Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
10 Days
Age recommendations

Thinking of Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route?

Our most popular route up  is the Kilimanjaro Machame Route. Also known as the “whiskey’ route. And no that does not mean we feed you whiskey the whole way up. The route can be done in either 6 days or 7 days. We prefer to take hikers on the 7 day hike as the extra day helps tremendously with your body’s ability to adapt to the thinning air. This in turn will increase your chances of summiting. Our success rate on this route? Out of every 10 climbers that have climbed this route 8 usually make Uhuru. The other 2 make Stella point which is situated a mere 100m below the true summit. The route offers some of the best views of Kilimanjaro as well as a variety of flora unique to Kilimanjaro. The start of the trek starts on the Southern side of the mountain from the Machame gate which is situated in the lush rainforest that surrounds the whole of the mountain. The trek continues upwards towards what is known as the Shira Plateau located above the rainforest at 3810m. The trek then winds its way along what is known as the Southern circuit making its way towards a camp known as Barafu situated at 4673m. This camp is the launching pint for an easterly assault of the summit. In terms of distance covered on the Kilimanjaro Machame route, hikers cover 62km/37 miles from the start gate to the end gate of Mweka. Although the route does not require any technical experience, we do recommend that hikers have not only an average level of fitness but some sort of camping and hiking experience as well. Unlike the Marangu route which is generally easier summit from, the Machame route is a lot more challenging and the incline is a lot steeper.

Hike Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route with South Africa Adventures

Kilimanjaro FAQ


Day 1

Our Kilimanjaro Machame route climbs begin and end via flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Machame Route start to finish:

Distance: 64km / 39 miles in 7 days.
Elevation Gain: 4,891m / 16,044 ft. Elevation Loss: 5,020m / 16,444 ft.

The destination airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania. (JRO). Upon arrival you will met by one of representatives and transferred to the hotel in Moshi, enjoy this quiet evening as your Kilimanjaro Machame adventure begins the next day.

The drive takes just over an hour. Once there we assist you in checking in. The rest of the day depending on what time you arrive is reserved for you to relax.


Day 2

After breakfast we the whole team will sit down for a detailed briefing session. We will cover all aspects of the climb as well as an equipment check.

If you need to hire any equipment or have misplaced anything, we can assist through the onsite gear rental shop.  After Lunch we will explore the bustling and vibrant town of Moshi.


Day 3

After breakfast, we load up the 4×4 vehicle and make our through to the Machame gate. The drive takes about 1.5 hours and is very scenic as we find ourselves winding through the many coffee plantations and the beginning of Kilimanjaro’s famous rainforest.

Once we get to the gate, we will first introduce you to the rest of the team. The porters play a massive role in the success of your journey on Kilimanjaro. Not only will they provide insight onto their culture and society, they are going to leave a mark on your heart and will definitely walk away friends after the climb. The next step is registering with the Parks Board authorities.

We sign in, conclude all the necessary paper work for the hike and then your dream of climbing Kilimanjaro finally becomes a reality.  The climb starts at an altitude of 5800ft and continue upwards through the lush rainforest for seven hours until we reach the Machame Camp at 10,000ft-our camp site for the night.

Climb Summary
End: Machame Hut 3000m / 9,900 ft.
Elev gain: 1200m / 3900 ft.
Time: 6 hours on average
Distance: About 10km, 6 miles


Day 4

After breakfast, we head on into the mountain environment known as the heath forest which slowly changes into the moor lands the higher we ascend.

The moorlands are famous for the beautiful Lobelia plants that can be found all around the slopes leading up to the Shira Plateau. After about 5 hours of trekking we will find ourselves at the Shira camp at 12,300 ft where we will set up camp for the night. A relatively easy hike today. The effects of altitude should not really be an issue today.

Climb Summary

End: Shira Hut 3800m / 12,500 ft.
Elev gain: 800m, 2,600 ft.
Time: 4 – 6 hours average
Distance: About 8km, 5 miles


Day 5

The climb today is going to be long one. We head on up to what is known as Lava Tower at an altitude of 14800ft. There are some magnificent views of the African plains far below as well as a few glimpses of the ancient glaciers close to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

We will have lunch at this point which will also allow your body to adapt to the altitude. After lunch we hike down 2000ft through a really scenic valley to our campsite for the night known as Barranco. The camp site is situated just below the famous Barranco Wall which you will climb tomorrow.

Climb Summary
End: Barranco Hut 3900m / 12,900 ft.
Elev gain: 2,100 ft. / Elev loss: 520m, 1700 ft.
Time: 6 – 9 hours average
Distance: About 10km, 6 miles
* Day includes critical acclimatization gain and loss
* Lava Tower option: additional 600 ft of gain/loss


Day 6

After breakfast, the first challenge for the day is climbing up the Great Barranco Wall. A climb of nearly 2000ft over a distance of about a mile.

So as you can imagine the incline is pretty steep.  Today is also a perfect day in terms of allowing your body to acclimatise to the thinning mountain air. Once the challenge of the Wall is over we take the relatively easy trek down into the Karanga Valley at 13,000 ft where we will set up camp for the night

Climb Summary
End: Karanga Valley 4055m / 13,300 ft.
Elev gain: 400m / 1,300 ft. Elev loss: 300m, 1,000 ft.
Time: 4 – 5 hours average
Distance: About 5km, 3 miles


Day 7

A relatively short day today as we prepare for the final summit attempt. From the Karanga River we climb for about 5 hours to our high camp at Barafu situated at an elevation of 15600ft.

The hike is really scenic as we find ourselves meandering through a high desert plateau covered in volcanic boulders. The first glimpses of Kilimanjaro sister, Mowenzi Peak  will come into view from the South.

Once we get to Barafu, we settle down and prepare for an early morning start at midnight. So basically the rest of the day is spent staying hydrated and resting.

Climb Summary
End: BarafuCamp 4760m / 15,600 ft.
Elev gain: 700m, 2,300 ft.
Time: 5 hours
Distance: About 5km, 3 miles


Day 8

Finally the day you have been dreaming of-Summit day! We will wake you up with a steaming cup of tea and spend the next hour preparing your gear and clothing for the ascent.

The route up to Stella Point will take about 5 hours. This section of the climb is where your mental and physical stamina is going to be tested more than any other section on Kilimanjaro.

We climb wearing headlamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. After a brief rest at Stella Point, we traverse northwest along the summit ridge to the main summit, Uhuru Peak at 19340 ft. There are some incredible views of the crater as well as the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers.

You will then be rewarded with the best African sunrise ever, and dare we say the highest African sunrise you will ever get to see. After about half an hour on the summit we will begin our descent to Barafu where breakfast and hot tea will be waiting for you. After breakfast we start the trek down to Millenium Camp at 13,000ft.

Climb Summary

Summit: Uhuru Peak 5896m / 19,344 ft.
Elev gain: 1136m, 3726 ft.
Time: 14 – 19 hours
Distance: About 20km, 12 miles


Day 9

After one of the best night’s sleep who may ever have, we awake to an awesome sunrise with the mighty Kilimanjaro towering above us.

We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. Surrounded by 20ft trees and the lush rainforest you will think you have woken up in a scene from Avatar.

After reaching the Mweka Gate we will load our gear onto the 4×4 and take the 1 hour drive back to the hotel in Moshi where the rest of the night is set aside for the well-earned celebrations.

Climb Summary
End: Mweka Gate 1800m / 5,580 ft.
Elev loss: 1300m, 5,900 ft.
Time: 4- 5 hours
Distance: About 7km, 4 miles


Day 10

After breakfast. You will transferred back to the Kilimanjaro airport for your onward flight home or alternative destination.

Our routes take us through the 5 micro climates of Kilimanjaro

We have an over 90% success rate on this route

The route is renowned as being one of the more scenic routes

Indulge in a 5 star hiking experience which includes dining tents, potable toilets, trained cooks and a dynamic and friendly African porter team

If you book onto one of scheduled trips you will accompanied by one of our African Adventures team leader


Return transfers Kilimanjaro airport to Moshi and Moshi to Kilimanjaro airport
2 Nights, twin-shared, hikers class accommodation in a hotel in Moshi, with bed and breakfast (dinner can be arranged on request and at additional cost)
Transfer from your hotel to starting point for your climb, and return to your hotel after your climb
All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping fees and climbing permits.
Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
Pulse-Oximeter carried by all chief guides and daily check up on all hikers
Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook
Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by KINAPA
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
Camping equipment (tents, camp chairs & sleeping mat)
Water for washing up daily
Porter to carry your duffel bag (max weight 15kg / 32 lbs) from one camp to the next camp.
Dedicated Kilimanjaro Trip Planner
Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
Private climb only guaranteed with 5 hikers or more, if your group size are 4 hikers or less will additional cost apply to have a private climb
18% tourism VAT


Flights and airport taxes
Items of a personal nature
Compulsory tips for guides, porters and cook (average tip is anything from US $ 230 to US $ 300 per hiker – depending on number of days / how many hikers in the group and route chosen)
Visa for Tanzania
Health requirements (Yellow Fever)
Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
Personal hiking/trekking gear – you can rent some of the gear once in Tanzania
Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets
Meals & drinks not specified

Kilimanjaro FAQ

Safety on Kilimanjaro

Safety on Kilimanjaro

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Training for Kilimanjaro

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Nutrition for Kilimanjaro

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Hike Kilimajaro Machame route with south africa adventures
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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 0 reviews
October 17, 2016

Incredible tour with the team from South Africa Adventures. Professional and a perfect balance of safety and fun. Highly recommend these guys

October 19, 2016

Best experience ever. Team take safety and your health on the mountain very seriously and the best food. Highly recommended.

October 19, 2016

A must for anyone, an experience never to be forgotten. Excellent food, guides and beautiful mother nature. Your are in capable hands as safety and health comes first with the team from South African Adventures.

July 19, 2017

I trust this email finds you well.

I wanted to email and thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip for us. I thoroughly enjoyed my journey and was overwhelmed with the gracious staff, delicious food and overall professionalism of the whole operation. Beatus was an outstanding, gracious, kind and patient guide who was extremely professional with us and all the porters. You could tell he ran a tight ship, having the respect of the whole group. Him and Pamphilly (not too sure of spelling) went to every effort to ensure we were acclimatized each day and were ready for our summit. We all reached the summit without one blister, upset stomach or major headache due to the care of the wonderful team who looked after us. A 100% success rate for our group isn’t too shabby!

I will definitely pass on my positive experience with your company to all those I know who are keen to climb.

Take care and God bless,

July 20, 2017

Hey Darren

Thank you so much for such an organised, well run trip. I echo Kate’s words! We would never have summited so trouble free if it wasn’t for such an outstanding team! The food was incredible and Beartus was an absolute legend.

Thank you for all the organising and planning. We had such a wonderful time!!! I have advised many friends that are keen to do the same trip, to use South Africa Adventures.

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