Machame Route Kilimanjaro 6 Days The Machame Route treks begin at the Machame gate on the southwest side of Mount Kilimanjaro. The route takes at least six days to complete, although seven days is often helpful.
THE SHORT MACHAME ROUTE VARIATION
Following is a day-by-day itinerary for the 6 days Machame climb on Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route Kilimanjaro.
If you only have six days to climb Kilimanjaro, Machame Route Kilimanjaro is the best choice since it has the best acclimatization profile. By exposing climbers to higher elevations quicker (day three), the Machame Route Kilimanjaro kickstarts the body’s adaptation to altitude earlier than other six-day routes. Due to the challenging elevation gains and losses, this route requires a person to be in good physical shape.
A difficult route is the six-day Machame Route Kilimanjaro variation. In particular, day four and day five make for a very demanding schedule. On day four, we hike from Barranco to Barafu. At midnight, after dinner and a partial night’s sleep, the very long and strenuous summit day begins. Kilimanjaro’s 6 days Machame Route requires 19-24 hours of demanding walking, at extremely high elevations, with only 4-6 hours of sleep.
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
About 50 minutes are needed to drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. The journey passes through Machame, a village located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
After leaving the gate, we walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be slippery and muddy. Walking poles and gaiters are recommended. We continue a short distance to 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
We leave the glades of the rain forest after breakfast and ascend an ascending path along a steep rocky ridge covered in heather until the ridge ends. The trail turns west onto a river gorge. Rest, dinner, and overnight at Shira.
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
Following the Shira Plateau, we climb up a ridge to the east, passing the junction towards Kibo’s peak. In the next part of our trip, we head southeast to the Lava Tower, commonly known as the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after we pass the tower, we come to the second junction, which takes us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16000ft.
We now descend to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. We rest, eat, and spend the night here. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is crucial 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
We leave Barranco after breakfast and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall on our way to the Karanga Valley campsite. As we leave Karanga, we reach the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail.
From here, we proceed to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different perspectives. We make camp, rest, eat dinner, and prepare for summit day here. From this position, you can see Mawenzi and Kibo.
DAY 5: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
- Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to
- Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
- Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
- Habitat: Arctic
We continue our ascent to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am). Ascend heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim in a northwesterly direction. This is the most physically and mentally challenging part of the trek.
At Stella Point (18,600 feet), you will stop for a short rest and see the most spectacular sunrise you will ever see (weather permitting). During your 1-hour ascent to the summit, you may encounter snow all the way. Uhuru Peak is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, hikers will see the sunrise.
After summiting, we descend straight to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping for lunch at Barafu on the way. For the loose gravel going down, you’ll want gaiters and trekking poles. Located in the upper forest, Mweka Camp can experience mist or rain in the late afternoon. Our last dinner on the mountain is followed by a well-deserved sleep in the evening.
DAY 6: Mweka Camp to Moshi
- Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
- Habitat: Rain Forest
We then descend to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be muddy and wet. Bring gaiters and trekking poles. There will probably be enough shorts and t-shirts to wear (bring rain gear and warmer clothing).
Mweka Village is another hour away from the gate. We will pick you up at Mweka village and drive you back to the hotel in Moshi.