The Umbwe route takes a minimum of five days although six days are recommended for inexperienced hikers. Only people who have experience with hiking and are confident in their ability to acclimatize should consider taking 5 days climb. You can reach the summit using the Western Breach or the Barafu Camp. If you choose the Barafu Camp route, you will meet the Machame route at Barranco camp, and enjoy some spectacular views, stunning landscapes and exciting climbs up the Barranco wall. The Western Breach route takes you through Arrow Glacier hut, which is not crowded, but it is much more challenging. The descent down the mountain is along the Mweka route, which follows a steep descent to Barafu, where you might take short rest, before embarking further down the ever-changing sceneries towards the Mweka huts and the path off the mountain.
Transport will be provided from the Kilimanjaro International Airport to your accommodation in Moshi. You’ll have some rest before meeting your guides, who will brief you about the climb and Mt. Kilimanjaro, followed by equipment check to ensure that all you have all the essentials. If some of your equipment is missing or is in a bad shape, you can rent from us. You’ll have dinner and spend the night here in preparation for the adventure awaiting you.
You will begin your day with an hour’s drive to Machame gate where you will complete registration formalities. We’ll then drive through villages and plantations of coffee and banana, to Umbwe gate. The trail will steeply climb on a forestry track through a dense rainforest and then narrow and steepen as you reach the ridge between two rivers which are surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe camp is located between trees and thick undergrowth.
On the second day of the trek, you will be hiking across rockier terrain scarcely tiled by undergrowth and random moss-covered trees. As we begin to climb, Kilimanjaro will be in plain sight, and our path flatten as we get near Barranco Valley. From Umbwe Ridge the path, gilded with unusual but yet amazing Senecio forest, leads down to Barranco camp.
Breakfast will be served before you head out from Barranco towards a steep ridge that follows the base of Barranco Wall toward Karanga Valley campsite. Once you get to Karanga, you will have a hot lunch, and later on acclimatization walk. Dinner will be served at the Karanga campsite before your rest for the night awaiting day five’s adventure.
You will continue trekking to Barafu, from which the view of the summit tends to be different as you shift angles. Once we reach the campsite, you can get the excellent view of the summit, but also enjoy the sight of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Dinner will be served early, and you should rest and prepare for the final ascend.
Hiking to the summit will begin short after midnight, at around 12:30 A.M., as our path twists through heavy scree towards Stella Point at the crater rim. This part of the hike is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the ascend. Once we reach Stella Point, you will rest and refresh with warm cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by the views of the magnificent sunrise coming above Mawenzi. Going further up, you might encounter snow storm, although it is dictated by the season you are taking for the hike. The summit, Uhuru Peak – the highest point on Kilimanjaro and all of Africa, is just an hour ascend from Stella Point.
From the summit, you will start trekking down to Mweka campsite. Lunch stop will be at Barafu camp, where you can take some rest, before we continue our descend towards Mweka Campsite, which is located in the forest. Here, you will have your last dinner and overnight on the Kilimanjaro.
Breakfast will be served before we begin hiking down to Mweka Gate, where you’ll receive summit certificates. Path on the lower elevations can be rather wet and muddy, so the gaiters and trekking poles might come handy. There will be a vehicle waiting at the gate to take you back to your accommodation in Moshi.
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