For those who only have six days to climb Kilimanjaro, the Machame route is the best choice because of its acclimatization profile. Compared to other six day routes, the Machame route exposes the climber to higher elevations quicker (day three) which kickstarts the body’s adaptation to altitude. However, this route requires that a person be in good shape to be able to tackle the challenging elevation gains and losses.
The six day Machame variation is a difficult route. In particular, day four combined with day five makes for a very hard schedule. Day four is a full day of hiking from Barranco to Barafu. Then after dinner and a partial night’s sleep, the very long and strenuous summit day begins around midnight. The 6 day Machame route requires 19-24 hours of demanding walking, at extremely high elevation, with only 4-6 hours of sleep.
The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.