6 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route
6 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route
The six day Machame variation is a difficult route. In particular, day four combined with day five makes for a very hard schedule. Day four is a full day of hiking from Barranco to Barafu. Then after dinner and a partial night’s sleep, the very long and strenuous summit day begins around midnight. The 6 day Machame route requires 19-24 hours of demanding walking, at extremely high elevation, with only 4-6 hours of sleep.
Arrival Day: Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport
You will be picked up from the Kilimanjaro International airport by a Mama Africa Safaris representative and conveyed to your accommodation in Arusha or Moshi where you will overnight, relax, and prepare in anticipation of the adventures to come.
- Overnight: Arusha or Moshi.
- Meal Plan: Bed&Breakfast.
Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp
- Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
- Distance: 11 km
- Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
- Habitat: Rain Forest
Your team will pick you from hotel and drive you to Machame gate. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
- Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
- Distance: 5 km
- Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
- Habitat: Moorland
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
- Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
- Habitat: Semi Desert
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
- Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 15,000ft
- Distance: 9km
- Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. Then, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Day 5: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
- Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
- Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
- Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
- Habitat: Arctic
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Moshi
- Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
- Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.
For the climbers who do have a flight to catch, we will drive back to our office building in Arusha for quick shower and short rest before you are transferred to your respective airport for your inbound or outbound flight. This service is on complimentary.
Price for 2 - 3 Pax : USD. 1,993 per Person.
Price for 4 - 5 Pax : USD. 1,764 per Person.
Price for 6 - 7 Pax : USD. 1,675 per Person.
Price for 8 - 9 Pax : USD. 1,611 per Person.
Price for 10 and Above Pax : USD. 1,581 per Person.
6 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route Includes:
• 1 Nights’ accommodation at the hotel on Arrival.
• Return transfers between the hotel to the start / finish point of a climb.
• All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping / hut fees and climbing permits.
• Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team).
• Chief guide carries a Pulse Oximeter.
• Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid).
• Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only).
• All mentioned activities unless labeled optional.
• Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the Climb.
• Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook.
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain.
• Well maintained Camping equipment’s.
• Water for washing up daily.
• Porter to carry your duffel bag, with maximum weight of 15kg / 32 lbs, from one camp to the next camp.
• Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt.
• All Airport Transfers.
6 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route Doesn't Include:
• International Flight and airport taxes.
• Travel Insurance.
• Passport and travel visa requirements (Tanzania visa is required).
• Customary tips for crew/day from group not from person (average tip is anything from USD $20/Chief guide | USD $15/assistance guide | USD $10/Chef | USD $5/@porter.)
• Alcoholic and soft drinks.
• Accommodation after Trekking (available on request).
• Visa fees.- USD. 50/person
• Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
• Personal hiking/trekking gear – you could rent some of the gear in Tanzania.
• Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
• Additional Private portable toilet on mountain - $100/group.
Prepare for the altitude of Mount Kilimanjaro by training on a regular basis at least 8 weeks before beginning your climb. Physical exercise is important, and a routine should be at least 4 times a week, and include aerobic exercises, strength training and hiking.
What equipment do I need to bring?
The most common mistake that climbers make is that they over pack and bring far too many things.
Be selective in what you bring. Please note that our porters are limited to carrying 15 kgs of your personal belongings. Everything the porters will carry for you between campsites should be placed into a duffel bag (see list below), including your sleeping bag, if possible. All extra luggage (items you will not use on your climb), can be safely stored at your hotel.
Plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed on the mountain. Water should be carried in Nalgene bottles, water bladders, or similar devices. You should be able to carry 3-4 litres of water with you at all times. Alcohol is not allowed on the mountain.
Checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are essential to your Kilimanjaro climb. While most clothing and equipment can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, there are some things that you will not be able to replace.
1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down, warm
1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
3 – Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Waterproof Trousers, breathable (side zipper recommended)
2 – Hiking Trousers
1 – Fleece Trousers
1 – Shorts (optional)
1 – Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
4 – Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
3 – Sports Bra
1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
1 – Balaclava or Buff (recommended)
1 – Hiking Boots or Shoes, warm, waterproof
4 – Socks, wool or synthetic
1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)
1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 – Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
1 – Water Bladder 3 litres e.g. Camelbak
1 – Towel , lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
Dry Bags or “Ziploc”-type plastic bags, to keep your things dry and separate. Note that there is a general ban on plastic bags in Tanzania, however Ziploc-type bags for toiletries are permitted for visitors. Ziploc-type bags for toiletries are permitted for tourists.
1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons*
1 – Camp Pillow, inflatable (optional)
2 – Trekking Poles, collapsible (highly recommended)*
1 – Head Lamp, with extra batteries
1 – Duffel Bag, 70L-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment
1 – Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your essential items
*may be rented on location, subject to availability
*may be rented on location
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Face Mask (REQUIRED)
Hand Sanitizer (REQUIRED)
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a significant physical challenge and you should prepare yourself properly. Being physically fit is important for many reasons. Strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. A fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can really help when fatigue and doubts arise.
How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro?
That’s a difficult question to answer because some people don’t train much and fare very well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in a few days. We’ve heard marathon runners tell us that climbing Kilimanjaro is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The best advice we can give is to train adequately, as described below, and get yourself in the best possible hiking shape. The mountain is a big unknown, and you won’t know with certainty how you will react until you are there. In a recent survey, on a scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult), respondents rated their climb with an average difficulty of 7.
The best exercise that you can do to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro is hiking.
To sufficiently prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro, the best exercise you can do is to hike. After all, that is what you will be doing on the mountain. Ideally, you should try to hike as much as possible on hills or mountains to simulate climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Doing day hikes is superb training. For those who do not have access to hills and or mountains, the next best option is to train on stairs.
You should start training for climbing Kilimanjaro at least two months prior to your departure.
If you’ve never hiked before, you should start with shorter time intervals, a slower pace, and no weight (in your day pack) and then gradually increase all of the above as your fitness level improves. Remember that on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will walk slowly for prolonged periods, and carry probably no more than 20 lbs in your day pack. Therefore, in your training, it is better to increase the time interval/distance and keep a slow pace than to shorten the time interval/distance and increase the pace. Try to train three times a week, for at least one hour per session, at a minimum. If you can do day hikes for four to six hours, with moderate elevation changes while carrying a 20 lb pack, then you’re probably ready for the real thing.
Your longest/hardest workouts should be performed two to four weeks before your departure. For the last two weeks, you should taper off your training and in the final days, rest so that your body has time to recover before your actual climb. In addition to walking/hiking, you can also supplement your training with exercises such as running or cycling, which will increase your aerobic capacity.
It is imperative that during Kilimanjaro training, you wear the boots that you intend to climb with so that they are sufficiently broken-in (to prevent blisters). Additionally, you should wear the day pack you intend to carry so you’re your shoulders/back/hips get used to the points of contact and weight (to minimise chafing and soreness).
All climbers should have a medical check prior to attempting the mountain. Ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. Ask if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that can cause problems on the climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. Ask whether Diamox can be taken with your existing prescription medicines (this is a medication frequently used to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness).
If you have any medical issues that could make climbing Kilimanjaro more dangerous for you than the average person, we need to be informed of this before you book.
Such medical issues include but are not limited to: spine problems; circulation problems; internal problems such as diabetes, hypoglycaemia, intestinal or kidney problems; respiratory issues such as asthma; high or low blood pressure; head trauma or injury; heart conditions; blood disease; hearing or vision impairment; cancer; seizure disorders; joint dislocations; sprains; hernia.
The minimum age for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years old. There is no maximum age. However, the climb is strenuous and presents health risks, especially to people in high risk categories. Serious consideration should be given to anyone under the age of 18 and over the age of 60. The climbers on the extreme ends of the age spectrum should definitely consult their doctor.
Our minimum fitness requirements are that each climber must have a resting heart rate of under 100 beats per minute. We will check your resting heart rate before your climb. If your resting heart rate is above 100, you will be required to see a local doctor prior to the climb to get approval. The average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute.
Travel insurance is required to participate on this trip. It is prudent for you to protect your investment against trip cancellation, interruption, delays and unforeseeable expenses. Standard travel insurance provides coverage for:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Missed connection
- Travel delay
- Baggage delay and personal items lost
- Hurricane and weather
- Employment layoff
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Emergency medical
- Medical evacuation and repatriation
- Financial default
At a minimum, the insurance should protect you against trip cancellation and trip interruption, should you need to cancel your trip due to circumstances such as training injuries or sickness or emergencies.
Your travel insurance must cover high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters
Your package includes membership of Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa. In case of medical emergency, you are entitled to free, unlimited air ambulance evacuations. All hospital costs, medical treatments, medicines etc. are not included in this service and it is essential that you have additional insurance, as detailed above.
For our international customers, we recommend that you obtain travel insurance through World Nomads.
It is Never too Late to Contact Us
Take a look at our most popular tours, or our current special offers. Check out our destination guides, trip ideas or travel calendars to find out the best time to travel to find something that suits your budget and preferences.