Safari Overview

The Machame route is also known as the “Whiskey” route. It is one of the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. The Machame route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, commencing with short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau.

The Machame route is relatively difficult as climbers need to be able to ascend up through the jungle to Shira Camp and then traverses south towards Barranco via Lava Tower. From there, you climb up the Great Barranco Wall before arriving in base camp at Barafu. The final climb is via Stella Point and the descent is on the Mweka route.

Climbers sleep in supplied tents at designated campsites and eat meals either outdoors, or, inside a large dining tent. Staff prepare all meals and set up the tents.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arusha – Machame Gate (1,790 m) – Machame Camp (3,010 m)

After breakfast you will be picked up at the lodge and taken to the entrance gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. While your guide is busy with the registration forms, you can watch the mountain team prepare for the climb and once this is all done, your Kilimanjaro adventure will begin. In no time you will be deep within the magnificent mountain rainforest with ancient trees, primeval ferns, liana, lichen and moss that carpets the ground and drapes from the trees. You will hear and with a little luck, even spot the beautiful black and white colobus monkeys in the treetops. After 5 to 6 hours, you will reach today’s destination – the Machame Camp which is situated just above the tree line. Here, at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, you will have your first dinner followed by an overnight stay in tents.

Day 2: Machame Camp (3,010 m) – New Shira Camp (3,845 m)

After an early morning start, the path steepens. The landscape changes into heath and moorland and the open landscape allows you to see the impressive mountain range. Today’s stage is shorter than the previous day and you will arrive at the New Shira Camp by mid-afternoon. The camp has a breath-taking view of the mountain and during sunset, the evening sun lights the rock face and glacier of Kibo.

Day 3: New Shira Camp (3,845 m) – Lava Tower (4,640 m) – Barranco Camp (3,960 m)

Today you will climb about 800 m but you will be camping at an elevation only slightly higher than the previous night. This will allow your body to acclimatise as a height of over 4,500 m will be reached over the next two days. The trek begins with a long ascent above the Shira Plateau in the direction of the Lava Tower. The vegetation becomes sparser as the landscape changes to an afro-alpine desert. The route passes through the sweeping Barranco Valley with its lobelia and giant senecio plants. After 6 to 7 hours, you will arrive at the most beautiful camp on the mountain – the Barranco Camp.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) – Barafu Camp (4,640 m)

Today’s stretch starts with the climb of the Barranco Wall. Safety is paramount and your guides will assist you wherever necessary. Following the ridge as it traverses up and down, you can enjoy the splendid views of the south glacier of Kibo. In the Karanga Valley you will have lunch, followed by a 2 to 3 hours climb to Barafu Camp. Once at the camp, you can relax, have dinner and call it an early night.

Day 5: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mweka Camp (3,080 m)

After a cup of hot tea and a light snack, the climb begins at around midnight. By torchlight, you will climb the screes of Kibo. After 5 to 7 hours of ascending in the dark you will arrive at Stella Point (5,730 m), the crater rim of Mt Kilimanjaro. Another 1 to 2 hours climb along the crater ridge will lead you to Uhuru Peak. Here you will see Kilimanjaro in all its glory, enjoying the 360° view over the landscape below as the sun rises. You are now standing on the “Roof of Africa”. The simple descent runs almost along the same route and shortly before midday you should arrive at Barafu Camp, where the porters and the cook will be waiting for you. After a warm meal and a well-deserved break of approximately 1 to 2 hours, you will be on your way down to Mweka Camp where supper and a well-earned rest await you.

Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,080 m) – Mweka Gate (1,630 m) – Arusha

The final leg of the adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from the mountain crew. Then a gentle 2 to 3 hours’ descent through the rainforest continues to Mweka Gate, where your driver will be waiting for you. He will take you back to the Meru View Lodge for a warm shower, In the late afternoon drive to Kilimanjaro or Arusha airport in time for your onward flight. Alternatively continue to your booked hotel for overnight.

Cost Includes & Excludes

Included in the Safari Cost

Arrival & Departure airport transfers complementary to all our clients.
Transportation as per itinerary.
Accommodation per itinerary or similar with a request to all our clients.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees
Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
Camping equipment (tents, camp chairs, tables & sleeping mattress
Water for washing up daily
National park & game reserve entrance fees as per itinerary.
Excursions & activities as per itinerary with a request
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
A comprehensive Climbing Mount Kenya travel info pack
Flying Doctor Evacuation Service

Excluded in the Safari Cost

Visas and related costs.
Personal Taxes.
Drinks, tips, laundry, telephone calls and other items of a personal nature.
International flights.
Optional excursions and activities not listed in the itinerary like Balloon safari, Masai Village.
Personal hiking/trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in.

Cost Includes & Excludes

The cost of this safari will vary depending on date of travel, type of accommodation, transport mode and number of people on the safari.

Please contact us on email info@topcatssafaris.com or phone +254 (722) 350 505 and and we shall get back to you within the shortest time possible.