About the Trip
Operated by AWE & local partner Kilele Africa
A free-standing dormant volcano on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, Kilimanjaro is the roof of Africa and one of the Seven Summits. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a spectacular experience as the seven-day trek covers five different vegetation zones from the lush plains of Africa to the volcano’s glaciated peak. This is a demanding trip yet suitable for first-time trekkers with a desire to push themselves in a mountain environment.
We will climb via the Machame route, which is often considered the most scenic approach to Kilimanjaro’s summit crater. Our seven day climbing itinerary offers better chances of summiting thanks to more gradual acclimatization.
About Kilimanjaro & the Machame Route
Kilimanjaro is located in northeast Tanzania, in close proximity to the Kenyan border, and only some 50 miles northeast of Arusha. Summiting Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route from the southwest involves long stretches of steep scree on summit day and a few exposed scrambling moves through the Barranco Wall earlier in the trek, but no meaningful high-angle climbing or glaciated terrain.
Participants must be in good physical condition. Previous hiking experience is required. Previous backpacking experience is helpful.
Trip duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Max group size: 8 guests & 2 guides
All reservations require a $500 deposit at the time of signup; balance of expedition fees typically comes due in two installments 60 and 90 days prior to departure. Ask us about flexible payment plans to space out payments further.
All of our expeditions kick off with a welcome dinner on Day 1. Please plan to arrive at your destination by mid-afternoon of Day 1, with plenty of time to clear immigration and customs and/or check into your hotel prior to meeting your teammates for the welcome dinner, which typically starts around 7pm local time. If you are flying in for an international expedition, your flights should land no later than 3pm local time.
This is your itinerary for AWE’s Kilimanjaro Machame Expedition:
- Day 1 Arrival in Tanzania; welcome dinner
- Day 2 Cultural tour of Nkwaranga Village & gear check
- Day 3 Transfer to Machame Gate & trek to camp (9,840ft)
- Day 4 Machame Camp to Shira Camp (12,470ft)
- Day 5 Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (12,960ft)
- Day 6 Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (13,450ft)
- Day 7 Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (15,090ft)
- Day 8 Summit Day & descent to Mweka Camp (10,000ft)
- Day 9 Mweka Camp to Moshi; final dinner
- Day 10 Departure
The last official business for all of our adventures is the final team dinner on the expedition’s penultimate day. While your expedition fee includes a hotel stay after the final team dinner, you may make departure plans for any time after 12:01am on the indicated departure day, including red-eye departures.
All itineraries are subject to change based on weather, team condition, and local logistics.
You will receive a detailed packing list in your expedition handbook after reserving your spot on this expedition. AWExpedition and local partner Kilele Africa provide the team, cooking and emergency gear for this adventure including sleeping & dining tents, and porter support; you are responsible for your personal backpacking gear including the following items:
- 35l+ backpack
- Sleeping bag, rated to 20F or 0F
- Sleeping pad
- Trekking poles
- Insulated trekking boot
- Backpacking attire including
- Warm layer (down jacket)
- Wind/water-proof jacket
- Insulated gloves
A broad selection of rental gear is available through national brands such as REI or Kit Lender.
- Airport transfers
- Hotel accommodation and main meals pre- and post-climb, as well as meals on the mountain (including water & coffee/tea)
- Professional guide team including AWE expedition leader and local Tanzanian guide(s)
- Cook, cooking equipment & dining tent
- Team gear including four-season tents (double occupancy) & team medical kit
- Porter support
- On-trail real-time GPS tracking and communications
- Pre-climb cultural tour
- Flights to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
- Tanzanian visa
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Gratuities for guides
- Personal trekking gear including hiking boots, backpack, sleeping bag, and trekking poles
- Personal medications
- Sodas & alcoholic beverages
- Personal trekking snacks (such as bars, trail mix, or beef jerky) for on-trail sustenance
- Medical, travel, and rescue insurance
- Single supplement - contact us to discuss availability and pricing
- How fit do I have to be? This is a moderate to advanced high-altitude trekking adventure. While the daily mileage is moderate, ranging from 3 to 7 miles, you are looking at significant elevation gain day after day: you'll typically be gaining betwen 2,000 and 4,000ft on any given day. Add the altitude, and you've got yourself a true challenge. You have to be able to comfortably hike 8-10 miles on with 5,000ft+ of ascent (and not feel utterly exhausted at the end of it) in order to enjoy this trek.
- How difficult is the route? Each day leading up to summit day is moderately difficult. Summit day is very difficult, and it comes on the heels of five days of continuous exertion without any rest days. The continuous nature of the effort, paired with Kilimanjaro's extreme altitude, leads to mountain-wide summit success statistics in the 45-55% range. If you'd like to read more, you may enjoy this article.
- How much weight will I have to carry? Thanks to full porter support, all you'll need to carry are your daily snacks, water, layers, and any personal effects that you need with you in between camps (medications, sunscreen, camera, etc). Depending on how efficiently you pack, you'll likely be looking at ~10 to 18lbs.
- How many miles will we hike each day? Daily mileage on the Machame Route ranges from 3 to 7 miles, with anywhere between 2,000 and 7,000ft of ascent.
- Should I be taking acetazolamide (Diamox) to climb Kilimanjaro? That's a question for you and your physician. Many climbers are able to summit Kilimanjaro without Diamox, but if you haven't been to 20,000ft before there is no telling how your body will react to extreme altitude: our bodies' ability to acclimatize is mostly determined by genetics, and the best predictor for your ability to acclimatize is prior performance at high altitude. In addition, Diamox takes 24-48 hours to become effective. Here's what that means for those who don't have prior experience at extreme high altitude, i.e. no insights into their ability to naturally acclimatize: if you'd like to maximize your summit chances, Diamox may be advised (note: it does carry negative side effects; consult with your physician when you seek to obtain a prescription). If you'd like to find out what your body is naturally capable of, pass on the Diamox.