The Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct route. It is considered to be very difficult and is the most challenging way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the quick ascent, Umbwe does not provide the necessary stages for altitude acclimatization so it is better for the hard core adventurous souls.
The traffic on this route is very low and the chances of success are also low. 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 6 days, although can be added to seven days. We propose the following itinerary:
Pick up at Kilimanjaro International Airport met on arrival and transfer to Arusha for dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 1: Umbwe caves camp
Trekking 6-7 Hours, 8:00 am pick up from the hotel and transferred to Umbwe Gate (5,900 ft.) to begin your climb. This first trekking day is through dense rain forest, under the tangled canopy of moss-coated vines which are home to the black and white colobus monkey, blue monkey and a vibrant array of exotic birds. Stemming from Umbwe village on the south side of the mountain, the rugged path leads through thick forest of roots and rocks, to reach the forested Umbwe caves camp set in the lower heather belt. Dinner and overnight will be at Umbwe Caves Camp.
Day 2: Barranco Camp
Trekking 6-7 hours: This day you will be awoken with a streaming cup of tea or coffee at around 6 am, before continuing up through the forest. Soon the taller trees will give way to Giant Erica and Giant Heather, and the air will become drier. The ridge line forms steeply on this day and on either side of the trail the ground drops away. At some point the forest and the clouds will part to give you a fabulous view of Uhuru Peak, seemingly "overhead". After lunch, you will encounter giant groundsels and giant lobelia as you continue your journey into the Moorland zone. Dinner and overnight will be at Barranco Camp
Day 3: Karanga Camp
Trekking: 4-5 hours. The day begins with a scramble up the steep "Barranco Wall" exposing you to altitude upwards of 14,000 feet in the Alpine Desert zone. We then traverse up and down the slopes of valleys that have carved their way into the mountain's southern face. Kibo's glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peak of Mawenzi appears just over the southern slope of Kibo. We stop in the Karanga Valley at the end of this day. Dinner and overnight will be at Karanga Camp
Day 4: Barafu Camp
Trekking: 5-6 hours: We begin this morning and the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on an exposed ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Our cooks will help you eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep. Dinner and overnight will be at Barafu Camp.
Day 5: Mweka Camp
Trekking: 5-7 hours to reach Mweka Camp: this day you will be awoken before midnight and after a hot cup of tea, you set out up the steep scree covered slopes for the summit. As you near Stella Point on summit rim, at 19,000 ft, the sun will begin to rise over the jagged spires of Mawenzi (the second biggest volcano of Kili three volcanoes) at your back, and as dawn comes the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers will begin to take form. At Stella Point, you will have a rest and a cup of tea, and then you will summon your strength for the relatively flat path to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft.). Descend the Mweka Route to Barafu Camp for lunch before continuing to your camp nestled in thick heather on the southern slopes. We will have dinner and overnight at Mweka Camp
Day 6: Mweka
Today you complete your descent through the rain forest to the Mweka Gate. Trekking 2-3 hours. Where you will be met and transferred back to the hotel in Arusha where dinner and overnight will be done.
Pick up from the hotel and transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for departing back home.