5756m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
Overnight in Springlands hotel.

Extra acclimatization day on the Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary 07

Add this for 7 day itinerary on Kilimanjaro, Machame route adding extra day review:

Start of day; Barranco camp 3 900m
End of day; Karanga Valley camp 3995m
Distance to walk; 5 km
Hiking time 4 hours
Terrain; Alpine Desert
Start of following day; Karanga Valley camp 3995m
End of day; Barafu camp 4673m
Distance to walk; 4 km
Hiking time; 4 hours
Terrain; Alpine Desert

It is our recommendation to add an extra day on the mountain to complete this day.

You will then instead of hiking all the way to the Barafu camp, split the day in half to overnight at the Karanga valley encampment.

Doing this, you will shorten the following day so that you can reach the Barafu camp earlier which will allow you much more time to rest prior to your summit attempt.

Feedback from some of our clients who have travelled with Dream World Adventures
Take a look at one of our clients experiences while hiking on Kilimanjaro The Marangu route

When it comes to our service to our valued clients, we let our clients do the talking!

Claire, Shaun and friends stayed at Sea Cliff Resort on Zanzibar in April 2021

Claire & Shaun, no strangers to Dream World Adventures, who also had their 2020 holiday plans hit a speed bump, got to enjoy their long-awaited tropical island breakaway to Sea Cliff Resort & Spa, joined by Karen & Alex. Claire shared these lovely shots and commented :
“Rose, thank you yet again, for organizing another unforgettable trip to Zanzibar. There is something very special about this country that just draws you in”
We cannot agree more and look forward to hearing from you again.
when Zanzibar’s shores beckon!

Thameez hiked the Lemosho route on Kilimanjaro in Feb 2021

Thameez on Kilimanjaro Feb 2021

Thameez hiked the Lemosho route on Kilimanjaro in Feb 2021;

Capetonians Thameez and Ahmed did not allow the challenges to travelling in these uncertain times quench their spirit of adventure! Despite a couple of setbacks, the most impactful being Ahmed suffering a knee injury shortly before their departure, they jetted off to Tanzania nevertheless, Ahmed recovering on Zanzibar while Thameez headed up Kilimanjaro.
In the expert care of guide Nechi Teti and his team Thameez made his way up the mountain via a 6 day Lemosho Route. Summit night saw high winds and the effects of altitude turned them back from 5 400m – always safety first!! A commendable effort though and hoping Kilimanjaro will see you back again once Ahmed has fully recovered from injury!!

Romy and Werner stayed at Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa in Feb 2021

Romy & Werner Gold Zanzibar Beach House on Zanzibar Feb 2021

Romy & Werner, who climbed Kilimanjaro with us in Aug 2019 longed for a break after what was 2020! No snows of Kilimanjaro this time, but instead tropical island sand and sea at Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa where they spent a week rejuvenating body and mind ☀️🏖🍹
Thanks for again choosing Dream World Adventures!

Andrea and Lizelle stayed at My Blue Hotel on Zanzibar in December 2020

Zanzibar specials Andrea and Lizelle

Andrea and Lizelle stayed at My Blue Hotel on Zanzibar in December 2020 and had this to say;

“Baie dankie Dawie vir ‘n weereens onvergeetlike fantastiese vakansie. Dankie dat dit altyd so seepglad verloop en vir al jou moeite om seker te maak alles is in plek. My Blue is ons absolute “home away from home” 😎🍹

Jonita stayed at Karafuu Beach Resort on Zanzibar in December 2019

Zanzibar specials Jonita

Jonita stayed at Karafuu Beach Resort on Zanzibar in December 2019 and had this to say;

“Dear Rose and team,

Thank you so much for this amazing adventure in Zanzibar. It has been a spectacular trip and has renewed my energy for the new year.

First of all, Rose is just amazing and always helpful. Responding so quickly to all my silly questions and concerns, and even helpful in arranging things from RSA when I was already in Zanzibar. She made everything so easy and smooth and stress free. She is a treasure.

The resort is spectacular. Zanzibar, the turquoise ocean, white sand and the sunshine truly is paradise. Karafuu is definitely part of paradise. The resort is gorgeous, the staff are spectacular and the food… (everyday it’s hard to choose what to not eat because there are too many delicious choices and it’s not possible to eat everything – even though I tried).
Days are spent exploring the ocean and then relaxing next to the pool where staff bring you any drink you want.Not to even mention the bar connected to the pool. I really can’t imagine a more luxurious way to spend a holiday. Its relaxing and fun and perfection.

Thank you to Dream World Adventures for arranging this holiday for me. I would go back in a heartbeat… to the next holiday.”

Natalie & Ezron stayed at My Blue Hotel on Zanzibar in November 2019
Zanzibar specials Natalie & Ezron

What better way to celebrate a 40th birthday than a trip to tropical island paradise Zanzibar?!

Natalie & Ezron returned from their stay at My Blue Hotel on Zanzibar in November 2019 and Natalie shared some photos of them enjoying island life and wrote;

“I cannot thank you enough for how you planned this trip. Everything was sorted to the T. We were collected at the airport and the guy who met us even wished me a happy birthday ???

Everything at the hotel was perfect as well.

The tours and the guides were all perfecto.

Thank you once again for making this trip and my birthday super special”

We thank YOU, Natalie, for choosing Dream World Adventures and look forward to hearing from you again when Zanzibar’s white sands beckon….

Roestoff Family stayed at Diamonds Mapenzi Beach on Zanzibar in September 2019
Zanzibar specials Roestoff Family

The Roestoff’s returned from their family holiday in September 2019 on Zanzibar at Diamonds Mapenzi Beach and I share with a grateful heart their feedback…

“I wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic holiday. Thank you so much for everything. I have never booked any holiday where so much care with our arrangements has been taken as you did.
From the quotes that had so much info, right through to you checking us in, everything ran so smoothly. We have you to thank for this. Everyone who asks me about our holiday hears about “Rose” as well and gets your email address, just in case they want to go too!!

Mapenzi was great. The people were amazing and we all had a fantastic time. Everything exceeded our expectations. We spent most of our time at the resort, the weather was very hot, but great for a holiday.
We went to Stone Town the one day and a trip to prison island as well. Dianay made sure that every single ice cream flavor was tasted throughout our stay – she believes Mapenzi makes the best ice cream in the world!

I attach two photos – one of us the African Themed night – dinner on the beach. It was very special and so beautiful. The second one is us having a last cocktail before our departure!

Till we travel again

The Roestoff Family”

Dan & Lindiwe stayed at Sea Cliff Resort and Spa on Zanzibar in Aug 2019
Sea Cliff Resort and Spa Zanzibar Dan

Dan & Lindiwe jetted off to Zanzibar for short getaway to Sea Cliff Resort & Spa in Aug 2019. Dan reported that they had a wonderful time on the island and shared some photos and feedback with us – ahsante sana! We look forward to hearing from you again soon when the longing for tropical island paradise gets too much ?

Wow… Wow!!! What an experience…Sea Cliff is something special. The hotel, views, rooms, food and entertainment is right up there. The staff were amazing and very polite – often not very good with English, but we made it work 🙂

Our 1st day, we rested by the infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Spectacular views! Around 17h00 we headed to the jetty for some cocktails and watched the sun set.

Next day we caught the resort’s free shuttle to Stone Town and did a walking tour around the town of the main sights.

Sunday we did an amazing Safari Blue Tour. This was my highlight and I would go back to Zanzibar just for this!

Our last day we just lazed around the pool and enjoyed the views.

I would most definitely return to Zanzibar.

Thank you so much to you and your team for a well co-ordinated trip.


Lungi & Nzulu stayed at Sea Cliff Resort and Spa on Zanzibar in Jul 2019
Sea Cliff Resort and Spa Lungi and Nzulu

Lungi & Nzulu recently returned from Zanzibar and a short stay at Sea Cliff Resort & Spa in July 2019. They had this to say after their enjoyable mother & daughter getaway!

“We had a wonderful time! We still close our eyes and take ourselves to this holiday. Sea Cliff has an amazingly good service, the food is nice and the menu changes daily so one looks forward to dinner. This was the best holiday for us.”

Visit our facebook page, for many more reviews from past clients on holidays and adventures trips that we promote!

We have been blessed in past years since the birth of Dream World Adventures in 2005 to have crossed paths with many remarkable clients!

Visit our facebook page, for many more reviews from past clients on holidays and adventures trips that we promote!

For those looking to travel in 2021 – we eagerly await making your acquaintance and including you under that umbrella.

Other routes on Kilimanjaro that you may find of interest

Marangu route on Kilimanjaro

Most comfortable route up Kilimanjaro


6 day/7 night packages from only

R24 290-00 pps

Lemosho Route on Kilimanjaro

Scenic start on your Kilimanjaro Adventures


6 day/7 night packages from only

R26 150-00 pps

Rongai Route on Kilimanjaro

A less populated start from the southern side of Kilimanjaro


6 day/7 night packages from only

R26 150-00 pps

Umbwe Route on Kilimanjaro

Steep ascent, yet spectacular way up Kilimanjaro


6 day/7 night packages from only

R25 190-00 pps

Remember to take a look at our special Kilimanjaro packages for the Machame route by clicking here!

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