Machame Route And Success Rates: A Beginner’s Guide & Cost

An old Kilimanjaro trail is the Machame route, which is also called the Whisky Route. A lot of people use this route to climb Kilimanjaro. Every year, Kabira Safaris & Tours Africa leads hundreds of trips along this trail, which begins in a beautiful tropical forest. There are two versions of the Machame route: one that takes 6 days and one that takes 7. The 7-day version has a much better acclimatisation profile and a higher success rate at reaching the top. Machame 7 is a great trail with beautiful views that is good for everyone, even beginners. Kilimanjaro has five different climate zones that you can walk through. You can also climb the beautiful Barranco Wall and be amazed by the Dendrosenecio kilimanjari plants, which look like they belong in another world.

Machame Route – Expert Advice

When picking between the 6-day and 7-day Machame routes, be careful. The 6-day version has much lower success rates at reaching the top and is only good for experienced hikers or travellers who have already gotten used to the altitude. On the shorter route, there is no stay at the Karanga Camp in the middle, which makes it harder to get used to the high air and have a good chance of reaching the top. “Budget” tour companies often push this choice, but we don’t think first-timers should take it.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – 7 Day Machame Route

6 Days Machame Route Itinerary Cost

6 Days Machame Route Price per person ($ USD)
1 pax 2 -4 pax 5-9 pax 10-16 pax 16 + pax
1,835 1,785 1,735 1,685 1,635

7 Days Machame Route Itinerary Cost

7 Days Machame Route Price per person ($ USD)
1 pax 2 -4 pax 5-9 pax 10-16 pax 16 + pax
1,900 1,850 1,850 1,750 1,700

Climbing Cost Includes

  • All transfers: Hotel before and after the hike
  • Camping equipment
  • Meals on the hike
  • Professional guides and porters
  • Oxygen tanks
  • GPS Trackers
  • Medical check-ups, fully-loaded medical kits, and in-company doctor
  • Fully-loaded medical kits
  • All park fees and taxes
  • Dedicated support team
  • Innovative and user-friendly travel planning portal
  • Safe room and storage room
  • Leave No Trace adventure
  • Impactful change for the local communities

Climbing Cost Excludes

  • International flights
  • Tips to the climbing crew
  • Visa fee
  • Personal gear rentals
  • Single supplement
  • Travel insurance
  • Portable toilet
  • Lunch and dinner in the hotel

Machame Route Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Distance: 11 km | 7 miles
Habitat: Rain Forest

When you get to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you’ll be met by an agent from Kabira Safaris & Tours Africa, who will take you to your hotel as part of the package deal. There will be nice rooms, hot water, friendly staff, a swimming pool, and Internet access at the hotel, so you can have a peaceful stay. There will be a meeting with our bosses in the evening, and they will also make sure you are ready to start the climb.

As part of private tour packages, your group will share a ride to and from the airport. For more than one person transfer, there will be extra fees. To avoid extra fees, make sure that the times your group arrives and leaves are the same.

Day 2: Trekking From Machame Gate to Macgame Camp

Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: 5 km | 3 miles
Habitat: Heath

In the morning, a guide and a mountain support group will come to the hotel to meet you and give you a quick briefing. You will then be driven to Machame Gate, which is the entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park. The group will quickly get climbing permits and sign up with the search and rescue service, and then they will start hiking up to Machame Camp. We suggest that you bring extra clothes and a raincoat because the hiking trail goes through the jungle and it might rain sometimes.

PLEASE NOTE: You should really pay attention to these rules from now on because today is your first day at this height:

  • Hold off on drinking booze and caffeine;
  • Over 4 litres of drinking water every day (little by little, often);
  • If you want to avoid getting altitude sickness in the first place, you might want to take a high-altitude rescue medicine. Many mountain hikers take these kinds of pills in the morning, before they start their climb, to ease the pain of altitude sickness. Along with your travel plans, our managers will give you more detailed information. Before the trip, you should talk to your doctor about any allergies or health worries you might have.

As you get used to the high altitude, you may feel uncomfortable at night because your body gets less oxygen than during the day because you breathe less deeply at night. Taking into account the altitude, you may start to feel sick and get a headache. Watch your body and let your guide know if you start to feel any signs of altitude sickness.

Day 3: Trekking From Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower
Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Distance: 7 km | 4 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Distance: 3 km | 2 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert

You will start your walk up to the second high camp, Shira Camp, after breakfast. Today is the day you’ll come out of the jungle and see the Shira Plateau for the first time. Actually, trekking isn’t that hard, but you might feel the changes in altitude, so pay attention to your body and remember how important it is to choose the right pace for good hiking. You will have lunch and some rest when you get to camp. Then, the group will go on an ascent walk of 400 m (1,312 f) to Lava Tower Camp to help everyone get used to the altitude. You will be given a hot dinner when you get back to Shira Camp.

PLEASE NOTE: To speed up the process of getting used to the altitude, the acclimatisation hike is a short, easy hike with a small elevation gain. The acclimatisation hikes are very important that you do them. They make it more likely that you will be able to reach the top of Kilimanjaro and protect you from getting altitude sickness.

Day 4: Trekking From Shira Camp to the Lava Tower and Descent to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Distance: 5 km | 3 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert

The most important part of the trail is Lava Tower (4,600 m/15,088 f), which you will reach after breakfast. There are a lot of ups and downs on this part of the trail, which ends at a camp at over 4,600 m/15,088 f. Some parts of the hike might be hard, and it’s normal to feel some pain. But you need to spend at least one to two hours here to properly get used to the altitude. This is why our groups eat lunch at the top of Lava Tower.

You will go down to Barranco Camp after lunch. The famous Barranco Wall can be seen here. It is amazing how big it is and how steep it is. You’ll be climbing it the next day, but don’t worry—it has a very easy hike trail that won’t scare you at all.

Day 5: Trekking From Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Distance: 5 km | 3 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert

This morning, your group will get up early and eat a big breakfast. Then, you will start climbing Barranco Wall. You should leave the camp as early as possible so that you don’t have to deal with other groups that might slow you down. It is not hard to walk up the gorge wall, and it only takes an hour. Here, at the base of Kibo, you can rest and take pictures after the climb.

The next part of the hike is harder and takes you to Karanga Camp. The trail has many ups and downs, but don’t worry—our guides know how to pick the best pace for the group. When you get to the camp, you’ll be given a warm meal. You will have to climb up to Barafu Camp after a couple of hours, where you will be given a hot dinner. Before the night peak, it is better to rest and sleep for the rest of the day.

Day 6: Ascent to Uhuru Peak And Descent to Millennium Camp

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: 5 km | 3 miles
Habitat: Arctic
Distance: 12 km | 7 miles
Habitat: Rain Forest

At night, your group will leave Barafu Camp and start the last part of the climb to the top of Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,336 f). From a technical point of view, the climb is pretty easy. The hardest part is the high elevation, which makes even normal physical exercise feel hard. A personal guide will be with each pair of climbers the whole time to keep an eye on their physical and mental health. Once you’ve reached the top of Uhuru Peak, you can choose to go down to the nearest glacier. After that, you’ll go back to Barafu Camp for a two-hour break before starting your descent to Millennium Camp.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget that 90% of crashes happen on the way down, and most people break their arms and legs. You should be very careful with your feet because you could hurt your toes.

Day 7: Descent From Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 10 km | 6 miles
Habitat: Rain Forest

The Millennium Camp is in a tropical jungle. You will feel relieved from the lower altitude and happy to have reached the top when you wake up. Right after a hot breakfast, you’ll go to the Mweka Gate. This is where you leave the park. When you get to the bottom, everyone in the group will praise you and give you a chance to write in the guestbook what you thought of the climb. Last but not least, we will give you your commemorative awards in our office and take you back to your hotel.

Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.

PLEASE NOTE: The hotel’s check-out time is 11 AM. If you need to check out late because of a flight in the evening, you can pay extra to stay longer at the hotel.

End of the 7-6 Days Machame Route Itinerary

Machame Route – Summit Success Rate

A lot of travellers want to know what the success rates are for each Kilimanjaro path. When Kabira Safaris & Tours Africa climbs Kilimanjaro, we keep accurate records of each and every one of those trips since 2014. Here is the percentage of our Machame route trips that reach the top:

  • Machame 6: Uhuru Peak: 87.3%, Crater Rim: 92.0%
  • Machame 7: 96.1% for the Crater Rim and 93.1% for Uhuru Peak

As you can see, the 7-day Machame route plan has a much higher success rate at reaching the top than the 6-day version. In fact, Machame 7 is one of the best routes for this measure. On the third day, it meets up with the Lemosho and Umbwe ways and continues as a single path to the top. In general, it’s a great choice for both new and expert hikers.

A lot of operators say they have high success rates, but it’s not always easy to tell if those numbers are real. Kabira Safaris’ high success rates at summits are due to a few main factors. We’re happy to work with the best Kilimanjaro guides, porters, and other experts in the area. We hire the best people because we have the best working conditions and pay. We also go out of our way to make sure our clients have everything they need for a smooth transition. For instance, we have more oxygen tanks and various medicines in our complete kits than any other Kilimanjaro tour company. Also, our guides know how to spot and treat mountain sickness signs, and they will be there for you if anything goes wrong. Our trips are even safer, and your chances of reaching the top are best because clients and mountain crew have to go through two medical checks every day.

Machame Route FAQ

What is the Machame route

A lot of people use the Kilimanjaro Machame path to get to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak. It is thought to be one of the most popular ways to climb Kilimanjaro. The seven-day route is famous for its good acclimatisation profile, high success rates at the peak, and beautiful views. You will see the Barranco Wall and lots of beautiful plants and animals along the way. When you reach Uhuru Peak after the summit night, you will be able to see an amazing sunrise over the African plains.

A South-West Kilimanjaro National Park gate is where the Machame route starts. You’ll be able to see the great Barranco Wall, Shira Volcano, Lava Tower, Karanga Valley, views from the southern circle, Stella Point, and many more during the seven-day climb. The way down is along the Mweka trail, which promises even more stunning views. Overall, the Machame route is beautiful, and the 7-day plan is a great way to climb Kilimanjaro, whether you have done it before or this is your first time.

Why is the Machame route called the Whiskey route:

Some people used to think that the Machame way on Mount Kilimanjaro was harder than the “Coca-Cola Route” of Marangu, so they called it the “Whisky Route.” On the other hand, this isn’t really the case today because modern expeditions are much better organised. In fact, new data shows that the seven-day Machame route now has a much higher success rate at reaching the top than any other Marangu path.

Machame 7 vs Lemosho 7

A lot of things about Machame 7 and Lemosho 7 are the same. They both have great acclimatisation profiles, high success rates at the peak, and stunning views. This is where the biggest difference lies: the beginning. At 3,414 metres above sea level, Lemosho 7 starts with a steep drop for vehicles. Machame 7 begins at Machame Gate, which is 1800 metres above sea level. As a result, you’ll be able to get used to Lemosho faster, which may be uncomfortable at first but will be worth it in the long run. The Machame path on Kilimanjaro, on the other hand, will help you get used to the altitude more slowly, and you’ll get to enjoy hiking through a tropical forest.

Machame 6 vs Marangu 6

People often compare these two standard itineraries to each other. Marangu stands out because it’s the only path with huts that can be used as dorms for the night. It makes Marangu and northern Kilimanjaro routes like Rongai 7 good choices for climbs during the wet season. Machame and Marangu 6 are both pretty busy, but Marangu may be busier because it goes up and down the same road. Because of this, the Marangu road doesn’t offer as many different types of scenery.

Both routes have about the same success rate at the summit: 87% of walkers make it to the top. This is a little less than on longer trips like Lemosho 7 or Machame 7 because the acclimatisation patterns are harder on those trips. We think Marangu 6 is a better choice than Machame 6 if you have to choose between the two.

Is the Machame route difficult

The 7-day Machame route is easier than many other Kilimanjaro routes. For this route, you don’t need to know how to do technical climbs. You only need simple gear and trekking poles to be fine. Because it gradually gets you used to the altitude, Machame 7 is good for even newbies. But the shorter Machame 6-day version is a lot harder. We only suggest it for strong trekkers with past experience or travellers who have already acclimatised well.

How many days do you need for the Machame route

There are two types of treks along the Machame route: those that last 6 days or 7 days on the mountain. For this, there are no extra days before or after the trip. You should plan to stay in Tanzania for at least 8–9 days.

Also, if you’d like to add a tour in Tanzania or a trip to an island to your climb, we can handle that.

Is the Machame route good for beginners climbing Kilimanjaro

The Machame route 7-day variation has one of the best success rates at reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, making it a great choice for first-timers. The route is not too hard, and the 7-day plan makes the changes for getting used to the altitude much easier. However, the 6-day Machame way should only be considered by people who have done a lot of high-altitude trekking and/or have had time to get used to the altitude.

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