Umbwe is the most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. On the Umbwe, you pass through strange landscapes as you climb through five climate zones ranging from rainforest to the summit’s glaciers. The route follows a forested ridge to the moorlands, then traverses below the southern icefields to reach the Machame Route, which you follow to the summit.
Note: Umbwe route should be attempted by those who are very strong hikers and are confident in their ability to acclimatize. The minimum days required for this route is 6days, although can be added to seven days.
Pick up at Kilimanjaro International Airport met on arrival and transfer to Moshi/ Arusha for dinner and overnight at hotel in Moshi/Arusha town (BB).
Day 01: Moshi to Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp 8 km, 5-7 hours Montane Forest
The day begins with a 50 minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. The trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rain forest. The path narrows and steepens as we climb the ridge between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe Camp is perched between trees and thick undergrowth. (Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft)
Day 02: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp
The second day of the trek follows rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro can be seen. The path flattens as we approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest. (Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft, Distance: 6 km/4 miles, Hiking Time: 4-5 hours)
Day 03: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization. (Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft, Distance: 5 km/3 miles, Hiking Time: 4-5 hours)
Day 04: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position. (Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft, Distance: 4 km/2 miles, Hiking Time: 4-5 hours)
Day 05: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. (Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft, Distance: 5 km/3 miles, Hiking Time: 7-8 hours)
Day 06: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi. (Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft, Distance: 10 km/6 miles, Hiking Time: 3-4 hours)
Pick up from the hotel and transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for taking in a flight and back home. End of our service.