This route is the steepest with the shortest and most direct routes to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach and Uhuru Peak. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. However it is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.
Duration: 5 days.
Difficulty: Very High
Scenery: Very good
Traffic: Very low
This route is not used much. The Umbwe route is only suitable for people with extensive mountain climbing experience.
Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Cave Camp
Total distance: 10km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
In the morning you will leave your hotel as we drive you to Umbwe gate. After arriving, and finishing registration of your climb, the porters and guides will make final preparations. Your first day’s destination is Umbwe Cave Camp. The trail is steep and can be slippery in some places, so be very careful. Hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. The forest will thin later in the hike and heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers will come into view.
Day 2: Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp
Total distance: 7km
Hiking Time (approx.): 6 hours
After breakfast, you head out towards Barranco Camp. This day entails walking on a fairly steep area in the forest along a sharp ridge before the path flattens close to Barranco. This stretch of the climb is also fairly short with a steep incline of 1000m, so walking slowly is also very essential to avoid altitude problems. Following lunch the path gets rockier and vegetation changes as the path steadily climbs before (finally!) a short downhill to arrive at Barranco Camp.
Day 3: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we take short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley, beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten, and Decken Glaciers. After a short and well deserved break we leave Karanga and cross the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail, used for descend from the mountain later. From here we continue up to the Barafu Camp. Here we will rest, have dinner and prepare for the summit day. From Barafu you can enjoy the view of two volcanic cones Mawenzi and Kibo peaks, and that view is quite spectacular and you should not miss it.
Day 4: Barafu camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka
Hiking time: 7-8 hours to Uhuru Peak, 6-8 hours for descend to Mweka Camp
Distance: 5 km ascent and 11 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. At the rim we will reach Stella point, from where we have further hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short stop for taking photos we descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on past Millenium camp down to Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with the strength left from the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 5: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1800m)
Total distance: 5km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at village to drive you back to hotel in Arusha.
- Park fees, (entry fee camping/hut fees & rescue fees crew fees)
- 18% VAT on tour fees & services
- Three health and fresh meals
- Professional and experienced mountain Guide
- Professional and experienced cooks.
- Transportation to & from the airport
- Transportation to & from the mountain gates
- Enough number of porters for your luggage, food, water and camping equipment’s.
- Food , shelters and fair wages for the porters, cooks and guides
- Camping gears (sleeping tents, dining tents, tables, chairs and cooking gear)
- We provide our guides with professional first aids kits and pulse oximeters for daily updates of acclimatization progress
- Assistance with climbing permit procedure
- Personal porters
- All international and domestic flights
- Tourist Visas
- Medical and Travel insurance
- Tips to mountain crew
- Mountain trekking gears e.g. walking poles (available for hire upon request)
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