Mt Kilimanjaro Climbing Via Machame Route

Tour Summary:
This is a 7-day Kilimanjaro hike, starting at Machame gate and ascending via Stella Point. There is a night time ascent to the summit. The trip is fully supported with spacious guest tents, mattresses and pillows, as well as a mess tent with lightweight tables, chairs and cutlery. Our trips also include a toilet tent in camp and most importantly knowledgeable professional guides who go through bi-annual training. Our logistics team at the base monitors your trip from start to finish.

Trekking up the mountain, "pole pole".

Ascending on the snow

Camping along the route

Victory, at Uhuru Peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

Kilimanjaro: Afromontane forest, Shira plateau, glacial valleys and alpine desert, views of Mawenzi, ascent of Kibo and possible views of Kibo caldera, and ash pit glaciers and the roof of Africa!

In brief

  1. Arusha
  2. Kilimanjaro – Machame
  3. Kilimanjaro – Shira
  4. Kilimanjaro – Barranco
  5. Kilimanjaro – Karanga
  6. Kilimanjaro – Barafu/ Base Camp
  7. Kilimanjaro – Summit / Mweka
  8. Arusha
  9. Depart

The seven-day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7-day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep-deprived, going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested.

Day 1: Arusha
On arrival, you are personally met by one of our representatives and transferred to Arusha to a well appointed hotel. In afternoon, there is a full briefing with the climb’s manager and your guide. Dinner is included at your hotel.

Overnight stay at Arusha Meru View Lodge (with dinner)

Day 2: Kilimanjaro/Machame Park Gate
After breakfast, you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro. At the gate, your crew finalizes packing, and after finishing with formalities you start off from Machame gate. Today’s hiking is through verdant Afromontane forest to Machame camp, and on route you have a picnic lunch. Look out for pretty, endemic flora and a gradation of forest zones.

Overnight stay at Machame Camp (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

  • Machame Gate to Machame Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain forest

The drive from Arusha to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 1 hour. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

Day 3: Kilimanjaro/Shira
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path. From Machame camp you hike to Shira Camp. The first section is relatively steep and altitude is gained rapidly. A picnic lunch is taken on trail today. The zone you pass through today is known as the heath zone where attractive Helichrysum and lobelia plants become apparent. Various geologic features can be seen today from lava tubes to glacial valleys.

Overnight stay at Shira Camp (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

  • Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

Day 4: Kilimanjaro/Barranco
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 then continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and stay 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

  • 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

Day 5: Kilimanjaro/Karanga
From Barranco camp famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga camp. Today is a relatively short day hiking and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. In afternoon, a walk can be taken with your guides for great views of the Southern walls of Kibo and deep glacial valleys.

Overnight stay at Karanga Camp (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

  • Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 6: Kilimanjaro/Barafu
Today is another half day ascending to Barafu camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening.

Overnight stay at Barafu Camp (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

  • Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
  • Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 7: Kilimanjaro/Mweka
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 the 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 late afternoon. Later in evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Overnight stay at Mweka Camp (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

  • 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

Day 8: Arusha
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 the hotel in Arusha or Moshi town.

  • Mweka Camp to Moshi
  • Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain forest

Day 9: Depart
Today a day room is held to allow you to relax and check out later in the day. A vehicle is on hand to transfer you to the airport to connect with your international flight, or you may connect with further programs.

Day room at Meru View Lodge (breakfast – lunch)

Please note: In the event the listed accommodation is not available, alternative accommodation of a similar standard will be selected.

Why this itinerary?

Many people list Kilimanjaro as a lifelong dream adventure. This itinerary allows you the time to see all of Kilimanjaro’s main areas, and with a 7-day ascent it also allows you a great chance of successfully making it to the roof of Africa! If you are looking for a great adventure that does not compromise safety or ethics, then climb with us!

2016-17 Rates & Departure Dates
Please note that in 2016 we are only operating departures on-demand rather than listing set dates. For a new departure, we require only 2 people and 2 months’ notice.


  • For listed set departures please contact one of our tour operator partners (ask us for a list)
  • For private trips, you can set up a trip on any date you like – again contact your tour operator for more info or ask us for more info on whom to contact
  • Trained Kilimanjaro guides (1 guide to 2 clients)
  • All relevant Kilimanjaro park fees & rescue fees
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • All accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • Transfers as described in the itinerary
  • Drinks on the hike (potable water, tea, coffee & hot chocolate)
  • International flights
  • Entry visas
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Alterations to this itinerary (i.e. if different accommodations and services are provided then the price will most likely vary up or down)
  • Airport departure taxes (unless stated)
  • Laundry
  • Beverages in hotels (except those in your personal safari vehicle)
  • Hospital bills and international evacuation in the event of an emergency

Climb to the Roof of Africa with Open Africa Safaris.

Starting at Machame Gate, this 7-day Kilimanjaro trekking adventure will take you to Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. From there, soak in the heavenly view of the Afromontane forest, Shira Plateau, glacial valleys and ash pit.

Contact us now to book your hike!