The Machame Route, also known as the “Whiskey Route,” is a highly sought after climbing path on Mount Kilimanjaro. This six or seven day camping trek offers breathtaking views, a moderate challenge, and ample time to adjust to the altitude, making it a favorable option for those who have a bit of extra time.
Statistics reveal that approximately 35% of all Kilimanjaro climbers choose Machame Route. This trail has been nicknamed the “Whiskey Route” as it is considered to be more challenging compared to the “Coca-Cola Route,” also known as the Marangu route. Unlike Marangu, camping is allowed on Machame, meaning trekkers will spend all nights in tents until they reach the summit.
While on the Machame Route, trekkers will come across well-known landmarks such as the famous Lava Tower and Shira Plateau. The trail meanders through valleys and ridges, making the hike more strenuous but offering spectacular views. This route is widely considered as the most picturesque of all the routes to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, offering a diverse array of landscapes to explore each day.
For travelers who have extra time on their hands, Machame Route is an excellent option. An additional one or two days for acclimatization can greatly increase the success rate, making it a preferred choice among trekkers despite being a more challenging hike than the Marangu Route. One of the major challenges on this route is the Barranco Wall, a steep cliff that may seem intimidating at first. In reality, it is not as difficult as it appears, but trekkers must be cautious and may need to use their hands for leverage on certain sections. The climb usually takes an hour to an hour and a half, and the view from the top is well worth the effort.
However, the Machame Route can get crowded at times due to its popularity and scenic beauty, especially during peak season. This can result in busy trails and campsites.
Despite this, for those seeking the quintessential Kilimanjaro experience, the Machame Route is a top pick. Machame is available as a seven day or a six day climb, with the six day option combining days four and five, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga Camp.