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How Long is the Machame Route?


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The entire Machame Routedistance is approximately 62 km/37 miles. While you climb the mountain from the equator to an Arctic Zone through the Machame Route, the total elevation gain from the gate to the summit is 13620 ft/ 4155 meters. This Kilimanjaro Machame Route Distance can be covered in 6-7 days and involves around 5-7 hours of walking daily.

In this blog, we’ll discuss Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing via the Machame Route, detailing the daily distances and altitude gains, and examining the key factors that shape the duration of this iconic ascent.

About Machame Route

The Machame route, affectionately known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most frequented route on Kilimanjaro. Approximately 50% of all climbers choose this route for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro annually.

Its unparalleled scenic views, diverse terrains, and good acclimatisation are reasons behind the immense popularity of Mt Kilimanjaro Machame Route.

Key Highlights of Machame Route

  • Duration: 6-7 days
  • Distance: 62 km / 39 miles
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Success Rate: High
  • Unique Features: 5 different climate zones, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and iconic landmarks like the Lava Tower.
Special Note: The Machame Route Success Rate is high for climbers opting for the 7-day itinerary option.  Check out our 7 Days Machame Route Itinerary here.

Day-Day Machame Route Itinerary

Machame Route

The typical Machame Route Itinerary spans six to seven days, though other variations can be shorter or longer based on individual preferences and physical fitness. Below is a breakdown of the conventional 7-Day Machame Route.

Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Distance | 11 km/7 miles

Elevation Gain|1195 meters

Your adventure on the Machame Route Kilimanjaro starts at the Machame Gate (1640 meters). Here, climbers register and get the essential permits. The journey then leads through a lush rainforest, culminating at Machame Camp (2835 meters) after roughly 5-7 hours.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Distance | 5km/3 miles

Elevation Gain|1015 meters

Today, hikers traverse the heath and moorland, eventually landing at Shira Camp (3850 meters). This segment of the Kilimanjaro Machame Route typically lasts four to six hours.

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Distance | 11km /7 miles

Elevation Change| 750 meters ascent, 700 meters descent

This part of the trek directs climbers to the Lava Tower, elevated at 4,600 meters, offering a chance for acclimatization. There is a descent to Barranco Camp, positioned at 3,900 meters. This takes roughly six to seven hours in total.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Distance | 9 km /6 miles

Climbers face the Barranco Wall this day – a demanding stretch of the Mt Kilimanjaro Machame Route. After conquering this, the route descends to the awaiting Karanga Camp (3960 meters), a four to five-hour trek.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Distance | 6 km /4 miles

Trekkers pass through the barren alpine desert at Barafu Camp (4680 meters). This serves as the staging ground for the summit bid and is a four to five-hour journey.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

Distance| 3.5 km/ 2.2 miles ascent, 11km/7mile descent

Elevation Change| 1215 meters scent, 2795 meters descent

The most anticipated part of the Kilimanjaro Trek Machame Route starts at midnight. In 6-8 hours, climbers scale Uhuru Peak, the pinnacle of Mount Kilimanjaro. After this achievement, the descent to Mweka Camp follows an exhaustive 10 to 14-hour trek.

Day 7| Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Distance| 10 km/ 6 miles

Elevation change| 780 meters

The concluding day of the Kilimanjaro Machame Route 7 Days experience takes trekkers back through the rainforest, reaching the Mweka Gate (1640 meters). Here, triumphant climbers collect their certificates, commemorating their epic journey.

Factors Influencing Duration of Kilimanjaro Climb

While the Machame Route for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be undertaken in 6 or 7 days, various factors influence its duration:

  • Acclimatization: This is the body’s process of adjusting to decreased oxygen at high altitudes, dictating how one feels and, by extension, the trek’s pace.
  • Fitness Level: A well-prepared trekker might find the journey more manageable, potentially making quicker progress than anticipated.
  • Weather Conditions: Mount Kilimanjaro has its own weather conditions. Unforeseen weather changes, especially in alpine zones, can introduce delays.

Comparison with Other Kilimanjaro Routes

Compared to other popular Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes like Marangu and Lemosho, it stands unique in its length and intensity, often proving more challenging but equally rewarding.

A comparison table showing the differences between different routes used for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is given below:

Route NameLength (km)Duration (days)Difficulty
Special Note: The length, duration, and difficulty levels provided above are approximate averages and can vary depending on specific itineraries, personal pace, and other factors. You can always talk to our trekking experts at Tanzania Tribe Safaris for more information.

Tips for a Successful Trek on the Machame Route

Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Setting out on the journey via Machame Route demands meticulous planning. Here’s what you need to do to make your Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing expedition both memorable and safe:

  • Commit to regular fitness routines to boost endurance and muscle strength for the trek.
  • Give acclimatization its due importance; consider arriving earlier to adapt to the altitude variations.
  • Ensure you have the necessary gear, including a warm sleeping bag and weather-resistant clothing.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and eat energy-rich foods to stay active.
  • Always follow the advice and instructions of your guide to ensure a smooth climb.

Scaling the Mt Kilimanjaro Machame Route is about appreciating every challenge and every view. By preparing thoroughly in mind and body, you’ll enrich your journey, making each moment and summit remarkable.

The Ultimate Machame Experience with Tribe Safaris

In summary, the Machame Route Kilimanjaro offers climbers a blend of challenges and rewards. Understanding the distance and the other details of the trek is essential for a successful ascent.

For an unparalleled experience and to explore the best Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Packages, choose Tanzania Tribe Safaris. Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Book with us today!

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