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 itinerary. The seven day variation adds an acclimatization day on day three at Barranco Camp.
Day 1: Arrive In Arusha Tanzania
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) Hiking Time: 5-7 Hours
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 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.
Day 3: (first) camp (2940m)to Barranco camp (3950m) Hiking time: 6 hours.
Shortly after leaving the camp, the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you – etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.
Day 4: Barranco camp (3950m) – Lava Tower (4630m)– Arrow Glacier Camp (4800m)
After breakfast you will start your hike towards Lava Tower, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro. The path is steep and rocky, with views of Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro’s little sister, punching her peak through the clouds. From Lava Tower you turn towards the Western Breach, a steep climb to Arrow Glacier camp (4800m). This is taxing and symptoms of altitude sickness might become noticeable. The campsite is spectacular. Vegetation has now all but disappeared, leaving only rock and scree in varying shades of brown and black. The campsite is very cold and your warm clothing will come in handy.
Day 5: Arrow Glacier (4800m) – Crater (5700m) Hiking time: 5 hours
We will wind our way up the Western Breach non-technical climbing route for about six hours to the crater rim of the main Kilimanjaro massif.. When reaching the crater rim, you will be astonished by the view of snow and glaciers. Visible to you left is the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro with the Furtwangler Glacier in front of you. Walk past this glacier to the Crater camp, situated at the crater rim. If time permits, you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples in the world This spectacular high camp is next to the Furtwrangler Glacier with stunning views westward toward Mt. Meru and the setting African sun..The campsite is very cold as snow might occur…..
Day 6: Summit; Crater (5700m) – Uhuru Peak -Hiking time: 2 hours to reach Uhuru Peak- 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka
We will start our ascent to the summit (19,340′) early enough in the morning. This final ascent is only 800 feet and can be undertaken after sunrise and a leisurely breakfast. This is quite a contrast to the 3,000 foot slog required to summit via all the other ascent. From the crater floor you will probably encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time spent on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life, it is important to start our descent after few minutes. Take some pictures and start heading to Barafu Camp. The walk to Barafu camp from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest, before heading down to Millennium camp (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Some warm washing water and Dinner will be provided
Day 7: 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 achievement.
Day 8: 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
Trekking Kilimanjaro for Charity Challenge?
The above climb can be undertaken for your own personal charity or group charity.
Kilimanjaro Prize Includes:
- Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and park fees
Return transfers 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 Park gate fees, camping fees and climbing permits.
Kilimanjaro National Park rescue 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 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 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 Tanzania
Optional but highly recommended Portable toilet
Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets