Kilimanjaro Climbing - Machame Route: Information & Tips

Africa > Tanzania > Mount Kilimanjaro > Machame

Machame route is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro with 50% of all hikers using it. The route has a great acclimatization profile and offers amazing scenery throughout the trail. The route starts at Machame gate at 1640meters altitude, and move from cultivated farmland to montane forest, alpine heath high desert and arctic zone. Each day on the route offers different climatic condition which makes it even more popular. Machame route offers camping accommodation and it is best for those who are fit although it may be tackled by first timers with the right preparation and team.



The hike begins in the Kilimanjaro fertile Montane Rainforest. The place receives much precipitation, so trekking poles will be needed as the trail is usually slippery. The path keeps heading towards shira plateau, then climbs to the volcanic plug, lava tower and thereafter dropping and circling below the south icefield. The circular path from Barranco to Karanga to Barafu is also known as the Southern circuit. The challenging approach to the summit is done from east going through endless switchbacks until the Stella point, and finally a flat path to Uhuru Peak. Descent is made via Mweka trail.

Machame route can be tackled in six days but we recommend the seven days option . More days on the mountain offers good acclimatization. The 6 days option is only advised to experienced hikers and does not have the same success rate as the 7 days option.

Difficulty level

The route is a bit difficult with its trail going through various up and downs and the only accommodation offered is camping. The more the altitude increases so does the level of oxygen drops, your guide will keep a close eye to your health and it is important to consume as much food as you will be offered even when you feel nauseated.
The first days are more accessible and has low gradient which may count as a benefit to climbers. Summit can be dark and bitterly cold, positive mentality and a good physical health are crucial in this stage.


The route offers incredible scenery and is the most popular route to Kilimanjaro. The path passes through five climatic conditions from Montane Rainforest, grassland, moorland alpine desert and arctic zone at the summit. The landscape is varied and amazing natural features like volcanic plug known as lava tower can be spotted. Machame route. The machame route camping spots offers some of the most beautiful sunrise and sunset on Kilimanjaro

Trail condition

All routes to Mount Kilimanjaro are fairly accessible and no technical skills are required. On this route some few spots may require the help of both hands and feet while climbing such as the famous barranco wall and the lava tower climb which is optional but besides that the trail can be easily walked. The last part of hiking to Uhuru peak is always extra demanding and can be slippery so walking sticks can come in handy here. frequents weather changing is common while hiking so all climbers must prepare to climb though rain, snow, fog, and the land can be dusty, muddy, wet, icy, snowy and any type of weather change can affect the surroundings.

The lavatory facilities are offered at every campsite and mainly consist of long drop toilets, this may not be preferred by every climber so private toilets can be offered on request before commencing your hiking.

Frequently asked questions about Machame route

How busy is the machame route?

Machame route is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro mainly because of its beautiful scenery and great acclimatization profile. The route is also famous among budget hikers.

What is the route's success rate?

Overall the route has high success rate, with its longer day's option leading with over 85% success rate followed by 73% for the six days option. The trick in this route is its great acclimatization profile facilitated by climbing high and sleeping low choice in most days.

How hard is the machame route?

Generally climbing Kilimanjaro on any route cannot be considered easy and Machame route is no exceptional; the route goes various ups and downs and can be very demanding, still this is one of the recommended routes because of its great acclimatization profile which makes it easier. With the right support and preparation anyone can reach the summit using this route; even beginners. The route offers the climb high and sleeps low chance which reduces the risk of getting altitude sickness especially in seven days option

Why choose Machame route to hike Mount Kilimanjaro?

Machame route is famous for its magnificent scenery and is considered the most popular Kilimanjaro route. The beginning of this trail passes through the thick green forest and the land scape is extremely varied all the way to the summit, the route offers great acclimatization option. The route is also suitable for all budget climbers.

How many days is the Machame route?

Machame route can be tackled in six days, however it is advised to be done in at least 7 days for a better altitude acclimatization schedule. Opting to climb the mountain in seven days increases your chance of reaching the top up to 85%.

Mountain Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Trekking Africa Climbing Machame

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