Sandhill Adventures

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via The Machame Route

Embarking on the Machame route, also known as the Whisky Route, promises an unforgettable journey up Kilimanjaro. This renowned route guides you through enchanting forests and leads to a ridge, taking you across moorland zones and onto the Shira Plateau. The path then winds beneath the towering icy cliffs of the Southern Ice fields, merging with the Barafu Route toward the summit. With a longer duration and a more gradual incline, the Machame Route boasts a significantly higher success rate in reaching the summit.

Duration: 6 or 7 days
Difficulty: Medium
Scenery: Excellent
Traffic: High

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’ll be warmly welcomed and transported to the comfortable Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel, a 4-star bed and breakfast. Here, your head guide will meet you to provide a comprehensive briefing, inspect your gear, and help you arrange any necessary equipment.


10.75km /7mi | 5-6 hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 1811m/5942ft to 3021m/9911ft
Altitude gained: 1210m

Starting from Moshi, a scenic 45-minute drive takes you through the charming Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. While waiting for our permits, you’ll witness the bustling activity as numerous crews prepare for their own mountain journeys. This leg of the trek treats you to the beauty of rainforest landscapes and winding trails. Your guide will share insights about local flora, fauna, and wildlife. In these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and slippery, making gaiters and trekking poles essential.


5.3km/3mi | 4-5hrs | Moorland
Elevation: 3021m/9911ft to 3839m/12,595ft
Altitude gained: 818m

After a restful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, the journey continues as you ascend an ascending path, crossing a valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route then turns west, leading to a river gorge before arriving at the Shira campsite. As you ascend, temperatures begin to drop, offering a taste of the varied environments on Kilimanjaro.


10.75km/6mi | 5-6hrs | Semi-Desert
Elevation: 3839m/12,595ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 147m

Although the elevation remains relatively constant throughout the day, this stage is crucial for acclimatization. Leaving the Shira Plateau, the route takes you east, climbing a ridge and passing the junction to Kibo peak. The journey then leads southeast to the Lava Tower, known as the “Shark’s Tooth,” at an elevation of 4650m. From here, you descend to Barranco Camp, which contributes to altitude adjustment.


8.5km/5mi | 6-8hrs | Alpine Desert
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 676m

After breakfast, the ascent continues up the steep Barranco Wall, providing a thrilling experience and a showcase of your crew’s agility and strength. From there, you journey toward Barafu Camp, completing the South Circuit. The camp offers panoramic views of the summit from various angles. An early dinner and rest prepare you for the forthcoming summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.


4.86km /3mi up | 5-7hrs | – MWEKA CAMP: 13km /8mi down | 5-6hrs | Glaciers, Snow Capped Summit
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gained: 1233m
Descent to 3106m/10,190ft
Altitude lost: 2789m

Anticipation builds as the day begins with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This challenging phase of the trek requires mental and physical endurance.

Continuing toward the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, you navigate heavy scree and focus on the remarkable achievement that awaits. Switching back in a northwesterly direction, you ascend toward Stella Point on the crater rim, where a spectacular sunrise greets you. For faster hikers, the sunrise is even visible from the summit. The remaining hour’s ascent to Uhuru Peak involves encountering snow along the way.

Congratulations on reaching Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire African continent! After capturing photos, celebrating, and soaking in the accomplishment, the descent to Mweka Camp begins. Gaiters and trekking poles are recommended for the challenging terrain. A well-earned rest and your last evening on the mountain await at Mweka Camp.


9.1km/6mi |3-4hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m

Following breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony with your crew, it’s time to bid farewell. The descent leads to the Mweka Park Gate, where you’ll receive your summit certificates. Given the warmer weather, muddy terrain, and steep descent, gaiters and trekking poles are essential.

From the gate, a vehicle will transport you to Mweka village and onward to your hotel in Moshi (approximately 30 minutes). Enjoy a well-deserved hot shower, a delicious dinner, and celebrations that mark the end of this remarkable journey.

Overnight at the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel, a 4-star bed and breakfast, before proceeding to your next adventure, be it your journey home, a safari, or a relaxing trip to Zanzibar.


We firmly believe that the tourism industry has both a responsibility and an opportunity to safeguard the Earth’s natural habitats, cultural heritage sites, and communities. We are dedicated advocates of environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

As a Partner for Responsible Travel, we take pride in our active involvement with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), an initiative by the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC). KPAP raises awareness about the fair treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro and supports climbing companies in implementing ethical procedures for their porters.

Our commitment ensures that our crew members receive proper salaries, tips, food, equipment, and suitable sleeping conditions. We believe in our mission, and our satisfied clients echo this sentiment. Feel free to explore our TripAdvisor profile for their feedback.

Related Routes

Climbing FAQ

More than 30,000 hikers visit the famous mountain, known as the roof of Africa, each year, drawn not just by its height but also by the panorama it offers. While scaling Mount Kilimanjaro is not for the faint of heart, many trekking aficionados have it on their bucket list to reach the mountain’s snow-capped summit.

The dry season, which lasts from June to October and December to March, offers beautiful scenery, a clear view, and a high success rate for summit attempts.

In our opinion. The Machame Route comes in second, followed by the Lemosho Route, while the Rongai Route comes in third.

The gateway to both Kilimanjaro and the safari is Kilimanjaro International Airport. From there, you’ll be driven an hour to Moshi town or an hour to Arusha City for the night. Drive to the gates of the Kilimanjaro mountain park the following day.

You need all of the equipment from the Kilimanjaro Climb Gear List as well as layered clothing because the summit is extremely cold.

Book Now