Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Lemosho Route

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 The fundamental Machame Route itinerary is the same as Lemosho Route, with an airport pickup, one night accommodation included. Machame Route is typically regarded as one of the most scenically spectacular routes, but it is a popular route, and can sometimes be busy. It is a good length, however, with plenty of opportunity for acclimatisation.

Day 1:

Machame Gate (1,634 m/5,363 ft) to Machame Hut (2,834 m/9,300 ft)
Hike time: 7.5 hrs
Elevation change: +1,200 m/+3,937 ft
Estimated distance: 10km/6.21 miles
Final elevation: 3100 m/10,170 ft

Initially the trails threads through cloud forest and it is not improbable that you will be climbing in rain and mud most of the day before arriving at Machame Camp in late afternoon. Conditions on this day are fairly steep which achieved an elevation wherein your body will begin to feel the early effects of altitude.

Day 2:

Machame Hut (2,834 m/9,300 ft) to Shira Hut (3,749 m/12,300 ft)
Hike time: 7 hrs
Elevation change: +800 m/+3,000 ft
Estimated distance: 6km/3.75 miles
Final elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft

The trail emerged early from the cloud forest and most of the day is spent on moorlands before reaching the famous views of the Shira Plateau and later the Shira Camp. The climb on this day is not as steep as the day previous, but this night is likely to be cold- probably a little below freezing.

Day 3:

Shira Hut (3,749 m/12,300 ft) to Barranco Hut (3,901 m/12,800 ft)
Hike time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: +100 m/+328 ft
Estimated distance: 6km/3.75 miles
Final elevation: 3,900 m/12,800 ft

The morning climb is somewhat steep on this day as you climb to Lava Tower at 4,600 meters at midday before descending again on the scenic route to Barranco Camp. This is a great example of the climb high/sleep low rule that helps people acclimatize safely.

Day 4:

Barranco Hut (3,900 m/12,800 ft) to Karanga Valley (3,963 m/13,000 ft)
Hike time: 3.5 hrs
Elevation change: +100 m/+328 ft
Estimated distance: 4km/2.5 miles
Final elevation: 3,963 m/13,000 ft

You climb the Great Barranco Wall, which looks more intimidating than it really is, and down into the Karanga Valley. This day has many ups and downs and crosses many small streams before crossing the Karanga River just before camp.

Day 5:

Karanga Valley (3,963 m/13,000 ft) to Barafu Hut (4,600 m/15,091 ft)
Hike time: 3.5 hrs
Elevation change: +600 m/+1,968 ft
Estimated distance: 4km/2.5 miles
Final elevation: 4,600 m/15,091 ft

Today the route moves through rocky and otherwise barren terrain on your way to Barafu Camp. The camp is in another cold and windy area, but you’ll only be sleeping from around 7 p.m. until 11: 30 p.m. or so thanks to the summit climb commencing at midnight.

Day 6:

Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,091 ft) to The Summit (5,896 m/19,343 ft) and then to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft)
Summit time: 7 hrs
Elevation change: +1,300 m/+4,265 ft
Estimated distance: 5km/3.2 miles
Final elevation: 5,896 m/19,343 ft
Descent time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: -2,800 m/-9,186 ft
Estimated distance: 12km/7.5 miles
Final elevation: 3,100 m, 10,170 ft

Today kicks off at midnight with by far the most challenging 6-hour section of entire climb as you reach Stella Point around sunrise. After a short rest you’ll probably be walking in snow for the next two hours until you reach Uhuru Peak, AKA the summit! After enjoying the moment briefly you will begin your descent to the Mweka Camp back under cover of the cloud forest, about and 8 hour trek including a quick rest midway.

Day 7:

Mweka Hut (3,100 m/10,170 ft) to Mweka Gate (1,828 m/6,000 ft)
Descent time: 4 hrs
Elevation change: -1,250 m/-4,101 ft
Estimated distance: 10km/6.21
Final elevation: 1,828 m/6,000 ft

After the previous day you’ll deserve this short and very scenic descent of about 4 hours down to the Mweka Gate, where you’ll sign the register to make your climb official.

The 6-day version

On 6-day climbs on the Machame Route days 4 and 5 are combined into one. Again, as appealing as it might sound to go up as fast as possible, the experienced guides recommend taking the extra day. It not only lets you enjoy the scenery longer, but statistics show climbers have a better chance of safely reaching the summit with the extra day to acclimatize.