The Machame Route is the most popular and one of the most frequented routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. The route attracts a lot of hikers with its beautiful scenery, amazing acclimatization profile, and high summit success rate. A Machame Route package costs between $2285 and $2585 per person, depending on the number of days you are to spend on the mountain.
The route takes you to the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, starting from the Machame gate, and then comes down to the southeast slopes to Mweka. Almost 50% of the hikers using the Machame Route are successful. The first stop after leaving Machame Gate is the Machame Camp, then the Shira 2 Camps, before trekking to the Kava Tower to acclimatize. From the Lava Tower, we head to Barranco Camp; our next stop after Barranco is Karanga Camp; and our final stop before attempting the summit is Barafu Camp. Descending starts from the summit through the Mweka Camp and hut before arriving at the Mweka gate.
Why is the Machame Route popular?
There are two reasons why Machame is popular: it offers a great opportunity for acclimatization, it is one of the oldest climbing routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, and it has beautiful scenery. The route also takes you through the different climatic zones, including the rainforest, heath and moorland, Alpine desert, and Arctic zone.
How many days is the Machame Route?
The beautiful Machame Route can be completed in either six or seven days. The 6-day hike is a good one, especially if you are short on time, but we highly recommend the 7-day hike for hikers for proper acclimatization.
The 6-day Machame hike offers a great challenge to hikers and is good for hikers who are looking for a thrilling adventure. The 6-day hike will take you through the Machame gate, and upon descent from the summit, you do not need to retrace your steps since the hike will take you to the Mweka gate.
On the other hand, the 7-day Machame hike gives hikers a chance to properly acclimatize, and this is done by breaking down the hike from Barranco to Barafu into two days, which is extremely important because of how early the Summit hike day starts. The hike starts from Machame Gate as you ascend to the summit, but the descent is done through the Mweka gate.
How hard is the Machame Route?
In general, Mount Kilimanjaro is not an easy climb, and the same applies to the different routes; however, how hard or easy a climb differs from person to person. Although Machame is not very hard, it is a bit challenging, so come prepared to sweat a bit since it offers some high and low points, and that is why we highly recommend that the route be used by hikers who have some experience with hiking.
As compared to the Marangu route, Machame offers longer itineraries, although the success rate is higher than that of Marangu.
Accommodation in Machame
Machame is a popular route, but unlike the Marangu route, it does not come with hut accommodation, and hikers have to use tents in the various camps that are found along the way. The different campsites that are located along Machame include the following:
- Machame camp at 3026 m
- Shira Camp at 3766 m
- Barranco Camp is at 3900 m.
- Karanga Camp at 3960 m (Karanga Camp is usually used by hikers taking the 7-day itinerary for acclimatization).
- Barafu Camp at 4546 m
All the camping equipment is included in the climbing fee and is provided to all hikers (carried out by the porters), and these include a pillow, sleeping bag, tent, and sleeping mat.
The success rate for the Machame Route
The Machame success rate is high as compared to the rest because it offers the climb high and sleeps low policy that helps with acclimatization. Although there are no official statistics, the average success rate for the 6-day route on Machame is believed to be 78%, and 85% for the 7-day route.