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5 Days Climb Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

5 Days Climb Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

Those with some sturdy calf muscles should only consider this route and experience trekking at high altitudes.  It is the shortest route on Kilimanjaro (just 33km to the top) but there is no such thing as a shortcut on the mountain… In your first two days, you will reach the same point as it takes to reach with four days on the Lemosho route therefore you are missing out on extra days of acclimatization.

The beauty of this route is the solitude you will have for the first two days – most are put up by the idea of solid uphill walking!  You will be some of the lucky few to experience absolutely breathtaking scenery and undisturbed wilderness on the mountain.  Provided you have done a fair bit of training and are used to trekking at altitude, you will absolutely love this climb and the thought you have trekked a path few others would be prepared to take.

The route below describes the summit via the Barafu route (joining up with Lemosho and Machame on the third day).  For those looking for an even bigger challenge, it is possible to summit via the Western Breach however we do not recommend this route as much as it is more dangerous, with the chance of rock falls.  If you would be interested in this summit attempt, please just get in touch.

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport  (JRO). A private transfer awaits you from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to Arusha at a hotel that suits your budget 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 Cave Camp ( 9,514 ft) 5-7 hours Walking)

The day begins with one hour and a 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 is 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 of 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!).

Day 3: Umbwe Cave  Camp(9,514ft ) to Barranco Camp(13,044 ft) 4-5 hours Walking)

This day takes you through one of the most scenic areas on the mountain.  Shortly after leaving camp, you will come out onto a ridge, with two steep ravines home to the Lonzo stream on the left and Umbwe stream on the right, either side of you (those with a fear of heights best stay focused on Kibo peak up ahead).

Today you will start in the forest, come out into the heathland then pass into the moorland, before arriving at Barranco Camp on the border of the alpine desert ecosystem. This is one of the many marvels of climbing Kilimanjaro – encountering several ecosystems in one day.

Following lunch, the path gets rockier and vegetation changes as the path steadily climbs before (finally!) a short downhill to arrive at Barranco Camp.  Say goodbye to the serenity you have enjoyed the previous two days and enjoy meeting with other travelers merging from the three routes (Lemosho, Machame, and Umbwe).

Day 4:    Barranco Camp(13,044 ft)  to Barafu Camp (15,331 ft)  [6-9 hours walking

Rise for an early breakfast and then head for a little challenge as you climb up what has been nicknamed the ‘breakfast rock’.  It’s all worth it though as at the top of this rock you can have a great view to Kibo peak and its magnificent glaciers, whilst at the same time in the other direction you’ll be able to see Mt Meru.

With many increases and decreases in elevation you will pass the valley which marks the last point for water passing on the Machame route.  Head up the valley to Karanga camp where you can stop for lunch and a short break.  On your way to Barafu camp, you will pass over the alpine forest and volcanic rocks from previous explosions where you will be able to view the entire landscape of the mountain.

You will arrive at Barafu camp around 5 pm for dinner and then rest up and get some sleep in preparation for your summit night!  Although warmer during the day, the Barafu or ‘ice’ camp really lives up to its name once the sun goes down.

DAY 5: Barafu Camp(15,331 ft) to Uhuru Peak (19,341ft- 5895m)7-8 hours Walking)

Summit Night:  Your friendly guide will give you a warm wake-up call at approximately 11 pm (depending on how well you have fared so far you may get up earlier or later!).  From here you will start your ascent to the summit.  This is the final push to the top therefore your guide will take you at a much slower pace compared to your trekking the previous days.

This will make sure that you have the best chance of getting to the peak, giving your body time to cope with the high altitude.  Once you reach Stella Point at 5735m you will have earned your certificate but don’t let that stop you- it’s only another 45 minutes until you will find yourself at Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa.  Enjoy your time here, take in what will surely be your most memorable sunrise, and celebrate with your guide before heading back down.

Summit- Barafu Camp (3-4 hours) Barafu Camp- Mweka Camp (4-5 hours)

From the summit, you will descend back down to Barafu Camp where you will be welcomed by the rest of the crew and enjoy a short break and breakfast.  Here you can have a nap for a couple of hours if you wish and depending on the time you arrive.

From Barafu Camp, you will go down to Mweka Camp, passing from desert to moorland terrain.  You will reach Mweka Camp at approximately 5 pm.  There’s always a great atmosphere at camp this night – the hard work is over and now you can pat yourself on the back!  Celebrations won’t go on for too long as you will no doubt want to head into the tent early.

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 the team leader.

We will then set off for the final 3-hour scenic descent to Mweka Gate (1650m.) Passing through the montane forest, similar to your first day trekking, on a well-maintained trail, lovely tropical forest alive with bird calls 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 overdue hot shower. After dinner with sparkling wine, you will be presented with your certificate of achievement.

Day 7: Final Day Airport Transfer

If you will living us today our Transfer staff will drive you back 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 from Kilimanjaro airport to 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 guide, porter, and cook
  • Salaries for the 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 Kilimanjaro travel 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 the number of days / how many hikers are 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

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