6 days Machame route
The six days Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 6 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 sleeping deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested. The 6 day Machame route is highly recommended and used by most prominent Kilimanjaro operators.
Day 0: Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be met at the airport and be transferred at Hibiscus Hotel in Moshi for overnight.
Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
Drive from Moshi to Machame Gate takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations 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: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
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” (elevation 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp.
Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall (elevation 4250m/13,900ft), through the Karanga Valley (elevation 4050m/13,250ft) to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.
Day 5: Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), 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 you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi
Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
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). Tanzania Joy Tours vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes).
- Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- Park fees, camping fees, rescue fees and 18% VAT on tour fees & services which cost nearly 55% of the total cost charged.
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
- 3 meals daily while on the mountain
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
- Pre and after Trek accommodation at the hotel, 2 nights at hotel in Moshi with bed & breakfast (BB) meal plan.
- The tour program is not fixed, it can change with regards to the guest choice & taste
- Accommodation types: Hotels, lodges, tented camps, campsite (guest choice)
- Guest can choose for either a private or a joining Safari
- The mentioned safaris days exclude the arrival day
- Meal will be full body during Safaris and only bed and breakfast (BB) before and After safari
- Both National and international Flights
- Visa cost which is 50$ except for Canadian and USA passport holders which is 100$
- Items of a personal nature
- Medical insurance
- Laundry Services
- A doctor for the group
- Tips and gratitude for the mountain crew
- Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is extra (US$100 per toilet + toilet tent)