Umbwe route – 6 days

Umbwe route – 6 days

Umbwe route – 6 days

About the route

The Umbwe route is offered as a five day minimum trek, though six days are recommended. The 5 day Umbwe route should only be attempted by those who are very experienced hikers and are confident in their ability to acclimatize. The summit can be reached via the Western Breach or Barafu camp. If the latter option is chosen the route joins the Machame route at Barranco camp, with its beautiful views, landscape and the exhilarating climb up the Barranco wall. The Western Breach route, via Arrow Glacier hut is much quieter, but also more challenging. Descent off the mountain is along the Mweka route which follows a steep ascent down to Barafu camp, where you may rest briefly before heading down through the ever-changing scenery towards the Mweka huts and the route off the mountain.

Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your accommodation in Moshi town, you will meet your guide for brief of your trekking and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain equipment, Rent the missing equipment if needed. Dinner and overnight at your accommodation

Day 2: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

The day begins with 1 hour drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. The trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rain forest. The path narrows and steepens as we climb the ridge between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe Camp is perched between trees and thick undergrowth.

  • Elevation 1800meters to 2950meters
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 5 – 6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 3: Umbwe Campsite to Barranco Campsite

The second day of the trek follows rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro can be seen.  The path flattens as we approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest.

  • Elevation 1800meters to 2950meters
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours
  • Habitat: Heath and Moorland

Day 4: Barranco Campsite to Karanga Valley Campsite

After breakfast, you will leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley campsite. You will have a hot lunch at the camp. Later in the afternoon you will go for acclimatization walk.

Dinner and overnight at Karanga Valley.

  • Elevation 3950metters to 4002meters
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Karanga Valley Campsite to Barafu Campsite

After breakfast, you will continue the trekking to Barafu hut. At Barafu hut you will have a good view of the summit from different angles, rest, prepare for the summit and dinner will be served early. Also, you will have a good view of two peaks – Kibo and Mawenzi.

  • Elevation 4002meters to 4600meters
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu Campsite to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Campsite

You will begin your trekking to the summit very early in the morning (midnight at 12:30am).

The trail zigzags up through heavy scree towards Stella Point at the crater rim, This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will have a rest for a hot drink (tea) to warm up your body while enjoying the magnificent sunrise. From Stella Point you may encounter snow but this depends on the season. It is an hour ascent to the summit, Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and in Africa.

After the summit you will start trekking down to Mweka campsite but you will stop at Barafu to have lunch and a short rest. After resting you will continue trekking down to Mweka campsite which is situated at the forest, last dinner and overnight at the campsite.

  • Elevation 4600meters to 5895meters (and down to 3100meters)
  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitat: Arctic

Day 7: Mweka Campsite to Mweka Gate

After breakfast, you will start to trek down to Mweka Gate to receive your summit certificates.

At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. A vehicle will be waiting at the gate to take you to your accommodation in Moshi.

  • Elevation 3100meters to 1800meters
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Book This Tour

Map of the Route

What’s Included

  • Park fees, hut fees, rescue fees
  • 18% VAT on tour fees and services
  • Transport to and from the park gates
  • Three meals daily while your on the mountain
  • Certified English-speaking guides
  • Recommended salaries for porters and guides
  • Two nights accommodation in Moshi (Pre and post climbing accommodation)
  • Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport

What’s Excluded

  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Flights
  • Mountain climbing equipment and clothes (but they available for rent)
  • Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport.
  • Gamov Bag is extra
  • Alcohol

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