Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route 6 to 7 Days Itinerary

Trip Introduction

This is the itinerary for the Umbwe route which is a secluded, short, steep and direct route. It is considered the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro and ideally you want to do it 6 or 7 days though some ambitious climbers are not shy of attempting it in 5 days.

Chances of reaching the summit from this route are lower because the route normally does not afford climbers the acclimatization schedule. Some climbers may opt to do this route in 7 days allowing an extra day of acclimatization at the surroundings around Barranco camp.

This route is ideal and recommended for strong and seasoned climbers, basically those who are confident in their ability to acclimatize well. It is therefore rarely recommended to climbers who are advised to try the close-by Machame, Lemosho or Shira routes as they have the added advantage of being more scenically diverse and they all share the same trail on the descent.

Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

Day 01: Umbwe Gate (1,614m / 5,295ft) to Umbwe Cave camp (2,850m / 9,350ft)

Time: 6 – 7 hours

After breakfast at the hotel we will head over to Machame gate for the registration formalities, organizing of supplies, guides and porters. From here we will head to the Umbwe gate to begin the trek up to the Umbwe Cave camp. The trail snakes up a winding trail through the Mondane forest as the day proceeds, the route starts to get really steep in the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers. Here you have spectacular views of deep gorges and sporadic glimpses of Kibo. The large trees give way to the camp in time for much needed rest, clean up and nourishment including dinner. Overnight in a rain forest camp.

Included meals: Lunch Dinner

Day 02: Umbwe Cave camp to Barranco Camp (3,900m / 12,795ft) via Lava Tower (4,600m / 15,090ft)

Time: 6 – 7 hours

We start our second day early through the fading forest into the rocky terrain which open up into the Moorland zone with moss covered trees and mist filled air. The narrow path continues along the ridge to approach the majestic Kibo peak. Climbers get a reprieve from the steep gradients as we approach the Barranco valley then descends into the Barranco camp just below the Breach and the Barranco Wall. Once settled into camp, climbers can take a well deserved rest and recuperation as we clean-up, get some food in preparation for another day of climbing. Overnight in a Moorland camp.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 03: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp (3,960m / 12,992ft)

Time: 4 – 5 hours

The day starts off early with an immediate challenge of scaling the Barranco Wall. This is a 360 meter rock face that leads up to the Karanga valley. From there you get more stunning views of the mountain neighborhood as well as close ups of Kibo. The day is spent traversing ups and declines through the valley finally get to Karanga with one last big push through a river gorge.

Trekkers on the six days Machame package will stop here for lunch before proceeding to Barafu Camp. Those on the Seven day Machame package will settling in here for the dinner and good night’s rest. Those who spend the night at Karanga have the added benefit of an extra day for the all important acclimatization process.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 04: Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp (4680m / 15,354 ft)

Time: 4 – 5 hours

After an early morning hearty breakfast the Trek continues off through the value steadily gaining altitude. Here climbers continue to experience the effects of cooler temperatures and thin air. Here the steady decline in vegetation continues to hold true as climbers snake through the high alpine zone where towards the end vegetation is virtually non existent.

Trekkers arrive at Barafu Camp to settle in for lunch and to get some afternoon rest. Dinner is served early in this camp and Trekkers are advised to get some sleep in preparation for the summit push which begins at around midnight.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 05: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,341 ft) then descend to Mweka Camp (3,100m / 10,170 ft)

Time: 10 – 12 hours

This leg of the trip takes Trekkers through the Glacial zone to the Uhuru peak (the Summit) through Stellar point and quickly down all the preceding zones. Trekkers will be woken up at 11:30pm for hot tea and biscuits. After a quick gear check, the trek in the dark starts off at midnight.

The route is steep and slow. There are sporadic freezing winds and not much to see until dawn when the sun begins to rise over Mawenzi and the Tsavo plains in Kenya.

It takes about 6-8 hours to reach the top of the crater rim where you will see the sign for Stella Point (5,739 meters). After a brief rest at Stellar point, you then have another 156 meters of altitude to gain as you walk around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters).

From the summit there is another 5 – 8 hours of trekking to Mweka with a quick stop over at Barranco to pick up your stuff and have a quick breakfast. This is where you will notice the richness of oxygen and moisture in the air as well as increase in warmth.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 06: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1,640m / 5,380 ft)

Time: 3 – 4 hours

Today’s trek takes you down the rainforest down to the gate. The walk is easy but with potential stress on ankles and knees as you descend as well as effects of descending on the previous day from the summit. Upon reaching the gate and signing out there will be the subsequent

presentation of climbing certificates for those who reached either Stellar of Uhuru.

It is then customary to give out gratuities to the guides and porters before bidding them farewell and being transported to the respective hotels in Moshi and Arusha. Depending on your onward travel arrangements, you will be transferred to the airport at the appropriate day and time or transferred by road to Nairobi as your final destination or to catch your onward flight back home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Total distance covered is 49.9 Km /31 miles

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