Umbwe Route - Climb Kilimanjaro

Short Overview

Umbwe Route is arguably the least frequented on Kilimanjaro. Starting at the tropical rainforest it runs along Machame Route, joining it at Barranco Camp (3800m). The shortest of the routes, Umbwe – with its steep climb and short acclimatization periods – is amongst the most taxing on Kilimanjaro, while still showing off the beauties of the mountain terrain with its different habitat zones and panoramic views. While the camps along Umbwe Route to Uhuru Peak are well suited to acclimatization, this is still one of the more challenging ways to climb Kilimanjaro.
Previous climbing experience is, therefore, highly recommended for climbers contemplating taking Umbwe Route on the way to the highest point in Africa.

Kilimanjaro Trekking: Umbwe Route
Tourcode: KL8LTZINST
From: Arusha
To: Arusha
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price:
from 1765 USD (2-3 pax)
From 1605 USD (4-6 pax)
NOTE : The price listed above are per person

When to visit?
  • All year round
Included in the price
  • All meals on the safari.
  • All Park entrance fees.
  • All prices are quoted in US Dollars.
  • Camping equipment if applicable (tents
  • mattresses
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • table and chairs)
  • Flying Doctors rescue insurance for the time of the tour with Shadows of Africa.
Excluded from the price
  • Any sightseeing
  • excursions and optional activities other than those specified
  • Entry visas
  • International flights
  • Laundry
  • Please
  • read our Terms and Conditions
  • Tips and gratuities to safari crew – recommended: 15-20 USD per day to safari driver
  • 10 – 15 USD per day to safari cook
  • Travel insurance
Itinerary Note
  • Note that for transfer from Nairobi Airport we use Impala Shuttle Service with departures daily at 0800 and 1400 or we can arrange private shuttle or a flight from NBO to JRO

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 1
Before the climb starts there is an hour’s drive to the start of the trek at 1650 m this is an opportunity to be introduced to the assistant guide, the cook and porters, who will do their best to assist you to get to the summit. From here we walk thorough farms and montane forest to Umbwe cave camp (2850 m – 1200 m of ascent). Now a National Park, Kilimanjaro’s lush rainforest, lower slopes are home to many beautiful birds and animals and by walking quietly, we have good chances of spotting black andwhite colobus monkeys as well. Climbing slowly and steadily, we eventually reach Umbwe cave, where the tents are pitched amongst the lichen covered trees.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 2
Continue the climb through the forest and then emerge into the giant heather zone. You then climb through a rocky area to the camp site near the Barranco hut (3950 m).

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 3
 Acclimatization day. This is a rest day at Barranco hut at 3950m. You can take a morning or afternoon walk up hill for 3400 m to assist in the acclimatization – sleeping in your tent at a lower altitude. The camping area is the moorland zone – mixture of rocky outcrops, giant lobelias and scenarios. Birds are common around the camp site – especially the streaky seed eater and alpine chat. You are also likely to see the four striped grass mouse seeking out food scraps.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 4
The trail climbs up the formidable looking Barranco wall – but like many such trails it looks worse from a distance. Once on the wall care is needed in a few exposed places and here the guides will assist. Mostly however it is a good track, although steep, and you should reach the top of the wall in just over an hour. The trail then undulates towards the south east before dropping steeply to the Karanga valley camp site at 4100 m.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 5
An undulating route goes from the Karanga valley to the junction of the Mweka route. From here there is a final pull up to the Barafu hut. (Barafu – ice is Swahili). Total ascent 600 m. There is little vegetation here at 4600 m, and the tents are pitched between rocky outcrops. There are however magnificent views of the peak and of Mawenzi in the east. Bird life is restricted to thewhite necked ravens with their echoing croak as they wheel about scavenging for food.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route – Day 6
This is the toughest day of the whole trek – 10 -15 hours walking at high altitude over steep ground. Total ascent 1300m. We set off from Barafu hut at 1.00 a.m with head torches to climb the steep scree slope to Stella Point on the crater rim – 5700 m. We should reach the rim just in time to enjoy the incredible spectacle of sunrise. From Stella Point it is another 1-1 and a half hours along the rim to Uhuru Peak – 5895 m. Snow may be encountered on the scree slope and walking poles are useful for ascent and descent. After the exhilaration of the summit you descend slowly to your overnight camp for a late breakfast and 2 hour rest in your tent. All too soon the guide will be urging you to start the long descent to Mweka hut, via the heather moorland. You reach Mweka hut camping area in late afternoon for a deserved rest.

DAY 1. ARRIVAL

A member of life time safari Travel hospitality team greets you upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). He will drive you to your hotel, which provides all the amenities necessary for your comfort: pleasant rooms with hot showers, swimming pool, ever-helpful staff and access to the Internet.
Your briefing, in the course of which your travel manager will provide all the details of the forthcoming climb, takes place in the evening. A final check of your readiness to tackle Kilimanjaro is the final part of your preparations.

DAY 2. TREKKING FROM UMBWE GATE TO UMBWE CAMP

Your guide and climb support crew arrive at your hotel in the morning. Introductions and a last brief equipment check precede your drive to the Umbwe Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. This entrance, situated at 1,640 m above sea level, is where your trek starts. The head-guide will finalize the permits and registration for search and rescue services.
Your first day trekking is meant to bring you to Umbwe Camp for your first mountain overnight. Climbing up to 2,930 m is a long haul with a significant increase in altitude, so find the right pace for the whole group and stick with it. As this part of Umbwe route goes through rainforest with its probability of rain showers- do not forget your raincoat. Your support crew will have prepared the camp and dinner by the time you get there.
This being the group’s first night at this elevation, we recommend that you follow the below rules from here on:

Do not consume any alcohol and minimize your caffeine intake
Drinking no less than 4 liters of water per day is a good way to keep yourself hydrated. Take it in small amounts but frequently
We encourage our clients to use Diamox in the mornings prior to the day’s climb. This reduces altitude sickness symptoms. Consult your doctor on the use of Diamox before leaving home on this trip.
Nightly discomfort often accompanies acclimatization. However, while such symptoms as headaches and nausea are common, make sure you inform your guide of them immediately.

Change in Elevation: Umbwe Gate (1,640 m) — Umbwe Camp (2,930 m)
Hiking distance: 11 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours

DAY 3. TREKKING FROM UMBWE CAMP TO BARRANCO CAMP

Early wakeup, breakfast and the start of trekking to Barranco Camp. The rainforest will quickly give way to brush, and if it is not too cloudy you will be able to see Meru Volcano for the first time. Trekking on Umbwe route for this day will be of a moderate length, and around lunchtime you will reach Barranco Camp (3,960 m), which is nestled inside a huge volcanic fault. Lunch will be provided here, and then you have the opportunity to relax for the rest of the day, which significantly facilitates the acclimatization process.

Change in Elevation: Umbwe Camp (2,930 m) — Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
Hiking distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

DAY 4. TREKKING FROM BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP

Early wakeup, breakfast and the start of summiting Barranco Wall (we recommend you leave the camp as early as possible to avoid crowds of the other groups). Hiking up the gorge wall is not difficult and only takes around an hour. After the climb you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano.

Then you start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp, which features numerous ascents and descents during the route, but don’t worry: our guides are experts at choosing an optimal pace for the group. After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch. After a couple of hours you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Barafu Camp with a 200-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.

Note: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.

Trekking from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp:
Change in Elevation: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) — Karanga Camp (4,035 m)
Hiking distance: 5 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

Acclimatization hike:
Change in Elevation: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) — Destination point en route to Barafu Camp (4,270 m)
Hiking distance: 2.5 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours

DAY 5. TREKKING FROM KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP

In the morning after breakfast you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m), the starting point for a night summiting Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Our team will set up a camp for you ahead of time, including tents and sleeping bags, so you can relax. After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner. It is better to spend the remainder of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.

Trekking from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp:
Change in Elevation: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) — Barafu Camp (4,640 m)
Hiking distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

Acclimatization hike:
Change in Elevation: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) — Kosovo Camp (4,800 m)
Hiking distance: 2 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours

DAY 6. ASCENT TO UHURU PEAK AND DESCENT TO MILLENNIUM CAMP

The group leaves Barafu Camp and the altitude of 4,640 m around midnight. This night you climb to 5,895 m at Uhuru Peak. The altitude poses a challenge on this trek, despite the relative ease of the walk. Every two climbers in the group will be accompanied by a guide whose responsibility is the constant monitoring of their fitness for the climb. Upon reaching Uhuru Peak you may choose to walk on one of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers. The group will then returns to Barafu Camp for a 2-hour rest before the descent to 3,820 m at Millennium Camp.
Please note, that while descent brings relief from high altitude, it is also where most accidents (as much as 90%) happen. It is easy to avoid falling and possibly breaking a limb, as well as damaging your toenails if you just watch your step.

Change in Elevation: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Millennium Camp (3,820 m)
Hiking distance: 15 km
Hiking time: 8–12 hours

DAY 7. DESCENT FROM MILLENNIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE

Millennium Camp sits amidst a rain forest. Lower altitude and the associated relief from any effects of altitude sickness, as well as the realization of having reached you goal make for a good night’s sleep. The group will set out on the last leg of the journey towards Mweka Gate Park exit (1,650 m) upon finishing breakfast. This will be your last opportunity to share memories of the climb with your guides and support team. You will receive your certificates of accomplishment at our offices before being driven back to your hotel.

Change in Elevation: Millennium Camp (3,820 m) — Mweka Gate (1,650 m)
Hiking distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

DAY 8. DEPARTURE

Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.

Note: Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM. In case you need a late check-out because of an evening flight, there is the option to extend your hotel stay for an extra fee.

Umbwe Route Climb Kilimanjaro 6 Days
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Itinerary in Brief

DAY 1. ARRIVAL

DAY 2. TREKKING FROM UMBWE GATE TO UMBWE CAMP

DAY 3. TREKKING FROM UMBWE CAMP TO BARRANCO CAMP

DAY 4. TREKKING FROM BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP

DAY 5. TREKKING FROM KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP

DAY 6. ASCENT TO UHURU PEAK AND DESCENT TO MILLENNIUM CAMP

DAY 7. DESCENT FROM MILLENNIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE

DAY 8. DEPARTURE