6 Days Umbwe Route

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Camping, Trekking
  • Activity Level
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the 6 Days Umbwe Route.
About Umbwe Route
The Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct route. It is considered to be very difficult and is the most challenging way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the quick ascent, Umbwe does not provide the necessary stages for altitude acclimatization. Although the traffic on this route is very low, the chances of success are also low.The route is offered at a minimum of six days, though seven days is recommended when attempting this route.The Umbwe route should only be attempted by those who are very strong hikers and are confident in their ability to acclimatize. However, overall, the Umbwe route is not recommended and we discourage its usage for our clients.
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 2 Airport Transfers, from JRO Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi when you arrive, then transfer back to the Airport for your flight home.
  • 2 nights Hotel Lodging on Bed and Breakfast basis, Double or Triple Occupancy (3 star hotel you will need to pay extra if you want to have a 4 or 5 star hotel)
  • 3 Delicious meals a days plud snacks if applicable, boiled and filtered drinking water while on the mountain.
  • Warm water for washing to be provided every morning and evening.
  • Oxygen Cylinder – only for emergency
  • English Speaking Guides (Wilderness First Responder certified), cook and porters
  • Staff salaries and fees.
  • All huts and camping fee
  • Transport to/from national park gates.
  • Emergency telephone between the guides and our office in Moshi town.
  • 3 litres of bottled drinking water to be provided on the first day your hike, on the mountain porters will fetch water from the streams to be boiled and filtered for you
  • Camping equipment on Machame/ Shira/ Lemosho/ Rongai & Umbwe routes (tents)
  • Portable oxygen for emergencies (returnable on completion of climb)
  • Certificate of successful completion
  • Tanzania government taxes.
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Prices do not include sleeping bags
  • Gratuities (tips for guides and porters)
  • Soda/alcohol unless otherwise noted (plenty of water will be provided for hydration)
  • Health insurance
  • International airfare
  • Laundry
  • All Meals and drinks in Moshi town
  • Round-trip airfare to and from Kilimanjaro (JRO airport)
  • Travel and visa documents
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Additional equipment rental (walking sticks, sleeping pads, etc.)
  • Personal items
  1. 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

    We’ll start this day with drive to Machame Gate to complete the registration formalities. A short drive through villages and plantations of coffee and banana will take you to Umbwe gate. From here, steep trail will twists up to very thick track through dense rainforest, followed by steep narrow path toward the ridge nested between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe camp sits between trees and thick undergrowth.

  2. 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

    On the second day of the trek we’ll venture into rather rockier terrain low on undergrowth, with straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain altitude, the view of Kilimanjaro will be in plain sight. As we approach Barranco Valley, the path will begin to flatten. Once we reach Umbwe Ridge, our path descends to Barranco camp, through an unusual but very scenic Senecio forest.

  3. 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

    The day begins with descending into a pass leading to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Next to follow is the non-technical but very steep climb on a almost 900ft tall cliff. Once at the top of the Barranco Wall, our path leads over range of hills and valleys until final and pretty sharp descend to Karanga Valley. Here we have one final steep climb taking us to Karanga Camp. This day does not include much hiking, but it is precious for your acclimatization.

  4. 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’ll leave Karanga valley and merge with the Mweka trail that leads to the rockier section toward Barafu Hut. Barafu is a point where you will complete the Southern circuit, but also location from where you will have spectacular views of the summit from various angles. Our crew will set up camp, and you should rest while enjoying the magnificent views, in preparation for summit day. The magnificent Mawenzi and Kibo peaks are also visible from this point.

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

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

    You will get up very early, around midnight, followed by the summit attempt. This portion of the hike is the most mentally and physically challenging, because the temperatures and the winds at this elevation can be severe. We’ll continue to ascend while still dark for several hours, but you will also have short but frequent breaks. Close to Stella Point (18,900ft) you will be able to enjoy the sunrise coming over Mawenzi peak, like of which you will not find anywhere else. From here, we’ll finally reach Uhuru Peak – the Roof of Africa and the highest point on Kilimanjaro and all of Africa.

    After short break at the top for taking pictures, we’ll begin descent toward Mweka Hut Campsite, with a stopover at Barafu Hut for lunch. The rocky trail can be hard on the knees, so the trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is located at the upper forest, so the mist or rain are pretty common in the late afternoon. The last dinner on the mountain will be served here, with opportunity for well-deserved sleep.

  6. 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

    Today we’ll continue with descent to Mweka Gate, where the summit certificates will be issued. It can be muddy and wet at lower elevations, as we resume for another hour toward Mweka Village, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Moshi.

    This route is not used much, and the main reason is because Umbwe route is only suitable for people with previous climbing experience and those who are very adaptive to high altitudes.