Kilimanjaro’s Machame route, commonly known as the “Whiskey” path, is the most popular. Machame’s allure stems from its breathtaking scenery. However, because of its limited length, the track is regarded as demanding, steep, and strenuous. As a result, this path is best suited for people who are more adventurous or have prior high-altitude, trekking, or backpacking expertise.

Starting with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate, the route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south. Hikers will follow the trail to Shira Plateau via the rain forest zone. Many of Kilimanjaro’s paths come together at this point. The route then heads east and follows the Southern Circuit way beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field before reaching the summit from Barafu. The Mweka path is used to descend.

Machame Route Profile

Minimum Days: 6

Recommended Days: 7 or more

Difficulty (1-10):  Mount Kilimanjaro Routes ranks the Machame route at a 7/10.  Considered more difficult than Marangu, hence the nickname “Whiskey Route”.  Suitable for trekkers who are a little more adventurous.

Scenery:  Although Machame is a busy route, the scenery is beautiful and varies since the ascent and descent routes are different.

Success Rate:  The success rate of Machame route is much higher than Marangu, but is still considerably lower than other routes, especially if you opt for the 6-day trek.

Traffic:  Due to its popularity, Machame is now the busiest route on the mountain.  If you are looking for peace and quiet, we do not recommend using this route.

Comfort:  You will sleep in tents on the Machame route.  Your comfort is really determined by your level of tolerance for camping.

The Machame route is one of our most highly recommended routes to climb Kilimanjaro as it offers great acclimatisation, allowing the climber to “walk high, sleep low”, and as a result enjoys one of the highest summit success rate of all the routes to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. It goes by the nickname of “The Whisky Route” although no whisky is available!

The Machame route approaches from the southwest, passing through Kilimanjaro’s five diverse climatic zones with stunning views to the west across the Shira Plateau where it joins the Lemosho/Shira route on day 3. It then continues on to the magnificent Lava Tower, followed by the Great Barranco Wall and Kilimanjaro’s Southern Icefield.

Some people are concerned about the short scramble up the Great Barranco Wall, but this really is not that tricky and you will be helped by your guide every step of the way. One stride around a rock outcrop is the most precarious part you will experience. Thousands of climbers safely travel this route each year, let alone the Kilimanjaro porters carrying heavy loads.

Owing to its high success rate the Machame route can be busy, but we ensure we hit the trail early to avoid the crowds. We also ensure that our porter team arrive into the designated campsites early so that your tent will be set up and ready for your arrival, together with a nice hot drink prepared by our team cook.

Although you can climb Kilimanjaro over 6 days via the Machame route we recommend taking 7 days. The reason for this is that it offers much better acclimatisation and allows the pre-summit day to be split into two which means that you have two shorter days trekking prior to your summit ascent. This really helps and has proved a great success and a more enjoyable way to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Open group climbs are available on this route. Check out availability

7 Days Machame Route or 6 Days Machame Route Itinerary?

We recommend the 7 days Machame Route itinerary which is better than the 6 days Machame Route Itinerary because it offers a higher chance of reaching the summit. The extra day is an advantage as it will give you enough time for acclimatization. For fit and climbers with previous mountain climbing experience, the 6 day Machame Route itinerary is a great option. For first-timers and hikers that have enough time on their hands, then the 7 days Machame route package is the best option.

How much does it cost to climb the Kilimanjaro Machame Route?

It costs from $1,440 to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using the 6 days Machame Route, you can get the prices for the 6 day Machame Route here. The price for the 7 day Machame route costs from $1,625 and you can get the full costs for the 7-day route Machame here.

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Machame Route Map

As the Machame Route map outlines below, the climb begins in the lush, rich montane rainforest of Kilimanjaro. The trees diminish as the trail approaches the Shira Plateau, and the heather zone is replaced by low scrub. The trail then rises to the top of Lava Tower, a volcanic plug, before lowering and looping below the South Icefield. Climbers are treated to spectacular views as they make their way halfway around the peak.

From the east, we make our way to the peak through countless switchbacks over increasingly loose gravel until we reach the crater rim at a point known as Stella Point. Then it’s another hour of reasonably level terrain to Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit. The Mweka track is followed on the fast descent.

From gate to gate, the Machame Route is around 62 kilometers/37 miles.

6 days Machame route map

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