General

The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation for 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.

Arrival Day

You will be met by one of our driver guide at the airport or bus stop and drive you to the Hotel in Arusha or Moshi. But if you are here already, then we always organize a guide to meet you at your location. Once in the Hotel you will be delivered with tour briefing by our professional guides then relax and get ready for the next day.

DAY 1

Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp
Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft
Distance: 11 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

The day begins with 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 trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rainforest. 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 2

Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Heath

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 3

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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 4

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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 to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

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. 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
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village.

A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Arusha/Moshi which you can have options of doing a safari or you can extend your stay and have an inland flight to the exotic island of Zanzibar for a tropical beach holiday. Please Contact us for Details.

END OF TOUR

Tour Excludes and Includes

Includes 

  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Airport pickup and drop off
  • Government tax
  • Kilimanjaro park fees
  • Climbing permits and fees, gate, camp/hut fees.
  • Guide, assistant guides, cook and porters salaries.
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
  • Porters to carry luggage from one camp to the next camp.
  • 3 meals per day and bottled water/drinks (1.5 liters per person per day)
  • Emergency Insurance in case of altitude sickness
  • Rescue fees (required by the national park)
  • Transport to/from the hotel to Gate

Excludes

  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Meals outside the regular tour itinerary
  • International visa for Tanzania
  • International Airfares and Airport taxes

Available departures

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Tailor-made: This Tour can be arranged at any time to suit you and adapted to your requirements as necessary.

Moshi

MoshiMoshi is a town in northern Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. It’s known as a gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Trails run up the mountain’s cloud-ringed, snow-capped dome, through alpine forests and meadows home to elephants and leopards. One of Tanzania’s major coffee-producing hubs, Moshi is known for Read more