Ethical Private Mount Kilimanjaro Climb: Machame Route

From $3,200 pp

  • Duration

    9 days
  • Bookable From

    June - October December - March
  • Trip Style

    Privately Guided
  • Country

    Tanzania
  • Physical Rating

    Mildly Strenuous

Overview

This privately-guided, ethical, and carbon-offset climb takes you along the most popular route up Mount Kilimanjaro – the Machame Route, also known as the Whiskey Route.

Mount Kilimanjaro resides in Kilimanjaro National Park, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Machame "Whiskey" Route can be completed in 6 or 7 days of climbing, with one day spent in Moshi on either end for arrival and departure. We recommend 7 days of climbing to balance the longer and steeper walks on this well-trekked path. This is a difficult route better suited for adventurous travelers with some hiking or backpacking experience.

There are many routes by which you can conquer Kili! If you're looking for a specific length or difficulty of climb, contact us about the best route options.

  • All 6-7 day climb routes: Machame, Lemosho, Rongai, Shira, Umbwe, and Marangu.
  • All 8-10 day climb routes: Lemosho, Northern Circuit, Crater Camp.

Highlights

  • Summit the tallest mountain in Africa
  • Trek through jungles and ravines
  • Soak in incredible panoramic views
  • See fabulous moorland views
  • Enjoy healthy, fresh-cooked meals designed for climbers
  • Support an ethical climbing company

The Machame Route is scenically beautiful and varied. You’ll go through the jungle, see a fabulous view of the moorland, and have a panoramic view of the Shira Plateau. You’ll be able to see Mt. Meru, ravines, and glaciers before finally reaching the spectacular summit of Uhuru (which means “freedom” in Swahili).

As you climb, you'll be nourished by three full meals daily. We provide plentiful, fresh food on the mountain and it’s well prepared by skilled professional chefs who join us on the trek. We also consider the choice of food that you would prefer (vegetarian and non-vegetarian). The menu is specially designed for climbers.

Seasonal Notes

The best time for this ethical Mount Kilimanjaro climb is June through October and December through March.

June through October will have less rain than December to March. Temperatures are relatively consistent year-round (around 75-80°F / 24-27°C), being on the warmer end from December to March. Please note that this route is very popular, which means it can be crowded at times - this can cause it to lose some of its splendor. Unfortunately, traveling during the shoulder season during April, May, and November is not advisable due to bad weather that can cause safety hazards.

Please ask us about less-trafficked routes, which help promote tourism dispersal, for a different and more off-the-beaten-path climbing experience.

Itinerary

Day 1 Moshi [Tanzania] (arrival day)

Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met by our guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel in Moshi. Hotel accommodation includes storage facilities for excess luggage during hikes.

Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Room plan: Double Occupancy

Day 2 Moshi (1890m) - Machame Camp (3100m)

A one-hour drive from Moshi lays the gate to the Machame Route, where you will complete park formalities, meet your crew of porters, and start to climb! The first section of the route climbs steadily and involves real jungle bashing through magnificent forests. This path is less well-trodden and is often wet and muddy underfoot.

  • Trekking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Distance: 9 km (5.6 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 1210 m.

Accommodation: Camping at Machame Hut (3100m)
Room plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 3 Machame Hut (3100m) - Shira Caves (3840m)

The route continues on up through the forest until reaching the steep ascent on the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt. Meru rising high above Arusha town. Camp at Shira Caves (3840 m).

  • Trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Distance: 5 km (3.1 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 740 m.

Accommodation: Camping at Shira Caves (3840 m)
Room plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 4 Shira Caves (3840m) - Lava Tower (4600m) - Barranco Camp (3900m)

Walking now on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. You will traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach, finally reaching Barranco Camp (3900 m). The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600 m), but you will have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to avoid altitude sickness by aiding your body in acclimatization.

  • Trekking Time: 6 – 7 hours
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 60 m

Accommodation: Barranco Camp
Room plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 5 Barranco Camp (3900m) - Karanga Camp (4000m)

Start the day by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. Then exit steeply, up what has been termed the Breakfast Wall, which divides you from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It is a climb over rocks, although not technical. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, head towards the Karanga Valley (4000 m) for overnight.

  • Trekking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 5 km (3.1 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 100 m.

Accommodation: Karanga Valley
Room plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 6 Karanga Camp (4000m) - Barafu Camp (4600m)

The day is characterized by a short hike on terrain formed by scree. Walk through arid land towards Barafu Camp (4600 m) where you have the entire afternoon to rest before ascending towards the summit.

  • Trekking Time: 2-4 hours
  • Distance: 4 km (2.5 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 600 m.

Accommodation: Barafu Camp
Room Plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 7 Barafu Camp (4600m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Millennium Camp (3000m)

We avoid walking too long in the heat of the sun today by starting around midnight and walking steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. You will be climbing scree for 5 to 6 hours, but you gain incredible height over a short distance. The views are spectacular. You should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5750 m) as the first rays of the sun emerge. Spectacular ice cliffs within the crater surround you and the views to Mawenzi Peak and beyond are breathtaking. Another hour’s walk takes you to your goal, the summit of Uhuru (5896 m), the highest point. Uhuru means freedom in Swahili.

  • Trekking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Distance: 7 km (4.4 miles)
  • Altitude Gain: 1296 m.

After a quick celebration and photos at the top, you will begin the descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on Scree Slope back to Barafu Camp for breakfast and a short rest before finally heading down to Millennium Camp (3000 m) for a well-earned rest. On the descent, you will have fabulous views of the plains and Mawenzi Peak.

  • Trekking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles)
  • Altitude Loss: 289 m.

Accommodation: Millennium Camp
Room plan: Double Occupancy (2 people will share 1 tent)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 8 Millennium Camp (3000m) - Mweka Gate (1640m)

A gentle trek takes you down through the rainforest to the Mweka Gate (1640 m), where park formalities will be completed, you will be met by our vehicles, and receive your certificate of ascent courtesy of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. Thereafter, drive back to Moshi where you can treat yourself to a well-earned shower and a cold beer or two.

  • Trekking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Altitude Loss: 1360 m.

Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Room plan: Double Occupancy
Included Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 Moshi (departure day)

We will transfer you from the hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) where you will fly back home. If you have more time you can extend your tour (for an additional cost) and do a wildlife safari in the northern circuit to Serengeti and Ngorongoro, or visit Zanzibar.

Safaris can range from 2-6 days. Depending on the length, you can visit Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, and Tarangire National Parks.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Route Map

A route map for Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, showing all of the possible climbing and trekking routes, color-coded by route.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • 2-way transfer to/from Kilimanjaro Airport.

  • 2 nights in a Moshi hotel.

  • 2-way transfer to and from the route gate(s).

  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners.

  • 3-4 liters of mineral water (per climber) provided daily during the climb.

  • Hot drinks and hot water for washing are provided daily during the climb.

  • All park, camping, & team fees.

  • Guides, cooks, & mountain support crew for your trek.

  • Crew's equipment for the trek.

  • Pulse Ox meter for blood-oxygen level readings, carried by the chief guide.

  • Porter to carry your duffel bag.

  • Sleeping mattress pad(s) and tent(s).

  • Dining tent(s).

  • Portable toilets with a tent.

  • Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid).

  • Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only).

  • Emergency evacuation with the Kilimanjaro SAR helicopter (see Health & Safety section).

  • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue team fees.

  • Carbon offset certificate.

  • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt.

  • Government taxes.

  • Tanzania 18% VAT on tourism activities and park fees.

  • International flights to/from Tanzania.

  • Travel insurance.

  • Extra nights at the hotel (ask for pricing).

  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Drinks and beverages in the Moshi hotel.

  • Airport taxes (amount depends on where you’re flying from).

  • Tipping for the Mountain Crew.

  • Visa fees, to be paid upon arrival (ranges from $50 to $100 USD).

  • Personal hiking/trekking gear – you can rent some gear in Tanzania.

  • Snacks, personal medicine, and water purifying tablets.

Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

TIPPING RECOMMENDATION

  • Climbing Guide - $15 to $20 per day.
  • Climbing Assistant Guide - $10 to $15 per day.
  • Climbing Cook - $10 to $15 per day.
  • Climbing Porters - $5 to $8 per day per porter.
  • Deposit per person

    30% of trip price

  • [Private Climb] Shared room - sleeps 2 - price per adult

    $3,200 pp

  • [Private Climb] Shared room - sleeps 2 - price per child

    $2,610 pp for children 5-15 years old

  • Single Supplement

    $250 for Climb only

Optional Add-ons

  • Sleeping bag rental (Mountain Hardware Lamina, synthetic -30F): $50 per person.
  • Telescopic trekking poles rental: $20 per trip.
  • Extra porter (personal porter) for excess gear: $30 per day.

Sustainability

We pride ourselves on taking good care of our mountain crew, who make our climbs possible, and also giving back to our local community in Moshi.

Environmental practices are a top priority for our company. We are committed to protecting natural habitats, cultural heritage sites, and local communities. We recognize the impact that tourism can have on the environment and are taking steps to minimize our carbon footprint. As a member of Carbon Offsetting Tanzania, we offset the carbon impact of every wildlife safari and provide travelers with a carbon offset certificate. Additionally, we provide Leave No Trace Tanzania training to our workers and donate profits to planting trees in Moshi. We do not engage in animal slavery, cruelty, or luring through bait during wildlife experiences. By prioritizing environmentally responsible practices, we hope to make a positive impact on the world around us.

In addition to our commitment to the environment, we prioritize economic sustainability. We believe that tourism has the power to create economic opportunities for communities. To that end, we have created employment opportunities for more than 400 locals as porters, guides, and chefs. We profit-share with the community so that tourism benefits everyone, and we pay fair and ethical wages to all of our employees. We do not exploit our crew and ensure that the community benefits from the tourism revenue. Our commitment to economic sustainability extends beyond our business operations, as we support disabled children, fund school building projects, and provide financial education to our staff. By prioritizing economic sustainability, we aim to create long-term benefits for the communities we serve.

Finally, we prioritize sociocultural practices that respect local communities and their traditions. We believe that cultural tourism can be a powerful tool for community development, and we strive to combine community development with conservation and cultural tourism. Our dream is to create tours that make places better for people to live in and visit. We stay at lodges that use or are trying to use renewable energy and serve local and organic food to guests. For every client, we provide health insurance for one child in Moshi for one year. By prioritizing sociocultural practices that respect local traditions and support community development, we hope to create a positive impact on the world around us.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler's insurance that covers up to 6000 meters above sea level! Proof is required prior to arrival. This is needed in case an emergency evacuation with the Kilimanjaro SAR helicopter is required.

FAQs

What does the Physical Rating of "Mildly Strenuous" mean?

Kilimanjaro climbing involves physical training. You will have to be fit for this trip as it involves hiking for long hours.

What are the accommodations like?

This is a mid-range tour that includes 3 to 4-star hotels at Moshi. While on the climb you will be sleeping in a four-season tent.

Is this tour fully escorted?

Yes, this trip is fully guided by a professional Mountain Guide who will escort you throughout the climb, as well as the adequate and appropriate number of guides, porters, and cooks.

Is this trip safe for solo travelers?

Yes, it is safe and feasible for solo travelers. Solo travelers can book this as a private tour.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, you will need a visa upon arrival in Tanzania.

How much can my bag weigh?

Your bag that a porter will carry for you from one camp to the next can have a maximum weight of 15kg / 32 lbs.

How frequently will our blood-oxygen levels be checked?

The Pulse Ox meter, carried by the chief guide, will be used to take blood-oxygen level readings twice a day.

Can children climb for cheaper?

Yes! Children 5-15 years old climb for less, see pricing details. Adult pricing applies to climbers 16 years old and above.

Reviews

Kris B.

Mar 13, 2023

8 Days Kilimanjaro Climb (Lemosho Route) + 4 Days Safari

Hilary assisted me in finding the perfect Kilimanjaro climb and safari! The trip was everything we dreamed of.

Guides and Porters were amazing and friendly and helped us make it to the top as well as see every African animal! Food was good and energizing but repetitive. We were eating for sustenance.

Would recommend Yugen Earthside.

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