The Umbwe route is one of the
shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach.
It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro.
It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent
to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Fewer people,
pristine forest and shorter walking distances make it a great option
for fit hikers. Add to your experience - OVERNIGHT IN THE CRATER!!
Be one of a few fortunate people to spend a night in Africa's largest
volcano. This option is highly recommended, as this will be the
only opportunity to get close to the beautiful and fascinating glaciers
of Kilimanjaro and to be able to visit the ash pit.
Day 1: Arrival - Moshi
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and meet with our representative
thereafter been transferred to the designated hotel in Moshi town
for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast.
Day 2: Umbwe Gate (1800m)
- Bivouac (first) camp (2940m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Habitat: Montane forest
After breakfast you will be driven
to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m, passing through villages with coffee
and banana plantations. On arrival at the Parks Gate your guide
and porters will meet you. Sign the register before you enter the
park for your first step to accomplishing a life-long dream. The
air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route
initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural
rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between
the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The
path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are
lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance.
The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth, B,L,D.
Day 3: Bivouac (first)
camp (2940m) - Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Habitat: Montane forest & Moorlands
Shortly after leaving the camp,
the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser
undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues
along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude,
catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you -
etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach Barranco
Valley. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the
Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach
and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable
sunset while your dinner is being prepared, B,L,D.
Day 4: Barranco camp (3950m)
- Lava Tower (4630m) - Arrow Glacier Camp (4800m)
Habitat: Moorland/Semi desert
After breakfast you will start
your hike towards Lava Tower, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro.
The path is steep and rocky, with views of Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro's
little sister, punching her peak through the clouds. From Lava Tower
you turn towards the Western Breach, a steep climb to Arrow Glacier
camp (4800m). This is taxing and symptoms of altitude sickness might
become noticeable. The campsite is spectacular. Vegetation has now
all but disappeared, leaving only rock and scree in varying shades
of brown and black. The campsite is very cold and you need to be
Day 5: Arrow Glacier (4800m)
- Crater (5700m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Semi desert/
From the Arrow Glacier camp steep
scree and rocky outcrops requiring a scramble lead up the Western
Breach to the crater floor (5700m). This day will be the toughest
challenge by far. After snowfalls the route can become icy and in
these conditions an ice axe or ski stick may be required. When reaching
the crater rim, you will be astonished by the view of snow and glaciers.
Visible to you left is the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro with
the Furtwangler Glacier in front of you. Walk past this glacier
to the Crater camp, situated at the crater rim. If time permits,
you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m
across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples
in the world. The campsite is very cold as snow might occur. Be
one of a fortunate few to spend a night in the inner crater of Kilimanjaro,
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT,
Crater (5700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Mweka (3100m)
Hiking time: 2 hours to reach Uhuru Peak | 7/8 hours to descend
to Mweka | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 04:00, and
after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the early morning
darkness. From the crater floor you will probably encounter snow
all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time spent on the
summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for
too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to
cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember
for the rest of your live. The walk to Barafu camp from the summit,
takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short
rest, before heading down to Millennium camp (3100m). The route
is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path
into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated
in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late
afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be provided as well as
drinking water, B,L,D.
Day 7: Mweka camp (3100m)
- Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Forest
After an early and well-deserved
breakfast, it is a 5-hour, scenic hike back to the Park gate. At
Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is
also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with
green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive
gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into
the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka
village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You will then
drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower and celebrations!!
Overnight at Keys Annex Hotel, B,L.
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or continue
with your safari schedule.
US$ 1500 per person:
Any additional day is US$ 250
- 2 Transfers from Moshi to Umbwe
park gate - return.
- 3 meals per day while trekking - Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian.
- 6 days Kilimanjaro trek- Umbwe.
- 5 nights accommodation in camps while trekking Umbwe.
- All park entrance fees and government levies.
- English speaking mountains Guide and assistant guides.
- First Aid Kit including Oxygen Kit.
- Camping Equipments including sleeping tents, sleeping mats, dining
tent, chairs and table.
Summit Gear List
Leather or thermal boots
Gore-Tex, Microtex or K-Tech Trilaminate jacket
Gore-Tex, Microtex or K-Tech pants
Gore-Tex mittens or gloves
Fleece gloves (use as inner for Gore-Tex mittens)
Thermal glove liners (use as inner for Gore-Tex gloves)
Thermal long johns
Sunglasses with UV protection
Trekking gear: (Wear between camps)
Rain suit or poncho (mainly used in the rain forest)
Hiking boots or cross trainers
. Day pack
. Short pants
. Sun hat
(peak caps do not offer enough protection)
. Woolen socks
. Fleece beanie
. Water bottle
General gear & equipment
bag (-10 rating)
Drink at least three to four litres of water a day.
. Use water filters and purifying pills to minimize
. Take enough snacks like energy bars, drink mixes,
. Do not move too fast, walk at a slow steady pace.
. Move as lightly as possible, do not carry unnecessary
. All clothing in Duffel bags or backpacks must
be protected with sack-liners to avoid getting wet, especially through
. High factor lip balm and sun block is essential.
. Nausea and headache pills should be kept handy
on summit night.
. Symptoms of altitude sickness can be reduced
by using medication (consult your doctor).
. New boots should be walked-in; this avoids blisters.
. Use a sleeping mat when camping.
. Use a thermal flask on summit night; other water
bottles will freeze.
. Allow camera or video camera to acclimatize;
do not wrap or place them in plastic bags.
. Thermal glove liners allow easier camera handling
on the summit.
. Use only new camera and headlamp batteries on
. Guides and porters will expect tips; confirm
amounts with your tour operator.