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Umbwe Route is often considered the hardest, but most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. With its steeper trails it certainly is more difficult and requires more endurance than the other routes, although it is, like all routes on Kilimanjaro, a non-technical climb. It offers a true challenge even for experienced hikers. They get rewarded by spectacular views and the impression to be alone on the mountain, because it is the least crowded route.

During the first two days you can literally stand upright on the trail and kiss it the same time. If you really want to put your fitness and stamina to the test, you can even choose a shortcut and approach the summit by the Western Breach. famous as the shortest route on the mountain. However, this is only recommended for mountaineers and those with high altitude trekking experience (for example on Mount Meru), because it does not provide much time for acclimatization.

Usually this route is done in 6 days, we offer a 7 day itinenary with an extra day for better acclimatization.




DAY 1:

Umbwe Gate (1,800 m / 5,905 ft) to Umbwe Camp (2,800 m / 9,190 ft)


We will pick you up early from your hotel and drive one hour from Moshi to Umbwe Village (1,490 m / 4,890 ft). Here your guides and porters pack your equipment and supplies, check you in to Kilimanjaro National Park  and give you a lunch pack.  We will start the ascent at the small Umbwe Gate just above the village and follow a gentle winding vehicle track for an hour to a signboard that announces the small steep Umbwe trail. The introduction is over, and you now climb up for several hours through a dense forest of rubber trees and giant fig trees. In places you must scrample up steep sections of roots and rock. The Umbwe Camp lays midst the lush forest, here you will be greeted with a graciously served hot meal. There are some caves nearby you can visit if you still have the energy.

Distance: 8 km / 5 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

altitude gained: 1,000m / 3,285 ft
Habitat: Montane forest

meals included: lunch box, hot dinner

DAY 2:

Umbwe Camp (2,800 m / 9,190 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,900 m / 12,800 ft)


After breakfast you will climb steeply through thinning forest glades and through Giant Erica and Heather as the air gets drier. You continue up a narrow spectacular ridge that drops steeply on both sides, and hopefully, the clouds will part to reward you with a view of Uhuru Peak looming overhead. After lunch, you enter a zone of giant groundsels (Seneci Kilimanjari) that seem to guard the heights. This garden is one of Kilimanjaro’s special treasures.


Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

altitude gained: 1,100 m / 3,610 ft
Habitat: Semi-desert

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner

DAY 3:

Barranco Camp (3,900 m / 12,800 ft) to Karanga Camp (4,200 m / 13,780 ft)


Today we continue up a steep ridge to the top of the great Barranco Wall. As climpbing this imposing obstacle it will turn out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the icefalls of the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo’s glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the campsite. Looking east from there you will see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in the camp your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring.

Distance: 7 km
Hiking time: 4 hours

altitude gained: 300 m / 980 ft
Habitat: alpine desert

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner

DAY 4:

Acclimatization at Karanga Camp (4,200 m / 13,780 ft)


This day gives your body a chance to acclimatize. You will take a short leisurely hike through the surrounding area exercising your lungs and muscles in the thin air, returning back to Karanga Camp for rest.

Hiking time: 1- 2 hours
Habitat: alpine desert

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner

DAY 5:

Karanga Camp (4,200 m / 13,780 ft) to Barafu Camp (4,550 m / 14,930 ft)

In the morning you will hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. We will now turn left towards the mountain and hike up the ridge through sparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut. Here you will receive a hot lunch and get a chance to rest. Even though "Barafu" is the Swahili word for “ice”, there is no water at Barafu Camp. The last water on the route our team could get in Karanga Valley. From there our porters carry it for you to make sure, you can wash yourself, get hot tea and cooked meals. The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so we will help you to get familiarize with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. We will remind you to prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. After an early dinner, you will have the chance to get some precious sleep for a few hours.

Distance: 13 km,
Hiking time: 8 hours

altitude gained: 350 m / 1,150 ft
Habitat: alpine desert

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner


DAY 6:

Barafu Camp (4,550 m / 14,930 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 / 19,340 ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100 m / 10,170 ft)

Summit Day! We will wake you up just before midnight and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you will shuffle off into the night. The 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. Here you also join the top part of the Marangu Route. Your guide will make sure, that you will not stop here too long, because it will be difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp.


Distance: 7 km up, 23 km down
Hiking Time: 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down

altitude gained: 1,345 m / 4,410 ft

descent: 2,795 m / 9,170 ft
Habitat: alpine zone, moorland, rainforest

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner

DAY 7:

Mweka Camp (3,100 m /10,170 ft) to Mweka Gate (1,980 m / 6,500 ft)


After a well-deserved breakfast we will enjoy a short, scenic 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At Mweka Gate successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates.

Distance: 15 km / 9,3 miles

descent: 1,120 m / 3,670 ft
Hiking Time: 3 hours
Habitat: Forest

meals included: breakfast, hot lunch

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