Umbwe Route

The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route – one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude.

Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Claris Tours and Travel offers Umbwe Route as a six or seven-day climb. 

2022 – 23 Price (quoted in USD per person)

# in
group
1 2 – 3 4 – 5 6 – 9 10+
price $2105 $1963 $1820 $1700 $1620
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (1 before & 1 after climb)
  • Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Group transport to and from Moshi to the trailhead
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook, and porters
  • Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
  • Sleeping pad, foam, 1.5 inches thick
  • Mess tents, tables, chairs, lanterns
  • Fresh, nutritious meals on the mountain
  • Purified drinking water while on the mountain
  • Airfare
  • Tanzanian tourist visa
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel
  • Beverages at hotel
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Tips
  • Medical/Emergency Evacuation insurance

7 Days Trekking + 2 nights hotel stay

Arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our friendly driver.
If you are stuck in queue exiting the immigration/baggage area do not fret. Our driver will still be waiting for you.
It will be approximately a 45-minute drive to Moshi. Unless your arrival is late at night, on this day you will
have a pre-climb briefing with your guide who will answer all your questions, and we will go through a thorough
equipment check. If you are lacking any items, all are available for rental locally in good quality and condition.

Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp
Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft
Distance: 11 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

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.

Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Heath

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.

Barranco Camp

Extra Day for Acclimatization. Adding this day will ease your effort, and amplify your acclimatization.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut Camp. 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 location.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

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.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

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.

On this day, our driver will be available to take you to Kilimanjaro Aiport at any hour necessary for your flight. Breakfast at
the hotel this day is included as part of your climb package. Checkout time is 10 am. If you need to stay longer, let us know and
we will arrange for a day room if available.

Inquire about this Trek

Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
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Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
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