Machame Route begins from the south-western side of the mountain; the trail passes through some of the mountains finest features, including the cloud forest of Kilimanjaro's southern plains, the dry and dusty Shira Plateau and the delightful groundsel-clad Barranco Campsite. Furthermore, you have a choice of ascent routes to the summit, with the thrill-seekers opting for the daunting Western Breach route to the summit, while majority head for the lengthy, long winded climb up the Barafu trail, with the Rebmann glacier edging into your field of vision on your left as dawn breaks behind Mawenzi on your right.
Furthermore, unlike Marangu Route, on Machame Route you don't use the same path to descend as you took to climb up the mountain but instead you come down via the Mweka route, a steep but very pretty descent encompassing inhospitably dry mountain desert and lush lowland forest in a matter of a few hours. For the best hike it takes a minimum of six days and extending one extra day is worthwhile to allow acclimatization above 4000m before proceeding on to the base camp at 4600m then to the summit.
Doing it for 7 days 6 nights is more comfortable as it is not very exhausting as the extra night during the ascent is usually spent at Karanga Camp, half way between Barranco and Barafu Camps. Not only does the extra day aid acclimatization, but this also reduces from almost six to three the number of hours walked on the day that precedes the exhausting midnight ascent to the summit, thereby allowing trekkers more time to recover their faculties, relax and prepare themselves for the final push to the top.