Mount Kilimanjaro against a blue sky with forest in front

Kilimanjaro's Machame Route

About Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Nicknamed the 'whiskey' route because of its difficulty level in comparison with the Marangu route (dubbed 'Coca Cola'), the Machame Route is a challenging trek up one of the world's most formidable mountains. Yet, despite the considerable amount of sweat required to tackle this trail, hikers will be rewarded for their efforts with stunning views and the chance to witness all sorts of different natural habitats. Another distinguishing feature of this trail is its lack of hut accommodation along the way, meaning that climbers have to stay in tents after their long day of hiking. A high level of stamina and fitness are certainly prerequisites.

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Despite its rather forbidding reputation, Machame actually enjoys a much higher success rate than Marangu. Possibly because only the truly determined opt for the Machame route in the first place. While most people complete the climb in roughly 7-8 days, it can be conquered in 6, however, this is not recommended as it does not allow for enough time to acclimatise to the altitude. The route moves from the Machame Gate, where it starts, through the verdant forest until it reaches the Shira Plateau.

The next section of the route will take climbers along the Southern circuit, which winds its way below the icy peaks of the mountain. The vistas from here are spectacular so take your time and absorb as much of the beauty as you can. The last stretch is completed in the early hours of the morning and leads explorers to the summit of the mountain. From there the whole of Africa lays out before you. Those with any residual energy can also descend into the Reutsch Crater or walk over to the ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.