Kilimanjaro Machame Route, Machame Route

Machame Route

 

Currently Machame Route is the most popular route for climbing Kilimanjaro. Its known as “Whiskey Route”. The success rate for this   Kilimanjaro Machame route is so high compared to other routes. Its gentle ascent gives more time for adjustment to the altitude. Its trails circles around the mountain in such a way that you get amazing views of the landscapes.

 

The Kilimanjaro Machame route can be done in 6 or 7 days. We recommend seven (7) days climbing Kilimanjaro through this route so that you can get proper acclimatization. 

 

 

Kilimanjaro Climbing – Machame Route Packages

 

6 Days Machame Route


Description

If Marangu is the “Coca Cola” route, then the Kilimanjaro Machame Route is the “Whiskey” route. It is the second most popular and one of the most scenic routes on the mountain.

All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside.

It is done over 6 days, so acclimatization is easier, and the success rate is fairly high. It is for physically fit people with some hiking experience. Descent is down the Mweka trail staying at the Mweka or Millennium camp the final night on the mountain.

Itinerary

Day 1: Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp

  • Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft

  • Distance: 11km/7mi

  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

  • Habitat: Montane Forest

  • Meals: LD

Drive from Arusha or Moshi to Machame Gate takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

  • Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft

  • Distance: 5km/3mi

  • Walking Time: 4-5 hours

  • Habitat: Moorland

  • Meals: BLD

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft

  • Distance: 10km/6mi

  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours

  • Habitat: Semi-desert

  • Meals: BLD

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft

  • Distance: 9km/6mi

  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

  • Meals: BLD

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall (elev 4250m/13,900ft), through the Karanga Valley (elev 4050m/13,250ft) to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.

Day 5 : Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

  • Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft

  • Down to 3090m/10,150ft

  • Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down

  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down

  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

  • Meals: BLD

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Arusha or Moshi

  • Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft

  • Distance: 10km/6mi

  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

  • Habitat: Forest

  • Meals: B

After breakfast we continue the descent down to Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Bestday Safaris vehicle will meet you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel.



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7 Days Kilimanjaro Climb Machame Route

Description

Also known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular ascent route on Mt Kilimanjaro. Compared with the Marangu route, the walking days on the Machame route are longer and the walks are steeper. However, the scenery is spectacular and landscape interesting. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.

The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to its popularity there are increased numbers of trekkers, it loses some of its splendour. The Machame route approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field.

After arrival at your hotel in Moshi, you will rest. And later there will be a meeting with the your guide for briefing about your trek and Mt Kilimanjaro. After finish to the briefing he will check all your mountain gears to see if you have all equipment, and if you will miss some of them he will take you to rent the missing gears.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Machame Gate, climb to Machame Camp

  • Elevation:1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft

  • Distance:11km/7mi

  • Climbing Time:5-6 hours

  • Habitat:Montane Forest

Your 7 days machame route climbing start for driving you from Arusha or Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate it takes about 45 minutes. After paper work the journey start passing through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Day 2 : Climb Machame Camp to Shira Camp

  • Elevation:3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft

  • Distance:5km/3mi

  • Walking Time:4-5 hours

  • Habitat:Moorland

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

Day 3 : Climb Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Elevation:3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft

  • Distance:10km/6mi

  • Walking Time:5-6 hours

  • Habitat:Semi-desert

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 4 : Climb Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation:4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft

  • Distance:5km/3mi

  • Climbing Time:34 hours

  • Habitat:Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

Day 5 : Climb Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation:4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft

  • Distance:4km/2mi

  • Climbing Time:3-4 hours

  • Habitat:Alpine Desert

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.

Day 6 : Climb Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

  • Elevation:4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft

  • Down to3090m/10,150ft

  • Distance:5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down

  • Climbing Time:5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down

  • Habitat:Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Day 7 : Climb Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate and then drive to Arusha or Moshi

  • Elevation:3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft

  • Distance:10km/6mi

  • Climbing Time:3-4 hours

  • Habitat:Forest

After breakfast we continue descending down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Bestday Safaris vehicle will meet you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel.

 

 

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MAP, that show the route and huts or camps


Advantages of Machame Route:

  • The cost for this route is moderately low.

  • Very scenic.

  • This route has higher success rate to summit compared to Marangu.

Disadvantages of Machame Route:

  • It’s so crowded especially during high season

Machame Route ascent route to the summit is through Stella Point and while descending is through Mweka Route.


How difficulty is Machame Route?

Machame Route can be climbed for 6 and 7 days. Everyday you will be climbing for 5 to 7hrs and on the summit day it will be 12-15hrs. You will need to be prepare yourself so that you can be physically fit for the climb. 

Generally, Machame Route is very challenging compared to other routes especially with 6 days climbers as you lack good acclimatization. With 7 days you have good acclimatization, as you will have an opportunity to climb high and sleep in low altitude which is important for the body to adjust to high altitude.

For beginners we recommend choosing 7 -days climb for better acclimatization.

Machame Route Summit Success Rate?

Machame route offers better acclimatization for climbers. You will climb high and sleep in low altitude. This will enable your body to adjust to changing of the altitude as the mountain has high altitude. This makes machame route to have high summit success rate of around 95%.

Is Machame Route busy?

Machame Route has beautiful scenery. It can be done for 6 days hence it attract budget clients. It has also better acclimatization.

This make the route to be very busy throughout the year.

 

Machame Route Accommodation 

 

The accommodation at Machame route is camping. We do provides tents as part of the inclusion in your package. You will need to have other gears like sleeping bag and mats. 

 

Camping accommodation is much better as its shared by few people in a tents. You can be alone or in the number of 2-persons only. In this case it provides privacy which is much more comfortable. 

 

Toilets are outside at your camp. No hot showers, and water is very cold. 

 

Difference between Machame Route and Marangu Route.


Marangu Route

Machame Route

Accommodation at huts, dormitory style

Accommodation at tents, comfortable and private

Ascent and descent in the same route

Ascent and descent in different route

Approaches crater Rim at Summit from Gilman’s point

Approaches crater Rim at Summit from Stella point

Don’t have good acclimatization

Better acclimatization

Low success rate at summit

High success rate at Summit

Easy and Shorter route to the summit

More days to the summit





Why we recommend Machame Route?

 

  • Better acclimatization, which enable your body to adjust to high altitude

  • It can be done in 6 or 7 days hence flexible and fit for both preferences.

  • The changing and beautiful scenery of Machame Route, from Rainforest, alpine deserts, to glaciers to the top of the mountain 

  • You will have amazing sunrise at Stella Point as you walks to summit in one of the tallest mountain in Africa.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT CAMPS AT MACHAME ROUTE 

Machame Route has 6 camps, which are Machame, Shira, Barranco, Karanga Valley, Barafu and Millennium or Mweka Camp.

 

  • Machame Camp

The camp is found Rainforest and have several campsite which are located small cleared forest. The camp isn’t so big and can accommodate up to around 100 tents. The camp has pit latrines and no bathrooms.

 

Closerby there is Ranger post which accommodate park staff to overlook over your safety and conservations issues of the park.

The weather is humid and so cold. As you will be in rainforest where around there will be so many trees you will not be capable to spot many peoples around you.

 

  • Shira Camp

 

The camp is located at Shira Plateua. It has fragile plants found in the rocks.

 

It can accommodate more than 100tents. It has brick toilets and pit latrines. The camps is quietly colder and windy compared to Machame camp. It has amazing views especially at dawn and dusk times.

 

  • Barranco Camp

It located at the steep valley heading to Umbwe Route, and heading down to Moshi. There is big cliff where you can see the remains of glaciers and Kibo snow. At night you can see lights from Moshi Town.

 

The camp can host hundreds of tents, however it has limited space so sometimes you will have to walk some distance to find a space to place your tent. The camp has brick toilet and pit latrines, and no bathroom for shower.

 

  • Karanga Camp

 

The camp is located in a slope, so you will have to search for an area with flat land to put your tent. You can see the routes to summit and at night you can see easily lights from Moshi town. 

 

It has enough space to put hundreds of tents. It becomes cold and wind and sometimes cloudy. 

This is point for acclimatization especially for climbers with 7-days. For those with 6 days they go directly to Barafu Camp.

 

  • Barafu camp

The camp is located at 4673m, therefore its very cold in this camp. Its used as the last camp for those using Machame, Lemosho and Shira Route. This makes this camp busiest camp of all camps located at Kilimajaro.

 

It has brick toilets and pit latrines. The camp has shortage of water, which makes porters walking about 45 minutes looking for water.

 

It’s the camp which most climbers feels the real problems with altitude. Ranger do have strong stretchers with single wheel which enable people to get down easily and quickly in case of any emergencies.

 

  • Mweka Camp

This is the camp used by climbers descending from the mountain. The camp is found at rainforest and have several campsite which are located small cleared forest. The camp isn’t so big and can accommodate up to around 100 tents. The camp has pit latrines and no bathrooms.

 

Closerby there is Ranger post which accommodate park staff to overlook over your safety and conservations issues of the park.

The weather is humid and so cold. As you will be in rainforest where around there will be so many trees you will not be capable to spot many peoples around you.

 



Kilimanjaro Machame Route, Machame Route Frequently Asked Questions