Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route is a short, steep and scenic route which approachs the summit from the south. It is the least used route on the mountain and also the most demanding. This route offers spectacular views and a fast summit approach, but due to the latter it is not the best route in terms of acclimatization.

Day 1 –Umbwe Gate (1640 m) – Umbwe Cave Camp (2930 m)

In the morning after breakfast our driver will pick you up at your lodge and take you to the Kilimanjaro National Park. At the gate your mountain guide will take care of the registration process and once everything is packed, you can begin your adventure. The trail will start as a wide forest road but then gets narrower as it climbs through the rainforest. You will walk on a mountain ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers before reaching Umbwe Cave Camp (2930 m) after about 5 to 6 hours of strenuous walking. At the campsite you can rest and enjoy some snacks while dinner is being prepared. You might be lucky enough to see the reflective eyes of a wild cat or monkeys jumping through the trees.

Day 2 – Umbwe Cave Camp (2930 m) – Barranco Camp (3960 m)

Today the first section of the trail will be steeper than on the first day. You’ll start with several muddy slopes which make the ascent more difficult. As you climb higher you will enter the heather and moorland zone of the mountain, characterized by Erica tree heathers that grow up to 3 or 4 meters. You will continue on the ridge with views into the Umbwe Valley until you reach a vertical rock wall called Rope Rock. This is the steepest wall on any of this mountain’s routes. Your guide will take take your daypack and assist you to get up this rocky passage. Afterwards the gradient of the trail will ease out as you make your way to the picturesque Barranco Camp, you resting place for the night. Enjoy amazing views of Kibo and the Great Barranco Wall.

Day 3- Barranco Camp (3960 m) – Karanga Camp (4035 m)

After an early breakfast you will begin your day by tackling the famous Barranco Wall. From time to time you might need your hands to hold on tight but there are no real climbing passages, and the ascent is easier than it looks. Once you’ve tackled the wall, the trail will proceed in an undulating fashion towards Karanga Camp. There are great views of the southern glaciers of Kibo. Karanga Camp is situated less than 100 meters higher than your previous camp. After about 3 to 4 hours you will arrive at the camp and you can spend most of the afternoon relaxing or take further a acclimatization trip towards Barafu Camp before returning back to Karanga Camp for the night.

Day 4 -Karanga Camp (4035 m) – Barafu Camp (4640 m)

Your destination for today, Barafu Camp at 4640 meters, should be reached after about 3 to 4 hours. For most of the route you’ll be trekking through the barren and striking afro-alpine desert. This will be your last stop before the summit night. So try and get an afternoon siesta before dinner is served. After a final briefing from your guide you’re advised to get straight back into your sleeping bag as you will be woken up again around midnight to begin the summit climb.

Day 5- Barafu Camp (4640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka Camp (3080 m)

Finally your time has come – you will slowly make your way towards the summit after a hot drink and some biscuits for fuel at the camp. Today’s strenuous trek will take around 5 to 7 hours until you reach Stella Point, the crater rim of Kibo. You can have a short rest here while the sun’s first rays light up a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscapes. From here the path flattens out for the final stretch to Uhuru Peak, which takes about an hour, towering above anywhere else on the African continent at 5895 meters. Standing on the `Roof of Africa’ will be a truly special moment as you watch the sunrise lighting up the mountain’s iconic glaciers. Shortly, you will move back to Stella Point and start your descent to Barafu Camp. After a couple of hours you can rest at the camp and enjoy a well-deserved meal. Your camp for tonight will be in sight after another descent of around 3 hours. Exhausted from the past few days’ achievments, you should have a good night’s sleep at Mweka Camp.

Day 6- Mweka Camp (3080 m) – Mweka Gate (1630 m) – Moshi

This morning you’ll be treated to the traditional farewell ceremony with your mountain crew before you start your final descent to Mweka Gate. This stretch should take about 2 to 3 hours and leads you back through Kilimanjaro’s beautiful rainforest sections. Our driver will be waiting for you at the gate to take you back to Moshi town .Here you may just relax  and reflect on the unforgettable experience of the past days.

Included

  • Trekking tour according to the itinerary
  • Accommodation in tents and hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Personal porter
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation in tents and hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Camping equipment – tents, sleeping mattress and camping furniture
  • National park fees
  • Rescue fees

Excluded

  • Flights (international and domestic)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages other than water (alcohol and soft drinks)
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented, please ask us at the time of the booking)