The Machame Route provides spectacular views and a variety of habitats. The route is also known as the "whiskey" route, given its reputation for being a tough climb, relative to the Marangu route, or the "Coca Cola" route. Unlike the gradual incline and hut accomodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents. However the Machame Route has a higher success rate than the Marangu.
The Machame Route climb can be done in a minimum of six days but it is prudent to take a minimum of seven days for a better altitude acclimatization. The trek begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of mountain, within its lush, fertile rainforest. The route heads toward the Shira Plateau, before circling along the southern circuit beneath the glaciated precipices, halfway around the mountain, with great panoramic views. The final ascent is made very early in the morning from the Barafu Hut. The rewards on the top are superb views of the summit glaciers and ice walls and, of course, standing on the highest point in Africa – 19,340 feet. For people that still have energy on the summit, they can descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. The Mweka Route is used for the descent.
The Machame Route is approximately 50 miles from gate to gate. It is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience.