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The Machame Route (also known as the “Whiskey Route”) is a very scenic hiking route. It leads hikers through the montane rainforest, past the eerie forest and up the vertiginous  Barranco Wall. Furthermore, it has a good altitude profile.

Its starting point is also easily accessible within a short drive from Moshi and Kilimanjaro airport. With all these advantages, the Machame Route is also the most popular and busiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Machame Route takes a minimum of 6 days and can be extended into a longer version of up to 8 days.

We mostly recommend the 7-day Machame Route Itinerary over the 6-day Machame Route Itinerary to allow more time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

 

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More info about the Machame Route

Hiking Routes
Overview
What is the Barranco Wall?

The Barranco Wall is a steep wall near Barranco Camp, on the Southern Circuit of Mount Kilimanjaro (LemoshoMachame or Umbwe Route). Getting to the top of the wall is a scramble more than a climb as you will be using your arms to conquer some of those knee-high rocks and keep your balance. Breathtaking views of the Heim Glacier and Kibo cone reward climbers after one to two hours for their hard work.

If you suffer from serious vertigo, you might prefer to avoid the Barranco Wall and opt for another hiking route such as the Grand TraverseNorthern Circuit or Rongai Route.

Machame Route
What is the Machame Route on Mount Kilimanjaro like?

The Machame Route (also known as the “Whiskey Route”) is a very scenic hiking route. It leads hikers through the montane rainforest, past the eerie forest and up the vertiginous  Barranco Wall. Furthermore, it has a good altitude profile.

Its starting point is also easily accessible within a short drive from Moshi and Kilimanjaro airport. With all these advantages, the Machame Route is also the most popular and busiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro.

How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro on the Machame Route?

The Machame Route takes a minimum of 6 days and can be extended into a longer version of up to 8 days.

We mostly recommend the 7-day Machame Route Itinerary over the 6-day Machame Route Itinerary to allow more time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

 

Why is the Machame Route so popular?

The Machame Route on Kilimanjaro is a very scenic route with an ideal altitude profile for acclimatization (high hike, sleep low). Its starting point is easily accessible within a short drive from Kilimanjaro airport and Moshi. Scenic highlights of the Southern Circuit include the forest, Lava Tower and Barranco Wall. As the Machame Route ticks all the boxes for an ideal hiking route to climb Kilimanjaro, it has naturally also become the most popular route on the mountain.

 

What is the altitude profile of the Machame Route?

The altitude profile of the Machame Route is ideal for acclimatization.

It allows climbers to hike to higher altitudes during the day than they’ll be sleeping overnight.

How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame route?

If you are not used to high altitudes and not very fit, the Machame route can be quite challenging.

In this case, we recommend that you only consider the 7-day or 8-day Machame Route.

In this case, you will have plenty of opportunities for proper acclimatization. This will decrease the risk of getting altitude sickness and increase your summit success chance.

 

 

Map of the Machame Route

Comparison
What is the difference between the Machame and Lemosho Routes?

The biggest difference between the Machame and Lemosho Routes is their length: Lemosho is about 8km (5miles) longer. Therefore, the Lemosho Route takes one more day to complete: While Machame can be completed in 6 or 7 days, Lemosho takes 7 or 8 days.

Another difference is the starting location: Machame starts in the south, not far from Moshi, while Lemosho starts in the west. This makes the Lemosho Route a longer drive on your first day if you arrive from Moshi, therefore also slightly more expensive.

As both routes join mid-way, they are otherwise identical and offer the same scenic highlights further up the mountain.

Is the Lemosho Route more authentic than the Machame Route?

Both the Lemosho and Machame Route have spectacular scenery that gives you an authentic view of the Kilimanjaro landscape. In fact, both routes join halfway through and are identical thereafter. They both include many of Kilimanjaro's most distinctive landmarks including hiking up to Lava Tower, clambering over the Barranco Wall, and passing through the eerie Dendrosenecio forest.

While both routes are popular, there are still more climbers following the Machame Route. Therefore, one could argue that the Lemosho Route offers a slightly more authentic experience away from the crowds during the initial days of your climb.

Which is the most popular route on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The Machame Route is the most popular route since awareness about the importance of proper acclimatization started increasing.

This route offers an ideal acclimatization profile "hike high, sleep low". It can also be extended over 7 days which drastically increases the summit success rate. Furthermore, this route offers some of the best sceneries on Kilimanjaro.

Historically, the Marangu Route was the most popular route due to its hut accommodation and the duration. The route can be completed in 5 days. As a consequence, the Marangu route also has the lowest summit success rate as it doesn’t allow enough time to acclimatize.

 

 

Choosing Your Itinerary
Recommendation
Should I take the Machame or Lemosho Route?

Choosing between the Machame and Lemosho Route depends on your preferred climb length and duration. While the Machame Route can be completed in 6 or 7 days, the Lemosho Route takes 7 or 8 days.

If you prefer a 6-day climb, go for the Machame Route. In general, however, we recommend you to climb for at least 7 days to better acclimatize to the high altitude and therefore increase your summit success chance.

If you climb for 7 days: Go for the Machame Route if you prefer shorter walking days, and for the Lemosho Route if you prefer lots of walking.

If your time permits: Go for the 8-day Lemosho Route to further improve your acclimatization to the high altitude.

If your budget permits, and you're looking for the easiest hiking route with the least amount of walking per day and the highest summit success chance, then we'd recommend a tailor-made 8-day Machame Route climb.

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