The Route

The are a number of different routes you can take to the summit of Kilimanjaro but we're taking the Machame Route.  This is one of the most physically challenging routes but also one of the better ones for acclimatisation.   The trek will take 6 days on this route; 4½ days up and 1½ days down.

This is the map of the route:

Elevation Profile

View elevation profile for Machame Route on


DAY 1 MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP 3000m 5-6 Hours Trekking
After a good breakfast we make the ½ hour road transfer to the Machame Gate and start trekking through the lush vegetation of the rainforest. In the afternoon we reach the camp, enjoy dinner and settle down to our first night under canvas.
DAY 2 MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP 3840m 6-7 Hours Trekking
The route takes us through ever changing scenery as there is a steep ascent up through heather and moorland to the Shira Plateau. We continue across the plateau to our camp for the evening to relax and enjoy the fabulous views.
DAY 3 SHIRA CAMP TO BARRANCO CAMP 3950m 6-7 Hours Trekking
Trekking east across beautiful barren moonlike landscape, reaching the Lava Tower, with a stop for lunch, then descend through the surrounding ravines to our camp by late afternoon. The descent aids the acclimatisation process and allows our bodies to adjust to the ever changing altitude.
DAY 4 BARRANCO CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP 4600m 6-7 Hours Trekking
Leaving camp early for a short climb and scramble over the volcanic rock to the Barranco Wall. From here there are fantastic views over to Barafu. For the rest of the day we make the steady climb to our camp positioned on a ridge overlooking the south east valley.
DAY 5 SUMMIT DAY 5895m 12-14 Hours Trekking
Awaking just before midnight, we climb for about 6 hours, with the steepest and most demanding part of the route by torchlight, to reach Stella Point at the crater rim. Then, our final traverse to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the African Continent, at 5895m. The morning sunlight gives us spectacular views across the plains below and of Mount Meru in the distance. After a tough descent to Barafu camp, we stop for a well-earned breakfast, before continuing on to Millennium Camp at 3820m.
DAY 6 MILLENNIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE 1650m 5-6 Hours Trekking
After breakfast we continue the descent back through the rainforest to the Mweka Gate.

The Summit!