Umbwe Route

6 Days | 5 Nights

Departs on selected days

Tour Cost

Prices on request

Tour Overview

The Umbwe route is the most difficult and challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach.This is ideal for hikers seeking a true climbing challenge. It is a quiet, seldom traveled path that can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to test yourself on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro away from the crowds found on the more popular trails, this is the route to take.
While the Umbwe route is not technically challenging, it does have some steep ascents and requires trekkers to scramble over rocks and tree roots at times. It is the most difficult and direct route up the mountain, with several exposed ridges that are not for the faint of heart. Hikers’ fitness and stamina may be tested along the way, and it is best suited for experienced mountain trekkers looking for a challenge.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Umbwe gate to Umbwe Cave

Elevation: 1800m to 2850m

Departing from Arusha driving to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead. Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here. The path follows a ridge between two deep valleys up through the dense montane forest. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.

Day 2: Umbwe Cave to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 2850m to 3900m

We leave camp and shortly afterwards the forest ends. We can see the sheer wall of the Western Breach appearing and disappearing as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco. We will camp at Barranco camp tonight

Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 3900m to 3995m

After breakfast, we continue on a steep ridge up the adventurous Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction, which connects with the Mweka Trail. This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. Overnight at Karanga Camp.

Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 3995m to 4673m

We leave Karanga campsite behind to meet the junction connecting with the Mweka descent Trail. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.

Day 5: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 4673m to 5895m to 3100m

You will be woken at 23:30 with some quick tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers. We will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through a heavy volcanic scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see.

At Uhuru Peak (5895m), we will have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose gravel going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 5: Mweka Camp to Mweka gate

Elevation: 3100m to 1800m

After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to Arusha/Moshi

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