The Machame Route (also called the Whiskey route) is extremely popular among guides and climbers alike for several reasons. For one, Machame is amongst the most scenic routes to climb Kilimanjaro. The route traverses the Southern and Western faces of the mountain and passes through five climatic zones including spectacular cloud forests in the lower ranges. It also offers a great acclimatization opportunity, as it naturally follows the mountaineer’s caveat of walking high and sleeping low. This is perhaps one of the reasons for the relatively high success rate for this route, especially when compared to the Marangu route (also called the Coca-Cola trail).
Compared to Marangu, you need one or two days more on the Machame Route which again improves the acclimatization and success rate on this route. You also have the option of splitting the pre-summit day climb which means you are better rested for the all-important summit push. And the cherry on your summit dessert is that you will take a different path on your way down than the one on which you ascend, enabling you to savor more of Kilimanjaro. To its fault, Machame is sometimes too popular of its virtues which means it is usually a bit more crowded than other routes. Also, it is usually more expensive to climb on Machame than Marangu, as the Whiskey versus Coca Cola nomenclature would suggest.
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