6 Days Umbwe Route

Summary

The Umbwe Route provides the shortest route, and toughest, to the Southern Glaciers of Kilimanjaro and Western Breach of Kibo Peak. An ascent of Kibo by Umbwe Route is one of the finest non–technical climbing mountaineering. It is a challenging route, unsuitable for the solitary or for the inexperienced, and a route off the beaten track.

Day 1: Umbwe Gate To Umbwe Camp

Upon arriving at the Umbwe Gate, we complete the registration paperwork and prepare the expedition gear. The trek beings up a gradual inclining 4WD path, which ends with a sign marked “Umbwe Trail.”  From here we ascend through a dense forest on a steep and sometimes muddy path until we reach Umbwe Camp.

  • Elevation (ft): 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

 

Day 2: Umbwe Camp To Barranco Camp

The trek begins steep as we ascend higher into the heath zone.  Here landscape changes rapidly to sparse vegetation, rocky outcrops and giant heathers.  The trail leads up a narrow ridge then flattens as it nears Barranco Valley, which offers great views of Kibo Peak and Moshi.  Once at camp there will be some extra time to explore the area.

  • Elevation (ft): 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

Day 3: Barranco Camp To Karanga Camp

Our first challenge is a climb and scramble over the volcanic rock of the 1,200 ft Barranco Wall. On reaching the top, we have a well earned lunch break and enjoy fantastic views of Barafu and Mount Meru. We continue across the ridges and valleys to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

  • Elevation (ft): 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 4: Karanga Camp To Barafu Camp

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to Barafu Hut. At this point, we have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy an early dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are visible from this site.

  • Elevation (ft): 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5 : Barafu Camp To Uhuru Point To Mweka Hut

Very early in the morning (midnight), we put on many layers of clothing and begin our climb to the summit. We head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), we stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. From Stella Point, we have just one more hour before reaching the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

  • Elevation (ft): 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Distance: 17 km
  • Hiking Time: 11-14 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Day 6: Mweka Camp To Moshi.

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
Kilimanjaro Nature Tours vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha or Moshi.

 

  • Elevation (ft): 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
  • Hotel lodging the night before and the night after the climb (dinner and breakfast included) (double occupancy).
  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents:
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  • Two nights hotel in Arusha
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality Mess  tents with table and chairs:
  • Large portions of  fresh, healthy, nutritious food:
  • Clean, purified drinking water:
  • Private, portable chemical flush toilets:
  • Crisis management and safety procedures:
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters:
  • Summit Emergency Oxygen:
  • Pulse Oximeters:
  • Walking Poles:
  • Sleeping Mattress:
  • Flying Doctor Service:
  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips and any items of personal nature.

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