MACHAME ROUTE

About Machame Route

The Machame Route is a hiking trail used to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. It is considered one of the most scenic and popular routes to reach the mountain’s summit. The route starts at the Machame Gate, located on the mountain’s southern side, and follows a steep and challenging path through various landscapes such as rainforests, moorlands, and alpine deserts. The total distance of the Machame route is approximately 62 kilometres, and it usually takes 6 to 7 days to complete. It is also known as the “Whiskey Route” due to its more challenging and rugged terrain than other routes, such as the Marangu route. The Machame Route is quite crowded compared to the different Kilimanjaro routes.

Why should you choose the Machame Route?

The Machame route is the most famous and preferred route by many climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro. Many people choose it for its diverse and stunning scenery, covering different landscapes, including rainforests, moorlands, and alpine deserts. It also offers excellent views of the Shira plateau and the Western Breach. The Machame route is popular among climbers because of its superb acclimatization profile, giving climbers a higher chance of reaching the summit. The route gradually ascends through different altitudes, allowing your body to adapt to the changing altitude and reducing the risk of altitude sickness. When comparing the Machame route to other Kilimanjaro routes, the spectacular scenery, panoramic views from the top, and ice fields below the summit will influence your decision. You will feel comfortable staying on the Machame Route because it offers all the campground amenities.

Breakdown of the Machame route itinerary

Day 1: Machame Gate (1,800 meters) to Machame Camp (2835 meters)

Distance:  11 kilometres, Time: 5 hours, Vegetation Zone: Moorland

Day 2: Machame Camp (2,835) to Shira Camp (3750 Metres)

Distance: 5 kilometres, Time: 6 hours, Vegetation Zone: Moorland

Day 3: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) via Lava Tower (4,600 meters)

Distance: 10 kilometres, Time: 6 hours, Vegetation Zone: Moorland 

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (3,995 meters)

Distance: 6 kilometres, Time: 4 hours, Vegetation Zone: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,673 meters) 

Distance:  4 kilometres, Time: 4 hours, Vegetation Zone: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and descent to Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)

Distance: 14 kilometers; Time: 15 hours, Vegetation Zone: Moorland

Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

Distance: 10 kilometres, Time: 4 hours Vegetation Zone: Montane Forest

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days does it take to complete the Machame route?

 It takes about 6 to 7 days to complete the Machame route. Each day consists of 4 to 7 hours of trekking. The Machame route typically starts at Machame Gate and ends at Mweka Gate, covering a distance of approximately 62 kilometres.

What is the difficulty level of the Machame route?

The Machame route is considered challenging, with a difficulty level rated as moderate to difficult. It is one of the most popular routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and requires good physical fitness. The route is known for its steep and rocky terrain, with some sections requiring scrambling.

Is it possible to see wildlife on the Machame route?

Yes, it is possible to see various wildlife species on the Machame route during hiking. Some common animals include monkeys, birds, and small antelopes. Sightings of larger animals are rare due to the high altitude and less dense vegetation on this route.

Are there any technical sections on the Machame route?

The Machame route is considered a non-technical climb. However, a few sections of the Barranco Wall can be challenging and require using hands to climb.

What is the cost of hiking the Machame route?

The cost of hiking the Machame route varies depending on a few factors, such as the tour company you choose, the length of your hike, and the services and amenities included in the package. The average cost for a solo climber can range from $2,500 to $5,000 for a 7-day hike. The price includes accommodation on arrival and after trekking, park fees, camping fees, transportation, meals, guide and porters’ fees, and camping equipment.

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