Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - Umbwe Route

Tour Highlights

The Umbwe Route provides the shortest route, and toughest, to the Southern Glaciers of Kilimanjaro and Western Breach of Kibo. An ascent of Kibo by Umbwe route is one of the finest non-technical mountaineering expeditions. It is a challenging route, unsuitable for the solitary or the inexperienced, and a route off the beaten track.

Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Cave

At 7:30 a.m., we'll transfer you to the Umbwe Park Gate at 2,100m. The path begins an a narrow ridge crest between the Lonzo River to the West and the Umbwe River to the East. It is easy to follow as it continues up through the dense forest. The path continues to follow the ridge, rising steadily with some steep sections and scramble rocks. The route takes you to the first tented camp Umbwe Cave (at 2,940m) in 5 to 6 hrs. Overnight at Umbwe Cave. All meals included.

Day 2: Umbwe Cave to Barranco

We follow the trail through steep and scramble rock across rainforest to moorland. The path proceed steep to the Southern Glacier Branches, at 4000m we reach our campsite, Barranco.
Overnight at Barranco. All meals included.

Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp

The day will begin with a descent into the Gorge, before we climb its eastern wall where we will enjoy views of Kilimanjaro's ice fields, an equatorial anomaly. We will continue trekking until we reach our camp in Karanga Valley (13,900 feet, 4-5 hours of walking).
Overnight at Karanga Valley Camp. All meals included.

Day 4: Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp

We'll trek up through the Karanga Valley, the trail turns steadily uphill, following the lava ridge to the Barafu camp. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting as a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Barafu camp (15,200 feet, 6-7 hours of walking).
Overnight at Barafu Camp. All meals included.

Day 5: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp

Just after midnight we start of a challenging trek(12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30 to 1am, passing between the Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers to the rim at Stella Point. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit.

As dawn nears, we'll summit at Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 19,340 feet. Uhuru will be the culmination of - and the reward for - 6-7 hours of strenuous hiking. We'll then descend back to Barafu Camp, resting for a while before continuing our descent to Mweka Camp (9,840 feet, 3-4 hours of walking on the descent).
Overnight at Mweka Camp. All meals included.

Day 6: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate- Arusha

After breakfast descend steeply through the forest on a narrow path, after 3 - 4 hours walking we will reach Mweka Gate at 1400m. From here we will bring you to Moshi or Arusha for extension. Breakfast included.

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Detailed Tour Itinerary

The Umbwe Route provides the shortest route, and toughest, to the Southern Glaciers of Kilimanjaro and Western Breach of Kibo. An ascent of Kibo by Umbwe route is one of the finest non-technical mountaineering expeditions. It is a challenging route, unsuitable for the solitary or the inexperienced, and a route off the beaten track.

Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Cave

At 7:30 a.m., we'll transfer you to the Umbwe Park Gate at 2,100m. The path begins an a narrow ridge crest between the Lonzo River to the West and the Umbwe River to the East. It is easy to follow as it continues up through the dense forest. The path continues to follow the ridge, rising steadily with some steep sections and scramble rocks. The route takes you to the first tented camp Umbwe Cave (at 2,940m) in 5 to 6 hrs. Overnight at Umbwe Cave. All meals included.

Day 2: Umbwe Cave to Barranco

We follow the trail through steep and scramble rock across rainforest to moorland. The path proceed steep to the Southern Glacier Branches, at 4000m we reach our campsite, Barranco.
Overnight at Barranco. All meals included.

Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp

The day will begin with a descent into the Gorge, before we climb its eastern wall where we will enjoy views of Kilimanjaro's ice fields, an equatorial anomaly. We will continue trekking until we reach our camp in Karanga Valley (13,900 feet, 4-5 hours of walking).
Overnight at Karanga Valley Camp. All meals included.

Day 4: Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp

We'll trek up through the Karanga Valley, the trail turns steadily uphill, following the lava ridge to the Barafu camp. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting as a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Barafu camp (15,200 feet, 6-7 hours of walking).
Overnight at Barafu Camp. All meals included.

Day 5: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp

Just after midnight we start of a challenging trek(12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30 to 1am, passing between the Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers to the rim at Stella Point. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit.

As dawn nears, we'll summit at Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 19,340 feet. Uhuru will be the culmination of - and the reward for - 6-7 hours of strenuous hiking. We'll then descend back to Barafu Camp, resting for a while before continuing our descent to Mweka Camp (9,840 feet, 3-4 hours of walking on the descent).
Overnight at Mweka Camp. All meals included.

Day 6: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate- Arusha

After breakfast descend steeply through the forest on a narrow path, after 3 - 4 hours walking we will reach Mweka Gate at 1400m. From here we will bring you to Moshi or Arusha for extension. Breakfast included.