7 Days Kilimanjaro Challenge

The Machame Route

Day 1: Arrival in Moshi

Upon arrival, you will be met by the company representative and transferred to your hotel. Have a brief meeting with your guide and conduct a final gear check.

Overnight: At the hotel


Day 2: Moshi- Machame  Camp(9,840 ft/3000m)

Early departure for Mt.Kilimanjaro National Park Gate at Marangu for entry registration. Start the trek to Machame hut through thick rainforest.

Lunch en route, dinner and rest for the day

Day 3: Machame Camp- Shira Camp( 12470 ft 3800m)

Ascend to Shira hut past the Shira Plateau, ridges and valleys.

Overnight: Shira Camp


Day 3: Machame Camp- Shira Camp( 12470 ft 3800m)

Ascend to Shira hut past the Shira Plateau, ridges and valleys.

Overnight: Shira Camp

Day 4: Shira Camp- Barranco Camp(12960ft 3950m)

Head Eastwards to Lava Tower Campsite (14760 ft 4500m), then descend to Barranco  Camp giving your body a chance to readjust to altitude change.

Overnight: Barranco Camp


Day 5: Barranco Camp- Barafu Camp(15090 ft/4600m)

Cross the Karanga Valley and ascend to Barafu Campsite. Rest and take your dinner in preparation for your summit attempt.

Day 6: Barafu Camp- Summit (19340ft/5895m)-Mweka

Start at Midnight for the Summit (Uhuru Peak) arriving at sunrise. Descend down for breakfast then further down to Mweka Hut. Have Lunch and spend the rest of the day taking in the marvelous views.


Day 7: Mweka Camp- Moshi

After Breakfast, descend to the park gate where your driver will pick you up and transfer you to a hotel in town or back to Nairobi.


Marangu route also known as the ‘coca-cola’ route is the most popular route to the summit of the Kilimanjaro. It is possible to hike to the summit in 5 days using this route which makes it more preferable. The acclimatization period may, however, be shorter on this route. Accommodation is in huts as opposed to the tents in Machame route.

Day 1: Arrive in Moshi

Drive from Nairobi to Moshi 8 hours).

Dinner & Overnight: A hotel in Moshi


Day 2: Marangu to Mandara Camp

Depart for Mt.Kilimanjaro National Park gate for registration and entry approval.  Begin the climb through the tropical rain forest to the first hut at Mandara(5-6 hours).

Dinner & Overnight: Mandara Camp

Day 3: Horombo Hut (Full Board)

The ascent through the forest is steep at first but soon opens up to moorland where in clear weather you can see Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. It takes about 4-6 hours to get to  Horombo Hut.

P.S: People who climb Kilimanjaro via the Marangu route stay here on the way up, on the way down, and if they take an extra acclimatization day, they will spend another night at Horombo.

Lunch & Overstay: Horombo Hut


Day 4: Horombo Hut- Kibo Hut

As you keep trudging uphill the vegetation is gradually thinning out. You will be passing several water streams and they do not necessarily look inviting. Nevertheless, soon you’ll reach the signposted “Last Water Point” at 4200 m/13780 ft. It is indeed the last chance to collect water, and your porters will. You might sit down at the picnic tables here and have a break. After having crossed a ridge and another ridge and another ridge to get here—the path leads uphill onto the “Saddle”. This is the barren plain of alpine desert between the two main peaks of Kilimanjaro: Mawenzi and Kibo. The only living things left are some hardy grasses and the occasional everlasting flower. Proceed on to Kibo huts hopefully arriving in time to get enough rest.

Overnight: Kibo huts

Day 5: Kibo Hut- Uhuru Peak

Your guides will wake you up sometime between 11.00 and 11.30 pm. There will be some hot drinks and maybe some food, but mostly it’s a matter of crawling out of your sleeping bag, putting on a few more layers of clothes, your boots, and your head torch. Grab your day pack and off you go… Around midnight or not long after. As you emerge from between the Kibo Huts you will see strings of little lights. They are the head torches of the climbers ahead of you, and as you continue through the night, they will also appear behind you. As steep as the slope is, due to the many switchbacks the path itself isn’t all that bad. However, nothing’s easy without oxygen and the air is incredibly thin, getting thinner all the time.You may feel horrible and the fact that this is supposedly the easier path to the Kilimanjaro crater rim will offer little consolation.

Pass by The Hans Meyer Cave that lies at 5150 m (16900 ft), about two and a half hours from Kibo Huts. The break of dawn invariably provides a much-needed boost of energy for those last metres, and before you know a sign will be welcoming you to Gilman’s Point, at 5681 m/18640 ft ( Congratulations).You will get certification for getting to this point regardless of whether you proceed past the glaciers to Uhuru Peak.

If you want to continue, it’s another hour and a half or so along the crater rim to reach Uhuru Peak. And even though most consider the climb up to Gilman’s the hardest part, the walk around the rim can prove challenging, too. The first part of the rim walk is the easier part, but once you pass Stella Point the path leads uphill again. (Stella Point is at 5752 m/18171 ft and is the point where the other climb routes reach the rim.) The path may not look steep, but by now every step uphill can be a battle.

Congratulations again. What you just accomplished is truly impressive and no matter what you expected, the reality of it will be totally different. Take a few photos and indulge in the breathtaking in the scenery but remember its only safe to stay at that altitude for a few minutes. You probably don’t have the tiniest little bit of energy left now but your day has just begun and you have to head down to Kibo Huts.

Overnight: Kibo Hut


Day 6: Kibo hut-Marangu Gate

Head down for Marangu gate mid-morning. Successful climbers will receive certification and you will then proceed to Moshi and onwards to Nairobi marking the end of your challenge.