Climb Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

City Mountaineering
City Mountaineering
Public group
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You've heard of the mountain, you probably know someone that's climbed it... How about reaching the summit of Africa yourself?


The Mountain and the Route

At 5,895m, The peak of Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the Africa continent and is the highest free-standing volcano in the world.

There are many different routes used to reach the summit and we have chosen one that provides the group with the greatest chance of successfully summiting this wonderful lump of rock.

The route chosen is The Machame Route. This is a hiking route and not a technical climbing route. The hiking is easy and on defined trails with the distances covered each day as follows (note: A detailed description of the hike can be found at the bottom of this page):

• Day 1: 9km (4-6 hours)

• Day 2: 9km (4-6 hours)

• Day 3: 15km (6-8 hours)

• Day 4: 5km (4-5 hours)

• Day 5: 4km (3-4 hours)

• Day 6 (summit day): 7km then 12km (12-14 hours)

• Day 7: 10km (4-5 hours)

As you can see, the pace will be very slow and the distances very manageable, with a final push for the summit being the typically longest day

The main challenge on this trip is dealing with the altitude of this big mountain, plus the ability to hike for 7-days in a row, without showers (that's what wet wipes are for!) and sleeping in tents

We have chosen the Machame Route to provide you with the best opportunity possible to acclimatise in order to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro!!


The Detail

Over the past few months I have been liaising closely with local and trustworthy guiding companies, to keep the costs as low as possible, while receiving the same great service offered to 3rd party groups.

The cost of the trip is just £2,650 and includes:
- Transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Hotel accommodation for one-night night before, and one-night after, the hike
- 7-days fully supported Kilimanjaro hike (including local guide, team cook and a porter team that will carry all but your light day-pack for the entire trip)
- All food on the mountain
- 6-weeks free membership at The Altitude Centre Gym (worth £600!)
- 10% discount on all City Mountaineering weekend mountain trips, to enable a cost effective training programme* (note: trips to the UK mountains as training are highly advised, but not compulsory)
- Full compliance with the 1992 Package Travel Regulations (including Financial protection)


Not included in the price
- Flights from London (currently £425 return)
- Tanzanian Visa costs
- Vaccinations
- Personal Travel Insurance (The BMC offer very good insurance at great rates (
- Equipment (although equipment can be hired at a discount from the African ground crew)
- Tips/gratuities for the local team

* The 10% discount will be applicable on all trips (subject to availability) that take place before we travel to Tanzania on 26th August 2021.


Detailed Itinerary

Thursday 26th August
Depart UK

Friday 27th August
We will be collected from the airport and transported to our hotel, in Moshi. We will meet our local guides for a trip briefing over a pre-hike dinner and kit check before retiring for the night in order to rest for the week ahead.

HIKE - DAY 1 (Saturday 28th August)

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 Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, 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.

HIKE - DAY 2 (Sunday 29th August)

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

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.

HIKE - DAY 3 (Monday 30th August)

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

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 now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and 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.

HIKE - DAY 4 (Tuesday 31st August)

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

Desert After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

HIKE - DAY 5 (Wednesday 1st September)

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

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

HIKE - DAY 6 (Thursday 2nd September)

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

Very early in the morning (between midnight and 1am), 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 they 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 the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

HIKE - DAY 7 (Friday 3rd September)

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

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 Moshi.

Saturday 2nd September
This is the trips official end date. I will be flying back to UK in the evening.

Sunday 3rd September
Arrive UK