Guide For The Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Guide For The Kilimanjaro Machame Route : One of the most well-liked ascent routes up Mount Kilimanjaro is the Machame route, also referred to as the “Whiskey” route. It is a beautiful and difficult route that leads to the snow-capped summit of Africa’s highest peak after passing through a variety of landscapes, including lush rainforest and alpine desert. Here is everything to know about The Machame route:

Choosing a Trekking Company: Machame route treks are offered by many trekking companies including Focus East Africa Tours, so it’s crucial to do your research and pick a reputable company. Look for a company that has a good safety record, experienced guides, good reviews, and is registered with the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority.

Trekking Duration: Usually, it takes 6-7 days to complete the Machame route, plus one more day for acclimatization at the Barranco Camp. A total of about 62 kilometers (38.5 miles) is traveled.

Physical fitness: Before attempting the Machame route, you should be in good physical shape because climbing Kilimanjaro is a physically demanding activity. It is advised to follow a regular exercise regimen that combines cardio and strength training. No matter your level of fitness, altitude sickness can affect you, so it’s crucial to take the proper precautions and pay attention to your body while trekking.

Packing List: Here are some necessities you should pack in addition to the detailed packing list your trekking company will provide: Dependable hiking boots, warm clothing (including waterproof pants and a jacket), a sleeping bag, a headlamp, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, gloves, and a backpack are all necessary. A reusable water bottle and some snacks should be packed.

Trekking Itinerary: Here’s a general itinerary for the Machame route:

  • Day 1: Machame Gate (1,640 m/5,380 ft) to Machame Camp (2,835 m/9,300 ft)
  • Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp (3,750 m/12,300 ft)
  • Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower (4,640 m/15,200 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,976 m/13,044 ft)
  • Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (3,995 m/13,106 ft)
  • Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,673 m/15,331 ft)
  • Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,341 ft) to Mweka Camp (3,068 m/10,065 ft)
  • Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1,640 m/5,380 ft)

Altitude Sickness: When traveling the Machame route, especially at higher elevations, altitude sickness can be a serious concern. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, and breathing difficulties are just a few symptoms. Drink plenty of water, stop when necessary, and adhere to the acclimatization instructions provided by your trekking company to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

Summit Night: On Day 6, the summit push typically starts at midnight and entails a challenging ascent. Though it can be difficult and emotional, climbing Kilimanjaro is an once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment.

Tipping: On Mount Kilimanjaro, tipping your guides and porters is customary and serves as a significant source of income for them. Tipping guidelines will be provided by your trekking company, but as a general rule, tip the entire crew 10% of the cost of the trekking package.

 Environmental responsibility: Because Mount Kilimanjaro is such a delicate ecosystem, it’s critical to trek with as little impact as possible. Follow the rules for responsible trekking practices provided by your trekking company and pack out all of your trash and waste.


History of the Machame route?

Machame can be found in Tanzania’s Hai district, in the Kilimanjaro Region. The Machame village is on the southwest side of Kilimanjaro Mountain that is also very well-liked. The ethnic group that inhabits that region gave rise to the name Machame because it is their home. There have historically been kingdoms and states throughout Africa, in various regions. The original tribe at Kilimanjaro is known as the Chagga, and the populace is known as the Chagga people. On Kilimanjaro, there were many Chagga states, and the Machame was one of them. One of the biggest, most magnificent, and most powerful Chagga states on Kilimanjaro was the Machame.

The Machame state’s leader was persuasive and had an impact on the other Chagga states. The Machame state was surrounded by numerous smaller states that were also its property. During the colonial era, the encircling states of Machame State joined forces and attacked the state and its ruler, which led to the state’s decline in power and eventual powerlessness. The Machame route, which is located in Machame village, southwest of Kilimanjaro, is where Machame got its name. In order to reach the Machame gate, which serves as the starting point of the Machame route, you must first pass through the Machame village.

Where is the Machame route?

Machame village contains the Machame route on the southwest slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. For climbers who begin their ascent in Moshi, the distance to the Machame route is 25.9 km, and for those who begin in Arusha City, the distance is 81.4 km. The climber and the mountain crew (guide, porters, and cook) must drive from either Moshi or Arusha, passing through the Machame village, to the Machame gate, which marks the start of the Machame route trial, on the first day of the climb. You will see the lush vegetation and banana trees found in Machame village as you travel to the starting point of this route.

Where does the Machame route start?

Depending on where the climber spends the night before beginning the climb, the Machame route typically involves a drive from Moshi or Arusha city to the start point of the route, known as the Machame gate. When a climber is from Moshi, he or she will drive 25.9 km from Moshi to Machame Gate and 81.4 km from Arusha to Machame Gate. The Machame route begins at the Machame Gate (1,640 meters), where all climbers and the mountain crew (guides, porters, and cooks) will begin their ascent.

Every Kilimanjaro operator company obtains a permit at the Machame gate, allowing their customers (climbers) to enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. All park fees are paid here, along with registration for every climber who ascends the Kilimanjaro route via the Machame route. The Kilimanjaro ranger also weighs the loads, food, camping equipment, and all luggage that porters carry in order to make sure that no porter on Mount Kilimanjaro carries more than 20 kg throughout the entire climb. Before beginning the Kilimanjaro climb via the Machame route, the climber can have lunch and take a few photos at the Machame gate.

Where does the Machame route end?

When a climber has the chance to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak (5895 meters) via the Machame route, he or she must descend to either Millennium Camp (3950 meters) or Mweka Camp (3100 meters). Depending on the climber’s fitness level, the climber will have two options for doing so, as shown below.

  • Option One: To spend the final night on the mountain at the 3950-meter-high Millennium Camp.
  • Option TWO: Spend the final night on the mountain at the 3100-meter-high Mweka Camp.

The decision between the two options above will depend on the climber’s health and fitness level after the summit. For example, if a climber experiences high altitude sickness, they should head to Mweka Camp, which is at 3100 meters, and if they have trouble walking well, they must first descend to Millennium Camp, which is at 3950 meters, and spend the night there because that is the major challenge after the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The mountain guide will consult with the climber In order to decide where to camp that night on the mountain. On the final day of the Machame route, the climber will descend to the Mweka Gate (1,640 meters), which marks the beginning of the Mweka route. The climber picks up a Kilimanjaro National Park permit and receives a certificate for reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro at the Mweka gate. You will receive the Kilimanjaro Certificate once you arrive at Uhuru Peak (5895 meters), Stella Point (5756 meters), and Gilman’s Point (5685 meters).

You have the option to take some photos, wash your boots, take a bath, enjoy a cold beer or soft drink, and shop in a store at Mweka Gate after receiving your certificate and completing all check-out procedures. Your climb will then come to an end when your driver picks you up from the Mweka gate and drives you to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. Mweka Gate is not only used by climbers to descend the mountain; it is also used by Kilimanjaro tour companies to replenish their food supplies.

Guide For The Kilimanjaro Machame Route
Uhuru Peak

How long is the Machame Route?

The Machame route trial begins at Machame Gate (1640 m), ascends to Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru peak (5895 m), and descends to Mweka Gate (1640 m), which serves as the route’s terminus. This Machame route spans a distance of nearly 62 km. Both experienced and inexperienced climbers enjoys the Machame route. Nearly half of all climbers who attempt Mount Kilimanjaro each year use this route, which has become extremely popular.

Does the Machame route rank among the best routes on Kilimanjaro?

One of the seven climbing routes available on Mount Kilimanjaro is the Machame route, which gained popularity after the Marangu route.

There isn’t a supposedly “best route” up Mount Kilimanjaro because climbers always succeed and fail on every route, so we can’t say one route is superior to the others. Every route on Mount Kilimanjaro has pros and cons, which translate into benefits and drawbacks for climbers who choose to take that route. Every climber has a different level of fitness, so each climber should determine their own best route based on their requirements. A climber will enjoy the Kilimanjaro climb if they select the best route for their needs, rather than suffering through it if they select the incorrect route.

The Machame route has gained a lot of popularity recently, but depending on the climber, it may be the best option for some and not for others. Since we have been offering Kilimanjaro tours for more than five years, we typically assess climbers level of fitness and hiking prowess before advising them on the best route to take. When choosing a Kilimanjaro route, we advise our climbers to pick one that fits their strength, stamina, desire, level of fitness, and comfort.

Does the Machame route have good scenery?

You will come across a beautiful landscape as you ascend the Machame route, which varies from the start of the ascent to the summit. There are five different climate zones on Kilimanjaro Mountain, which include the cultivation zone, forest zone, heathland-moorlands zone, Alpine Desert zone, and summit zone. You will start your ascent of Kilimanjaro using the Machame route from the forest zone and proceed through these five climate zones until you reach the summit zone and Uhuru Peak.

 You will begin in the rainforest zone, leave the forest behind, and travel through the rocky hills of the Shira plateau to reach the moorland zone of the giant heather and the alpine region. Before you get to the summit zone, where the glaciers are, you must first reach the high alpine zone. Shira Plateau, Lava Tour, and Barranco Wall are magnificent features along the Machame route. There are many breathtaking views, such as the Mountain Meru view from Shira Camp and the awesome view of the clouds from Karanga and Barafu Camps.

What are the campsites found on the Machame route?

With the exception of the Marangu route, which has hut-style sleeping accommodations, the Machame route is one of Mount Kilimanjaro’s camping routes. From the Machame gate at the start of the route to the Mweka gate at the finish, you will pass through various campsites as you ascend. You can camp along this route for five nights if you climb for six days, and for six nights if you climb for seven days. Below are the campsites found on the Machame route.

  • Machame Camp-2835m
  • Shira Camp-3850m
  • High Camp (3950 m)
  • Lava Tower (4600 m)
  • Barranco Camp, 3900m
  • Karanga Camp-3960m
  • Barafu Camp-4680m
  • Crater Camp, 5730m
  • Millennium Camp-3950m
  • Mweka Camp: 3100m

Depending on your itinerary, you might camp at some of the aforementioned sites when ascending the Machame route.


Though it’s an unforgettable experience, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires careful planning and a positive mental attitude. Spend time practicing, pick a trustworthy trekking company, and adhere to the rules of responsible trekking. You’ll succeed in reaching the summit of Africa’s highest peak with perseverance and a little bit of luck!

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