Machame Route – One Of Kilimanjaro’s Most Popular Routes To The Summit - Mountain IQ

Machame Route – One Of Kilimanjaro’s Most Popular Routes To The Summit

Shares
machame-route-header

This page provides a comprehensive and impartial guide to climbing Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route.

Please note: We are not a tour operator, but we can put you in touch with our recommended partner, see details below.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Machame Route, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Get a Kilimanjaro Trek Quote

We do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended partner click Get a Quote.

Machame Route

Overview

The Machame Route is one of the most popular routes for those seeking to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. According to statistics from Kilimanjaro National Park, about 50% of Kilimanjaro hikers choose to take the Machame route. Offering great views of the surrounding landscape, the Machame Route is indeed a great choice for one's first visit to this beautiful mountain.

The Machame Route is a fairly difficult hike which includes an ascent up the steep Barranco Wall on day four and a further ascent up the side of Kibo on summit night. That said, the route doesn’t require any technical skills and is often trekked by recreational hikers with little mountaineering experience.

Covering a total of approximately 62 kilometres of trail, hikers can choose to traverse the Machame Route in either six or seven days. Both options include an acclimatisation day, during which hikers climb high and sleep low in preparation for the summit push.

Machame Route Pros and Cons

  • check
    Can be completed on a 6 or 7 day route variation. The latter has better summit success!
  • check
    Good Walk High, Sleep Low profile which aids acclimatisation
  • check
    Excellent summit success rates. On the 7-day variation summit success rates are about 90%
  • close
    One of the busiest routes on Kilimanjaro

Machame Route Map

This map illustrates the Machame Route.

Starting in the South-west, the route heads up to Shira Camp. Here it joins up with the Lemosho Route

On day 3 climbers ascend to Lava Tower and then back down to Barranco Camp. 

The summit push starts at Barafu and the descent is via the Mweka trail.

Machame Altitude Profile

The schematic diagram shows the altitude profile for the Machame Route.

You can see how on day 3 you get the chance to ascend high to Lava Tower and then descend to sleep at Barranco. 

This is profile makes the Machame good for acclimatisation.

Machame-altitude

Get a Kilimanjaro Trek Quote

We do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended partner click Get a Quote.

Machame Itinerary

The Machame route can be completed in 6 or 7 days. Below is a detailed itinerary for the Machame Route (six-day version).

Click each day to read more...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Machame Route Variations

The Machame Route is also operated as a seven-day trek. For the seven-day version, trekkers spend the night at Karanga Camp (3,960 meters), gaining another valuable opportunity for acclimatization before their push up to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters) and the subsequent summit attempt, beginning at midnight after the noontime arrival to Barafu Camp.

Video Overview

A beautiful video overview of the seven-day Machame Route by Jared Kohn, offering all the sights and sounds you might encounter on the mountain.

Get a Kilimanjaro Trek Quote

We do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended partner click Get a Quote.

Recommended Guidebook

mount-kilimanjaro-guide

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit is a practical and super insightful guidebook that has been used by 1000s of climbers as an authoritative resource to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro.

The book is available on Amazon Kindle or an eBook version can be downloaded here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have provided detailed answers to the most frequently asked questions on the Machame Route.

How much does the Machame Route cost?

Are permits required for the Machame Route?

When is the best time to trek the Machame Route?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the Machame Route?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I require?

Other Routes

Did you find this article useful? Please share it...

Leave a Comment: