Mount Kilimanjaro, Machame Route - 9 Days

Experiencing that incomparable, ‘Top of the World’ feeling

Mount Kilimanjaro, Machame Route - 9 Days

Experiencing that incomparable, ‘Top of the World’ feeling

Trip Introduction

Approaching legendary Kilimanjaro from the south-west, we take the popular Machame Route, with a total trip time of nine days, thus giving us even more acclimatization time and an even better chance of reaching the summit. Lush rainforest and Alpine moorland characterize the Machame Route, a trek which is challenging, make no mistake, despite the extra time given to acclimatize. You will have a private vehicle to take you to and from the mountain. Accommodation on the mountain on this ‘Basic’ category trip will be in tented camps – a true adventure.

Trip Highlights

  • Reaching the summit! Experiencing that incomparable, ‘roof of the world’ feeling
  • A more relaxed pace than other routes, but longer in time and distance. But very challenging!
  • Stunning views as you ascend.
  • Discover Shira Plateau and Barranco.
  • Climb the Lava Tower.
  • Dedicated guides, porters and cooks – a great team to help you on your way.

Group Departures 2023: (Private Departures can be arranged on demand, please inquire)

  • June 19 - 27
  • July 3 - 11
  • August 14 - 22
  • September 4 - 12
  • Oct 9 - 17
  • Dec 18 - 26
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Kilimanjaro International Airport To Arusha

After your long flight, you’ll be pleased to spend your first night in comfort at your hotel, the Planet Lodge in Arusha. If you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Easy Travel driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your hotel in Arusha to relax after your flight. Your adventure has begun!

  • Accommodation
  • Planet Lodge Hotel
  • Meal Plan Dinner at hotel.
  • Journey time and Distance 1 hour, 55 km drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha

Day 2 – Arusha – Machame Gate – Machame Camp

This morning we take a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, before setting out in our vehicle at around 8am, to allow for a scheduled arrival at Machame Gate (1640 meters) at 10am. Our first job will be to complete the registration formalities, before we start our trek. You will also enjoy the introduction to your mountain team: your guides, porters and everyone else who will accompany you as you make your ascent.

Today’s walk is a long one: in pure numbers, you will gain around 1332 metres of altitude over a distance of just under 11km/7miles and can expect to be walking for between 5 and 6 hours.

The beginning of the walk today is characterised by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss. As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the appearance of flowers such as impatiens kilimanjari and impatiens pseudoviola introduce some bright colours to the scenery. You will also be able to see Kibo Peak, away to the east. The birdlife around the camp is surprisingly rich, so look out for species such as olive thrush and stonechat. We hope to reach camp at about 5pm, giving you a couple of hours of welcome rest before dinner is served

  • Accommodation: Tents, at Machame Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch box and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 5 – 6 hours walking, from 1640m at Machame Gate to 2972m at the Machame Camp
  • Walking distance: 11km/7miles

Day 3 – Machame Camp – Shira Caves

Today’s stage is short and steep, as we push on up to an altitude of over 3804 metres. Our hard work in the morning, on a narrow path, is well rewarded at lunchtime with wonderful vistas both to the south and over to Kibo. Surely there can be no better location for lunch?

Having made an early start around 8:30am, we would expect to reach our camp by 2pm, by which time we will have encountered the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. From Shira Caves, you will have time to marvel at some great natural sights such as the so-called ‘Shira Cathedral,’ Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before enjoying your dinner around 18.00hrs.

  • Accommodation: In tents at Shira 2 Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch box and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 4-6 hours’ from 2972m at Machame Camp to 3804m at Shira Caves
  • Walking distance: 5km/3miles

Day 4 - Shira Caves – Barranco Camp

Today’s stage is considerably different in character from yesterday’s, with a much longer trek. We start at 3804 metres, of course, but even though we cover nearly 10km/6miles, our gain in altitude will be a modest 146 metres by the time we reach Barranco Camp at around 4pm. During our hike, however, we will climb to the base of the Lava Tower which is located at a lofty 4630 metres, before we descend again for our overnight stay. Although this may seem a bit of a waste, in fact it helps enormously with the crucial process of acclimatizing at altitude.

The overall distance today means that we will actually be walking for around 6 to 8 hours, excluding breaks. Once again, our day will begin with breakfast at 7am and departure at 8:30, when we begin our trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at around 1pm. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, we then descend down to the Barranco Camp. Once at camp, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 7pm.

  • Accommodation: Tents at Barranco Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch box and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 6 to 8 hours’ from 3804 at Shira Caves, up to Lave Tower at 4630m, then down to Barranco Camp at 3950m.
  • Walking distance: 10km/6miles

Day 5 - Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp

Today we breakfast slightly later (7:30am) with a departure time from camp scheduled for 8:30am. Today’s walk is actually quite short, being only about 6km/3miles but it will still take between 4 to 5 hours of trekking time. We will break for lunch at around 1pm, reaching Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before eating our dinner at 6pm.

At the beginning of the day, we encounter the hardest part of the stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the ‘Breakfast Wall’ as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first gradually descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp (4033 meters). Our overall altitude gain today is only 160 metres.

  • Accommodation: Karanga Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Cooked Lunch box and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 4-5 hours’ walking, from 3950m at Barranco Camp to 4033m at Karanga Camp
  • Walking distance: 6km/3miles

Day 6 - Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 7:30am and another 8:30am departure. Today we will ascend about 523 metres in a distance of around 4km/2miles and walking time once again is between 4 and 5 hours.

We will be aiming to arrive at the Barafu Camp 4556 meters by 1pm, when we will be rewarded with a cooked lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 5:30pm, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today’s stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp 4556 meters, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk

  • Accommodation: Barafu Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Cooked Lunch box and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 4-5 hours’ walking from 4033m at Karanga Camp to 4556m at Barafu Camp
  • Walking distance: 4km/2miles

Day 7 - Barafu Camp – Summit – Mweka Camp

If there is one certainty on Kilimanjaro, it is that ‘summit day’ will be the toughest! But although hugely challenging, hopefully it will be matched with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro!

Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 11pm, we take our tea and biscuits (11:30pm) before a midnight departure. We begin with a long, tough climb from Barafu at 4556 metres to Stella Point at 5756 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult.

From Stella Point, there is still another 139 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit. Our goal is to reach the top (5895 meters) by around 7am then celebrate (of course!) take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit (5895 meters), we return to Barafu (4556 meters), where we rest for a couple of hours, take a brunch and then leave again at 1:30pm to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive there at 5pm and take our dinner at 7pm. (In total, we cover around 17km/10miles today with about 11-14 hours of walking – tough going, but with our objective hopefully achieved!)

  • Accommodation: Mweka Camp
  • Meal Plan: Brunch and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 11-14 hours, from 4556m at Barafu Camp to the summit at 5895m, then down to 3100m at Mweka Camp
  • Walking distance: 17km/10miles

Day 8 - Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate – Arusha

Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 7am and at 8am you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’

Although we still have 9km to walk, departure is at a leisurely 9am, and you descend down to the Mweka Gate which sits at an altitude of 1640 metres. There, you will be served a cooked lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate.

Your vehicle transport will be waiting to return you back to your Hotel in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or, if you have any energy left, to celebrate!

  • Accommodation: Planet Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Cooked Lunch and Dinner
  • Journey time and Altitude: 13-4 hours walking, from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, descending from 3100m to 1640m; from Mweka Gate to Arusha (by vehicle) 3 hours.
  • Walking distance: 10km/6miles walking, then 3 hours’ drive back to Arusha

Day 9 - Departure – Kilimanjaro International Airport

After a good night’s rest at your hotel, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10am. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 6pm, and then make the booking on your behalf.)

If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travelers who have booked to go on safari, our your guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.

  • Meal Plan: Breakfast
  • Journey time 1 hours, 55 km drive from Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

Additional Trip Info

Transport: Coaster Bus

Trip Crew:

  • Mountain guide
  • Mountain chef
  • Mountain porters

8 Breakfast, 7 Lunch & 6 Dinner

Accommodation: 2 nights in Arusha, 6 nights on the Mountain in the Tents

  • 1st night – Planet Lodge
  • 2nd night – Machame Camp
  • 3rd night – Shira 2 Camp
  • 4th night – Barranco Camp
  • 5th night – Karanga Camp
  • 6th night – Barafu Camp
  • 7th night – Mweka Camp
  • 8th night – Planet Lodge

Park Entrance Fee:
Park Fee
Camp Fee

Camping Equipment:

  • Sleeping Tents
  • Dining Tents
  • Sleeping mattress
  • Utensils
  • Tables and Chairs

International Flights

$100 per person for US Nationals and $50 per person for other Country Nationals (read trip notes for more details)

Own Room
My Own Room ($230 per person)

All type of soft and hard drinks

Personal items:
* Laundry
* Toiletries


  • Medical - Medial Insurance which covers high altitude trekking up to 6000 meters is Essential (nothing less than 6000 meters)
  • Travel Insurance which covers “Cancel for any Reason” is Essential

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