The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route – one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude.
Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
Kuwa Huru Adventure offers Umbwe as a six or seven day private climb. The seven day variation adds an acclimatization day on day three at Barranco Camp.
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha
Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). A private transfer awaits you from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to Arusha at a hotel that suits your budge where you will spend the rest of the day at leisure. We will gather in the evening at 5: pm for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check.
We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
Day 2: Umbwe Gate:( 5,249ft) to Umbwe Camp ( 9,514 ft) 5-7 hours Walking)
The day begins with one hour and 50 minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. . The first couple of hours are a sharp uphill walk along a 4WD track, passing through the rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for Black and White colobus and blue monkeys as well as the little red beauty that is the Kilimanjaro Impatiens flower (native only to this region). After approx. 2 hours trekking the road ends and the ‘real’ trail starts. This is where the fun begins as you spend the rest of the day scrambling up over tree roots- reaching out for bits of shrubbery around to pull yourselves up some of the more vertical sections. Your legs may be sore but you will no doubt be distracted by the beauty of the forest around you. Eventually, you will emerge from the forest to see Umbwe Cave Camp, where a lovely hot dinner will be awaiting you (and you can finally put your feet up!).
Day3: Umbwe Camp(9,514ft ) to Barranco Camp(13,044 ft) 4-5 hours Walking)
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.
DAY 4: Barranco Camp(13,044 ft) to Karanga Camp(13,100 ft)3-4 hours Walking)
We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
DAY 5: Karanga Camp(13,100 ft) to Barafu Camp (15,331 ft)4-5 hours Walking)
We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.
DAY 5: Barafu Camp(15,331 ft) to Uhuru Peak (19,341ft) 7-8 hours Walking)
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. with only our headlamps and guides to show us the way through the thick scree and winding pathways ,We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 6: Mweka Camp To Mweka Gate(3-4 Hours Walking)
Once again you will be woken for your final celebratory breakfast where our team will thank and congratulate you in their unique, special way! This is also the opportunity for you to say thank you for their support and encouragement and show your appreciation by giving a tip to each of them or to the team leader. We will then set off for the final 3-hour scenic descent to Mweka Gate (1650m.) on a well maintained trail through lovely tropical forest alive with birdcalls and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. At the gate you will get the chance to have a celebratory beer while the equipment is loaded in the van and then it is off to a hotel in Moshi or Arusha town for a long over due hot shower. After dinner with sparkling wine you will be presented with your certificate of achievemen
Day 7: Final Day Airport Transfer
If you will living us to day our Transfer staff will drive you buck to the Airport. If you have purchased a safari package through kuwa huru adventure Tanzania we will Help you seamlessly transition from your trek into your next Tanzania adventure
Kilimanjaro Price Includes:
- TanzaniaVAT on tourism activities and park fees
- Return transfers Kilimanjaro airportto Arusha and Arusha to Kilimanjaro airport
- Hotel Lodging the night before and the night after the climb.
- Transfer from your hotel to starting point for your climb, and return to your hotel after your climb
- Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
- All Kilimanjaro National Parkgate fees, camping fees and climbing permits.
- Kilimanjaro National Parkrescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
- Emergency oxygen(for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
- Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
- Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook
- Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by Kilimanjaro National Park
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
- Camping equipment (tents, camp chairs and tables
- Water for washing up daily
- Porter to carry your duffel bag (max weight 15kg / 32 lbs) from one camp to the next camp.
- Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
- A comprehensive Climbing Kilimanjarotravel info pack
Kilimanjaro Price Excludes:
- Flights and airport taxes
- Items of a personal nature
- Compulsory tips for guides, porters and cook (average tip is anything from US $ 230 to US $ 300 per hiker – depending on number of days / how many hikers in the group and route chosen)
- South African passport holders do NOT require a visa for Tanzania, however most other Nationalities require a visa for Tanzania
- Health requirements (Yellow Fever compulsory if traveling to Tanzania recommended)
- Highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
- Personal hiking/trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in our office.
- Optional but highly recommended Portable toilet
- Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets