“So, you want to take the whiskey?” This was one of the first questions our Jerry Tanzania Tour Guide asked us. Whiskey here means the Machame Route. The Machame Route is steep and winds all throughout the mountain on a Mount Kilimanjaro Climb.
Possibly the most scenic route when Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the Machame route is known as the “Whiskey Route” because of the tougher challenge it provides the climbers with. This path leads through magnificent forests before going through the moorland to the Shira Plateau.
According to the Kilimanjaro National Park, approximately 50% of trekkers use the Machame Route to ascend Kilimanjaro. This route is very scenic, providing hikers with incredible views and with varying landscapes all throughout the Kilimanjaro Climb.
KILIMANJARO HIKE THROUGH THE MACHAME ROUTE
The trek begins at the Machame Gate, located in the southern base of the mountain. The hike starts within Kilimanjaro’s lush and fertile rainforest.
The Kilimanjaro Trails can be steep and slippery, so trekking poles are advised. As the route heads towards the Shira Plateau, the trees disappear. Then the route heads into a circular pathway from Barranco to Karanga to Barafu. This route is known as the Southern Circuit.
The long, strenuous approach to the Kilimanjaro Summit is made from the east until the crater rim known as Stella Point. Then the route is relatively flat for another hour to Uhuru Peak. The quick descent then follows the Mweka trail.
The Machame Route is approximately 62 km or 37 miles from gate to gate. It is designed for physically fit people with previous Kilimanjaro Trek experience. But plenty of first time climbers use the route as well and do just fine. It is rated as one of the best Kilimanjaro Climb Routes and thus is recommended very highly.
MACHAME ROUTE DETAILED ITINERARY
The Kilimanjaro Machame Route has two itineraries, such as Machame Route 6 Days and Machame Route 7 Days. To shorten the 7-days itinerary, you can skip the night in the Karanga Valley while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You can instead walk straight from the Barranco Huts to the Barafu Huts in one day.
DAY 1: MACHAME HUT CAMP
The first day trekking begins at Machame Gate.
A short drive from Arusha or Moshi will bring you to the Machame route trailhead. This is where you will meet your Kilimanjaro Climbing crew – your guide, porters and cook. Then after all the climbers and crew check in with the park rangers, the Kilimanjaro Trek will finally begin. You will hike up through the montane forests, making your way up to the Machame Hut camp. By the time you arrive, your porters will have already setup your camp and tents, and dinner will be served.
On Day 1, you will hike for about 5-7 hours.
DAY 2: SHIRA PLATEAU
On day two, you will rise early, pack your gear and prepare for the Kilimanjaro Hike ahead.
After a hearty breakfast, your Kilimanjaro Hiking Trips will continue through the forest. You can take your time, soaking in the scenery as you make your way through the moorlands. You will be treated to the first spectacular views of the Kibo peak.
On Day 2, you will hike for about 4-6 hours.
DAY 3: BARRANCO CAMP
Day 3 on Machame route is all about climbing high and sleeping low. It’s a long day but there will be lots of acclimatization. You will take acclimatization Kilimanjaro Hike to Lava Tower for lunch and then descend down to the Barranco valley.
If you have the energy to spare, you can scramble up the Lava Tower itself. The scenery will be amazing today as you will be passing through different zones of the mountain.
DAY 4: KARANGA CAMP
On Day 4, you’ll continue to acclimatize. Your body will slowly adjust to the high altitudes, in preparation for the upcoming Kilimanjaro Summit. You will climb the steep Barranco Wall and then go up and down several ridges and valleys. Then you’ll finally arrive at Karanga camp.
In the afternoon, you will likely have an acclimatization hike. On this day, you will hike for about 4-5 hours.
DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP
On Day 5, you’ll arrive at the final camp before the Kilimanjaro Hike, that is, the Barafu camp. You will likely experience some ups and downs along the ridges and valleys along the way.
Make sure that all your kit, including warm clothes, headlamp, insulated water reserves and snacks are ready. You’ll have an early supper and sleep for a few hours. When you arise at about 11:00 PM, you will start the next day’s summit ascent.
DAY 6: SUMMIT NIGHT!
Day 6 is summit day! You will start hiking at around midnight. You will have to use your headlamps to lead the way up to Stella Point and then to the Mount Kilimanjaro Summit.
The trek up will be steep and slow. The trick is to keep moving forward, one step at a time. It takes about 6-8 hours to reach the top where you will finally see signs of Stella Point.
Due to the altitude, you will have to hike slowly. Make sure to dress warmly for the cold. After finally reaching the summit and celebrating, you will descend down to the Mweka camp.
DAY 7: MWEKA PARK GATE
Day 7 is the final day on the mountain! By this time, you will be proper exhausted and only thinking about food and a hot shower. You will make the final descent through the rain forest to the Mweka Gate.
Here, you will have a hearty lunch and say goodbye to the mountain crew assisting you. Then you’ll have a drive back to Arusha for a hot shower and a celebratory dinner.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be a tough job. But with Jerry Tanzania Tours and our experienced guides to lead you up Kilimanjaro, you can achieve your Kilimanjaro dreams your own way. We are super dedicated to provide our climbers with the best services and equipment’s at all times and provide them with great comfort and experience.
If you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro through the Machame Route then use this blog as a canvas for planning your Kilimanjaro trip. And don’t forget to share your valuable feedback with us!