Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Itinerary
Machame Route 6 Days
This trek takes you up the Machame route allowing you to camp and fully appreciate the splendor of the surroundings and starry night skies. The terrain changes as you ascend the mountain, passing through thick forest, moorland and screen route to the highest point of the mountain, Uhuru Peak. This is a challenging trek at altitude, climbing one of the most impressive and well known mountain in the world.
Day 1: Moshi-Machame Hut
A one-hour drive from Moshi lays the gate to the Machame route, where you will complete park formalities, meet your crew of porters and start to climb! The first section of the route climbs steadily and involves real jungle bashing through magnificent forest.
This path is less well trodden and is often wet and muddy underfoot. Camp at Machame Hut (3100m).
Trekking Time: 4-6 hours Distance: 9 km Altitude Gain: 1210 m
Day 2: Machame Hut – Shira Caves
The route continues on up through the forest until reaching the steep ascent on the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt. Meru rising high above Arusha town. Camp at Shira Caves (3840 m).
Trekking Time: 4-6 hours Distance: 5 km Altitude Gain: 740 m
Day 3: Shira Caves Barranco Camp Walking now on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. You will traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach, finally reaching Barranco Camp (3900 m). The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600 m), but you will have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to avoid altitude sickness by aiding your bodies in acclimatization.
Trekking Time: 6 – 7 hours Distance: 10 km Altitude Gain: 60 m
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Day 4: Barranco Camp Barafu Camp
Start the day by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. Then exit steeply, up what has been termed the Breakfast Wall, which divides you from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It is a climb over rocks, although not technical. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, head towards the Karanga Valley (4000 m) for a short rest and lunch. From there, scree forms the terrain as you walk through arid land towards Barafu Camp (4600 m) for rest and dinner. Trekking Time: 7-9hours Distance: 9 km Altitude Gain: 700 m
Day 5: Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Millennium Camp
We avoid walking too long in the heat of the sun today by starting around midnight, walking steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. You will be climbing scree for 5 to 6 hours but you gain incredible height over a short distance. The views are spectacular. You should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5750 m) as the first rays of the sun emerge. Spectacular ice cliffs within the crater surround you and the views to Mawenzi peak and beyond are breathtaking. Another hour’s walk takes you to your goal, the summit of Uhuru (5896 m), the highest point; Uhuru means freedom in Swahili.
Trekking Time: 6-8 hours Distance: 7 km Altitude Gain: 1296 m
After a quick celebration and photos at the top, you will begin the descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on scree slope back to Barafu Camp for breakfast and a short rest before finally heading down to Millennium Camp (3000 m) for a well-earned rest. On the descent, you will have fabulous views of the plains and Mawenzi peak.
Trekking Time: 6-8 hours Distance: 12 km Altitude Loss: 2896 m
Day 6: Millennium Camp - Moshi
A gentle trek takes you down through the rainforest to the Mweka Gate (1640 m), where park formalities will be completed, you will be met by our vehicles, and receive your certificate of ascent courtesy of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. Thereafter, drive back to Moshi where you can treat yourself to a well-earned shower and a cold beer or two.
Trekking Time: 4-5 hours Distance: 10 km Altitude Loss: 1360 m
Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing
Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Itinerary
Need to know
- bad weather
- morning time
- Fitness, Cultural, Nature, Extreme, Food & Drink, Attraction, Photo opportunity
- Difficult but worth it