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Arusha, Tanzania

6 Days Umbwe Route

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Hiking Itinerary

Umbwe route is one of the Shortest Routes of Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It begins in the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach and it’s the most hardest and challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. However it is for trekkers who are looking for a true climbing challenge. It is a quiet, infrequently used path that can be very difficult, yet very rewarding at the same time. This is the route to choose if you want to test yourself on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, far from the crowds that are found on the more common trails. Therefore, since it is a very short and direct route, it is not recommended for people with little altitude experience.

    • Altitude: 1600m/5450ft to 2900m/9350ft
    • Walking/Hiking Distance: 11km
    • Walking/Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Habitat: Montane Forest
    • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
    • Budget Accommodations: Umbwe Cave Camp

In this first day you will drive from Arusha to the Umbwe Gate (about 30 minutes). Commence the climb through the rain forest with packed lunch on route. The small winding path leads us up through rainforest and along the Umbwe River. The first night’s camp is at Umbwe Cave Camp.

    • Altitude: 2900/5450ft to 3900m/9350ft
    • Walking/Hiking Distance: 6 km
    • Walking/Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Habitat: Montane Forest
    • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
    • Budget Accommodations: Barranco Camp

In this day after breakfast we leave camp and shortly afterwards the forests ends. We can see the sheer wall of the Western Breach appearing and disappearing as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco.

  • Altitude: 3900m/13,000ft to 4000m/13,250ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 5km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Karanga Camp

In this day after breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

  • Altitude: 4000m/13,250ft to 4600m/15,350ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 4km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Barafu Camp

In this day after breakfast we continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.

  • Altitude: 4600m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft then Down to 3090m/10,150ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 5km up / 13km down
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 5-7 hours down
  • Enviroment: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Mweka Camp

In this day very early in the morning (midnight), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You will head in a northwestern direction and ascend towards Stella Point on the crater rim.

This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point, you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit.

Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

  • Altitude: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 10km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Enviroment: Rain Forest
  • Meals included: Breakfast

In this day after breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha (about 2 hrs).

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Arusha to trailhead and return to Arusha
  • Camping fees
  • Certified, experienced, guides for all routes, cooks and porters
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks
  • Sleeping bags and personal gear

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