Machame route Kilimanjaro

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Machame route Kilimanjaro

The Kilimanjaro National Park Machame route is considered one of the most scenic and challenging ways to reach the summit of Africa's tallest mountain. With its stunning views, diverse landscapes, and thrilling experiences, the Machame route is a popular choice among trekkers. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Machame route and why it should be at the top of your bucket list.

Why Choose the Machame Route?

The Machame route, also known as the "Whiskey route," is a 6 or 7-day trek that begins on the southwestern side of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the second most popular route to the summit, after the Marangu route, and is known for its diverse scenery and gradual ascent. Unlike the Marangu route, which has basic hut accommodations, the Machame route offers camping options, providing a more immersive outdoor experience.

Machame Route Description

The Machame route covers a total of about 62 kilometers and takes you through five different eco-zones, providing an ever-changing landscape throughout the trek. From lush rainforests to alpine deserts, the Machame route offers a variety of stunning views and experiences. It also offers trekkers the chance to see different wildlife, including colobus monkeys and a variety of birds.

Machame Route Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: The trek begins at the Machame Gate (1,640 meters) and takes you through the Kilimanjaro rainforest to Machame Camp (2,850 meters).

Day 2: After breakfast, the trail continues through the rainforest, gradually becoming steeper as you approach Shira Camp (3,840 meters).

Day 3: On this day, you will pass through a moorland and rocky ridges, with stunning views of the Shira Plateau. The trek ends at Barranco Camp (3,950 meters).

Day 4: This day begins with a steep climb to the Lava Tower (4,630 meters) before descending to Barranco Camp for the night.

Day 5: From Barranco Camp, the trek continues through a valley and up the Barranco Wall before arriving at Karanga Camp (4,035 meters).

Day 6: This day takes you through alpine desert and up to Barafu Camp (4,640 meters), the final camp before summit day.

Day 7: The summit attempt starts at midnight, with the aim to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) at sunrise. After enjoying the views, the trek descends back to Mweka Camp (3,080 meters) for the night.

Day 8: The final day of the trek involves a descent through the rainforest to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters) where you will receive your certificate of completion.

Tips for a Successful Machame Trek

To have a successful Machame trek, it is essential to be well-prepared and take some necessary precautions. Here are some tips to help you have a memorable and safe trek:

1. Train and prepare physically: The Machame route is considered a challenging trek, and it is essential to be physically fit before attempting it. Training by hiking, running, and including strength exercises in your routine will help you prepare for the trek.

2. Stay hydrated: As you climb higher, the air becomes drier, making it easier for you to become dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the trek and bring electrolyte supplements to replenish lost minerals.

3. Follow the “pole pole” mentality: Kilimanjaro guides often use the phrase “pole pole,” which means “slowly, slowly” in Swahili. It is crucial to take your time and not rush through the trek, as it will help you acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness.

4. Listen to your guides: Your guides have extensive experience and knowledge about the mountain. Always listen to their advice and follow their instructions to stay safe.

Packing Essentials for the Machame Route

Some essential items to pack for the Machame route include:

1. Proper hiking boots: Make sure to have comfortable, waterproof hiking boots that have been broken in before the trek.

2. Warm and waterproof clothing: The weather on Kilimanjaro can change quickly, and it is essential to have layers of warm and waterproof clothing to stay dry and comfortable.

3. Headlamp: For the early morning summit attempt, a headlamp is necessary to navigate through the dark.

4. Sleeping bag: As you will be camping throughout the trek, bring a warm and comfortable sleeping bag to ensure a good night's rest.

Challenges and Highlights of the Machame Route

The Machame route is known for its stunning views and diverse landscapes, but it is also one of the more demanding routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The rocky and steep sections, such as the Barranco Wall and Lava Tower, can be challenging for some trekkers. However, these sections also provide some of the most rewarding experiences of the trek.

The highlight of the Machame route is undoubtedly the summit day, with the exhilarating feeling of reaching the highest point in Africa and the breathtaking views of the sunrise over the mountain.

Cost and Accommodation Options on the Machame Route

The cost of the Machame route varies depending on the tour company you choose and the amenities included in the package. On average, it can range from $3,000 - $5,000 per person.

As for accommodation, there are several options for camping sites along the Machame route. Some tour companies provide tents and camping gear, while others require you to bring your own. For those looking for a more luxurious option, some tour companies offer VIP camping services with larger tents, comfortable beds, and even hot showers.

Final Thoughts on the Machame Route

The Machame route offers a challenging and rewarding trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro. With its stunning views and diverse landscapes, it is no wonder why it is such a popular choice among trekkers. If you are up for the challenge and want to experience the beauty of Kilimanjaro up close, the Machame route is the perfect choice for you. Just remember to prepare, pace yourself, and enjoy every step of the way. Happy trekking! 

Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro National Park