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Umbwe Route

Umbwe Route

per person
6 Days - 5 Nights
15 Years+ Age

Umbwe route is one of the express but sharpest routes to the Southern Glaciers, affording one view of the forests, valleys, magnificent vegetation, and glaciers. Though, hikers must be pre-acclimatized prior to trying this route particularly if one opts to summit via Western Breach as you gain altitude very rapidly over a smaller distance. This, however, does not make the Umbwe Route a technical route up Kilimanjaro just physically challenging.

That thought, not may climbers select for this route. As for stats, only about 200 hikers try this route a year related to tens of thousands on the likes of the Machame and Marangu routes. The rewards this route offers is not only the physical challenge but you also get the luxury of trekking in privacy at slightest till you meet up with the other explorers at Barranco Camp. From there, you can opt to follow others around to Barafu or via Western Breach.

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  • Departure/Return Location
    Arusha City

Tour Plan

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  tall grasses and wildflowers will come into view.
Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp
  • Total distance:  7km
  • Hiking Time (approx.):  6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland
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.
Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
  • Distance: 5km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
A steep climb up the eastern wall leads us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo, the trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, finally we have a steep climb up to Karanga Camp.
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
  • Distance: 4km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, 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.
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.
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
  • 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.