With six established routes to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, namely Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Umbwe, Northern Circuit and Machame, it can be difficult deciding which one is right for your Kilimanjaro Expedition.
While all routes are different and vary in terms of difficulty and duration, they are all worthy of consideration, but if you are looking for a great value Kilimanjaro route with a high success rate, the 7-Day Machame Route should be your number #1 choice.
Here are seven reasons why the 7-Day Machame Route is the Best Route on Kilimanjaro:
1: Climbing Kilimanjaro on the 7-Day Machame Route is a great all-rounder in terms of value for money, length of trek, and scenery. It traverses five eco-systems, taking you through equatorial jungle, glacial valleys, and alpine deserts, and it offers some of the most spectacular vistas on Africa’s highest freestanding mountain.
2: The 7-Day Machame Route has a high success rate, some say the highest success rate on the mountain. With seven days for your body to acclimatise to the altitude, you are more likely to reach the summit than you would on shorter routes, and by ‘hiking high and sleeping low’ you are less likely to suffer from altitude sickness (although there are no guarantees!).
3: While the Machame Route is a busy route on Kilimanjaro, it never feels overcrowded and at certain times of the year, you’ll see few other climbers. You may encounter some ‘traffic’ when scaling the Barranco Wall, but apart from that, it will just be you, your guide, and your fellow hiking companions, with the odd passing porter or group along the way.
4: Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route has some of the most beautiful campsites on the mountain. The sunsets from Shira Camp are amazing, the stargazing from Barranco Camp breath-taking, and the views from Karanga Camp on a clear day are out of this world.
5: The 7-Day Machame Route Expedition is not as demanding as routes such as the Umbwe or the Northern Circuit and providing your train for your journey to the Roof of Africa, there is no reason why you shouldn’t reach Uhuru Peak. Apart from summit night, day two is probably the most challenging day on the mountain, so once you have reached day three, it’s smooth sailing (well, almost!).
6: The Lemosho Route, Shira Route, and Umbwe Route all link up with the Machame Route, and so if you think you are missing out on the other routes, you’re not! While it’s not the oldest established route on the mountain, it is the most revered, and you’ll struggle to find any mountain guide or porter who doesn’t list it as their favourite route.
7: What goes up must come down, and the descent on the 7-Day Machame Route is probably the easiest and the most scenic on the mountain. You’ll descend via the Mweka trail, overnighting at Mweka Camp and then heading down to Mweka Gate, where celebratory beers are available to purchase to toast your Kilimanjaro Expedition success!