6 DAYS MOUNT KILIMANJARO UMBWE ROUTE
Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Overview
Kilimanjaro Umbwe route is a short route, providing challenges as it is very difficult to climb due to its steepness. It is arguably the least frequented route on Kilimanjaro passes through the tropical rainforest and runs long the Machame Route, joining it at Barranco Camp. The traffic in this route is very low and unless a day is added to the climb. The route is offered at a minimum of six days, but seven days is preferred. This route also merges along with Machame, Lemosho, and Shira Route. If one wants more adventure, then one can approach the Western Breach route -risky and dangerous.
It requires some scrambling (climbing on hands and feet) at certain points. This path is very beautiful but also very challenging due to its rocks formations and its steep slope. The Western Beach was gaining popularity by climbers using the Umbwe route, Lemosho, Shira and Machame routes until a rock fall claimed the lives of three climbers in January 2006. In response, Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) closed the Western Breach Route, but in 2007 KINAPA opened it again with the conditions that all clients and their supporting members who want to use this option must sign at the entrance gate that they are doing for their own risk.
Umbwe Route on Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via The Umbwe Route
This route is the steepest with the shortest and most direct routes to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach and Uhuru Peak. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. However it is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.
Elevation: 1651m/5417ft to 2944m/9659ft
Altitude gained: 1293m
Departing from Moshi driving to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here. The path follows a ridge between two deep valleys up through the dense montane forest. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
Elevation: 2944m/9659ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 1042m
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we emerge from the rain forest and continue on a steep ascending path, along the Umbwe ridge as it descends slightly to Barranco camp situated in the valley. Temperatures begin to drop.
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft
Altitude gained: 48m
After breakfast, we continue on a steep ridge up the adventurous Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction, which connects, with the Mweka Trail. This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
Elevation: 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 628m
We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles. An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gain: 1233m
Descent to 3106m/10,190ft
Altitude lost: 2789m
Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
We continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers trying to stay warm and focused of the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way.
Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!
After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!