Kilimanjaro Machame Route : Important Things To Know : The Machame route is one of the most well-known route up Mount Kilimanjaro. Because of its difficulty and stunning scenery, this Tanzanian trail commands respect from experienced climbers. Here are the important things to know before embarking on Kilimanjaro climb via Machame route:

How difficult is the Machame route?

The most well-known Kilimanjaro route is the Machame route, also known as the Whiskey Route by many. Its scenic beauty is its main draw, but that doesn’t mean the trek is simple.

 Because of its shorter itinerary length, the trail itself is thought to be challenging and steep. If you consider yourself to be a more “experienced” hiker—that is, if you’ve had some exposure to higher altitudes and enjoy taking long, strenuous hikes—then this trail might be right for you.

It is highly advised to have prior trekking experience, as each day will involve 6–8 hours of hiking with daily ascents of 900–1,000 meters, with the occasional day climbing as high as 1,100–1,200 meters. You might be trekking at an altitude of more than 3,500m, depending on the route.

 You must have complete faith in your ability to hike for days on end through challenging terrain. Extremes of weather and altitude, as well as the need for ice axes and crampons, may be encountered. The hike will require some level of physical and mental endurance because the days will be long and strenuous.


Height: The Uhuru peak, located at the top of Kilimanjaro via the Machame route, is 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.

Trail conditions: You will pass through areas of dense vegetation, rocky terrain, and loose gravel trails as you make your way to the summit. The trail is incredibly picturesque and offers hikers expansive views of a variety of landscapes.

Climbing requirements: This route does not have any technical climbing requirements.


The Machame route has a decent success rate because of the numerous ups and downs that facilitate better acclimatization. It is best to take your time in order to increase your chances of success. The average summit success rate for the 7-day itinerary is 85%. The success rate falls to 75% on average for the 6-day itinerary.


  • Before setting out on your Kilimanjaro adventure, make sure to put you’re hiking boots on to prevent blisters.
  • To lessen the effects of altitude sickness, stay hydrated and carry a reusable water bottle.
  • Try to go on a few practice camping trips prior to your trek to become familiar with the area.
  • Before you leave, make a packing list and double-check that you have everything you need.
  • Don’t forget to pause along the way to the summit and enjoy the scenery. The journey itself is the best part, after all.


Duration: The Machame route to the Uhuru peak can take anywhere from 6-7 days to complete. The night spent in the Karanga Valley can be skipped by travelers who want to cut their trip short. Also on the schedule is a stop at Barafu Camp.

Location: The Machame route begins in Mount Kilimanjaro’s southern region, and it can be reached after a 45-minute drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate, where the trek begins.

 As you make your way to the Shira Plateau from the south of Mount Kilimanjaro, you will pass through impressive, lush forests. Before reaching the summit, hikers will then find themselves encircled by the Southern Ice Field.

Numerous ascents and descents will be experienced along the trail, but on the plus side, this allows for much better acclimatization and may increase the likelihood that climbers will reach the summit. Finally, the Mweka route is used for the descent.


How do I prepare for the Machame route?

Any physical exercise you can get in before the climb will make it more enjoyable. How hard you train will vary from person to person, depending on whether you’re attempting Uhuru Peak or taking a shorter trek.

When should I climb the Machame route?

The Machame route can be climbed all year, but it may be chilly and wet, so you should have the proper waterproof gear. Think about climbing the Machame route Between January and March and June and October. Avoid the wettest months between April, May, and November.

What should I pack, and what equipment do I need?

Some of the equipment you’ll need, such as waterproof clothing, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle, and a cap or beanie, may be provided by trekking tour operators, but there are some other items you simply must have.

How do I get to the Machame route?

You must decide how to get there and the best mode of transportation for your itinerary or tour before beginning your hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are a few options available for travelers flying from the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and other countries.

What are the climbing requirements for the Machame route?

All fitness and skill levels are welcome to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, but if you want to reach the summit, careful planning and rigorous training are essential. To avoid altitude sickness and fully enjoy your time climbing Kilimanjaro, think about adding more time to your itinerary.

Kilimanjaro Machame Route
Kilimanjaro Machame Route

What permits do I need?

Although most tours will cover the permits and entrance fees, each visitor will need to pay a fee per person, per day, for the conservation fee to assist in managing the national park.


Marangu Route

The Marangu route is the oldest marked trail if you’re looking for the most “iconic” trek. Since it’s the only Kilimanjaro route with hut accommodations and is regarded as the easiest route, many tourists are drawn to the gradual slope. It is advised to give yourself one extra night to adjust.

Distance: 72 km; Average duration: 5–6 days

Average difficulty: Of all the routes up the mountain, the Marangu route has one of the lowest summit success rates. Despite being the most popular trekking route, only 50% of hikers who take a shorter route actually reach the summit.

Lemosho Route

Climbers can anticipate less traffic on the trails as they follow a similar path as the Shira route up until it intersects with the Machame route. Lemosho is regarded as one of the most picturesque routes due to its extensive icefields, Shira Plateau, and rainforest hikes.

Distance: 70 km; Time: 7-8 days on average

The success rates are high, and the length of time it takes you to complete the journey frequently correlates with a higher success rate. A typical success rate for an 8-day hike is around 90%, compared to an 85% success rate for a 7-day hike. The success rate will be much lower for a 6-day hike, at about 65%.

Rongai Route

Rongai, the only route that proceeds from this direction and is frequently less congested than Marangu, starts from the northern side of Kilimanjaro. Rongai is regarded as a moderately challenging route that novice hikers should avoid.

Distance: 73 km; Time: 6-7 days on average

Due to the fact that this route does not offer the same climb height, it is considered to be of average difficulty. The success rate will increase as you take more time to complete this trail. An average success rate for a 7-day hike is 80%, compared to a much lower 65% for a 6-day hike.

Shira Plateau Route

The Lemosho route and the Shira route both approach Kilimanjaro from the west and share many similarities. The steep elevation on this route should be noted by hikers, as the first day will launch you into some serious altitude.

Distance: 56 km; Time: 7-8 days on average

Shira is very successful and has a medium level of difficulty. The first day is extremely steep, so it should only be attempted by more seasoned climbers or those who are confident in their capacity to acclimate.

Umbwe Route

Umbwe, one of Kilimanjaro’s most challenging and demanding routes, also happens to be its most beautiful. Only experienced climbers who are confident in their capacity to acclimate to the altitude are advised to attempt this brief and difficult route.

53 km; average; travel time, 5–6 days

Average success/difficulty ratio: Umbwe has a much lower success rate than the other trails on Mount Kilimanjaro because it is the most challenging and demanding trek there. You should only attempt this route if you are an experienced or confident hiker.

Northern Circuit Route

The Lemosho trail is followed at the beginning of the Northern Circuit route before continuing along the northern slopes, where hikers can take advantage of more trail space.

98 km, with an average stay of 8 to 9 days.

Average difficulty: Due to its length, the Northern Circuit has one of the highest success rates (nearly 95%) for reaching the summit.


  • Machame Route. Distance: 62 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 75%–85%
  • Marangu Route. Distance: 72 km, average duration: 5–6 days, success rate: 50%
  • Lemosho Route. Distance: 70 km, average duration: 7-8 days, success rate: 65%-90%
  • Rongai Route. Distance: 73 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 65%-80%
  • Shira Plateau Route. Distance: 56 km, average duration: 7-8 days
  • Umbwe Route. Distance: 53 km, average duration: 5–6 days, success rate: 60%–70%
  • Northern Circuit Route. Distance: 98 km, average duration: 8–9 days, success rate: 95%
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