The Machame route is the most popular path. It is the route of choice for many people because it provides impressive views and a variety of habitats. About 50% of all climbers, and most seasoned climbers, choose the Machame route. It is also one of the cheaper routes due to its easy access and shorter itinerary.
The Machame route is also known as the Whiskey route, given its reputation for being a tough climb, in contrast to the easier Marangu route, which is known as the Coca Cola route. Unlike the gradual incline and hut accomodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents.
Reaching the summit! Experiencing that incomparable, ‘roof of the world’ feeling
A more relaxed pace than other routes, but longer in time and distance. But very challenging!
The Machame Route is approximately 62 km/ 37 miles from gate to gate.
It is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience, but plenty of first time trekker use the route as well and do just fine.
It is rated as one of Kilimanjaro's better routes and thus is recommended.
It is certainly a better choice than the typical tourist’s route - Marangu.
Your first night is to be spent at Karama Lodge in Arusha. If you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Easy Travel driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your lodge in Arusha to relax after your flight
After an early breakfast, we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We arrive ready for registration and the start of our trek. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1800 metres, will end at a height of over 3000 metres, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today’s walk is characterised by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss.
A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 4.5 to 5 hours actually walking.
With today’s early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00
We leave the forest behind now and the trail gets steeper as it enters the moorland zone. A gentle grade walk takes you across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Moir Hut with fabulous views of Arrow glacier. We will camp here for the night at 4200m.
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 metres. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.
Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 metres in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 metres to Stella Point at 5745 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit.
Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’ Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to Planet Lodge in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or celebrate!
After a good night’s rest at your lodge, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.) If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travellers who have booked to go on safari, our guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.
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Highly recommended! Joseph created a fantastic, customized tour for my family. He listened to our many criteria and put together a wonderful package. He was always available and very responsive. Since we were on a safari that utilized flights within Kenya, there was no opportunity to enjoy Joseph's company (as others have commented). However, he made it a point to come to the airport at the start of our adventure and make sure we were all set. This was a small gesture that epitomized his character (I don't think this would have happened with a large tour provider). March 2023
This was our first safari and such an unforgettable experience. Communication with Joseph, the tour operator, was quick and easy. The proposed itinerary he provided was informative and we were able to easily modify it before finalizing everything. We enjoyed all the places we stayed at and there was something unique about each one. The game drives were just wow (super sawa sawa!). The tour guides/drivers (John in Kenya and Rajam in Tanzania) put in a lot of effort in finding the animals at the top of our list (leopard, rhino, calves, as well as a cheetah hunt and the most awesome selfie with an elephant). Each game drive was unique. There were so many encounters that left us awestruck—we’re still ooh ahhh-ing over our pictures and processing everything we experienced. Joseph was with us for the whole trip; he was quite knowledgeable about birds, which was a bonus. He also assisted with logistics (providing documents quickly for visas needed prior to arrival, getting us through border crossings, and arranging dinner reservations at a restaurant we wanted to go to prior to taking us to the airport). This was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had and we have White Plains Safaris to thank for that. They are reliable, prompt, friendly, and well worth the money. February 2023
Our experience with White Plains Safaris and Joseph was amazing! The service was impeccable since the very beginning: during the reservation process, Joseph was extremely helpful, flexible and very honest. After booking, he supported us in any way he could, including paying for our Visas as we had some issues doing that online by ourselves! He was also very helpful in creating the itinerary, which proved to be amazing as it offered great game drives and diversity of landscape. Things kept being perfect throughout our trip; the accommodations he had reserved were very nice and always positioned perfectly, to avoid extra driving. During the game drives he was very accommodating and always asking for our feedback to make sure we had the best time. He brought us in amazing spots thanks to his unstoppable Land Cruiser and we got to see many animals including 3 leopards from very close! We also enjoyed his company very much and he was always able to answer our questions and providing interesting insights on the animals, the parks and Kenya in general. We always felt safe and well taken care of, so I would (and will) strongly recommend Joseph and White Plains to anyone looking for a good time in Kenya and Tanzania. January 2023
White Plains Safari provided me with an incredible experience, they were really easy people to get to know and it felt like I had made another friend at the end of my trip. Their service was excellent, they were really outgoing and did their ultimate best to show us everything they could, even if it meant going out of their way in order to do so, they were very reliable and I personally had no concerns regarding their reliability. In terms of the tour itself, I would one hundred percent recommend my trip to Kenya to anyone, especially with White Plains Safaris. White Plains Safaris helped make my trip an experience I will never forget. May 2022