6 days Climb Kilimanjaro Mountain via Umbwe Route


Trip Overview

The Umbwe Trail has a well-deserved reputation for being the most challenging trail on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the rapid rise to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this route is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered a very difficult route - one that should only be tackled by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize to heights quickly. The Umbwe Trail comes from the south and is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and crosses under Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a road known as the Southern Railway before climbing off Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route,

Trip - Highlights

  • Day 01: arrive in Tanzania
  • Day 02: Moshi or Arusha/Umbwe Gate/Umbwe Cave Camp
  • Day 03: Umbwe Cave Camp/Barranco Camp
  • Day 04: Barranco Camp/Karanga Camp
  • Day 05: Karanga Camp/Barafu Camp
  • Day 06: SUMMIT ATTEMPT - Barafu Camp/Uhuru Peak/Mweka
  • Day 07: Mweka Camp/Mweka Gate

This Safari Only Takes

6 Days

What Includes in a Trip

  • Transfer to and from the base of the mountain gates.
  • 6 Days Umbwe route trek
  • Full board accommodation whilst on the trek.
  • Meal plan as detailed: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
  • Hotel accommodation before and after the tour on bed and breakfast basis.
  • All park fees to include government taxes.
  • Service of an English-speaking professional Mountain guide, porters and skilled cook.
  • Tents and mattress on the trek
  • Private chemical toilet.
  • Boiled water on the trek.
  • First aid kit box.
  • Supplementary oxygen cylinder.
  • 3 porters per climber.
  • 1 head guide and his assistant.
  • Return airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Airport.
  • Flying Doctors Emergency evacuation cover.

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Pick up at Kilimanjaro international airport to Arusha city, your guide will have a chance to
interact with and ask some important questions before check-in at your hotel. Stay overnight
at SG Premium resort.

Hiking time: 6 Hours
Distance: Approximately 10.3 km
Habitat: Forest (Montane)
After breakfast you will be driven to the Machame gate where registration formalities will
be completed. From the Machame gate you will be transferred to the Umbwe Gate (1641m),
passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. The air is thick with moisture
and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through
the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo
and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views
of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the
distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth. Enjoy dinner and
overnight at the Umbwe Cave Camp (2 850m).

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 6.3 km
Habitat: Moorland
Shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain,
sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow,
but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising
majestically ahead of you - etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach
Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is
situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you
with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 6 km
Habitat: Moorland / Semi desert
After spending a night at the great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make
your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out to be easier
than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you will now appreciate just how
beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over
intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred
route down from the summit, so remember it. The last water stop on the route is the Karanga
Valley, as there is no water available at Barafu camp. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the
Karanga camp.

Hiking time: 4 hours
Distance: Approximately 3.4km
Habitat: Alpine desert
Breakfast at Karanga camp and after breakfast turn left up the ridge and the route ascends
640m towards Barafu Camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and
inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales, the
tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize
yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents.
The summit is now a further 1214m higher and you will commence with your final ascent
attempt, the same night. Prepare your equipment, hiking poles and thermal clothing for your
summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera
batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be
wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed as early as possible and try to get some
precious rest and sleep.

Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Mweka Camp
Distance: Approximately 4.5 km ascent and 10.8 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will get up around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night.
You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella
Point on the crater rim. For many climbers the 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and
physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5739m) you will stop for a short
rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see
(weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on
your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on
the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to get
going again due to cold and fatigue.
Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life!
The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a wellearned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut
(3090m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the
moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or
rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.

Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours
Habitat: Forest
Distance: Approximately 8.5 km
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 4 to 6-hour scenic hike back to the
Park gate. Some hikers do experience knee problems which could make the descend longer
than planned. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all
your gear have reached the gate safely. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a
register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those
climbers who reached Stella Point (5739m) are issued with green certificates and those who
reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will
continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka
village you will meet your driver for a ride back to SG Premium Resort.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Let’s Go 6 days Climb Kilimanjaro Mountain via Umbwe Route

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