5 Days Marangu Route

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6 Days Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

On this 6 day Umbwe route, daring expert climbers looking for excitement and challenge will find just what they’re looking for. A short steep climb that passes across all temperature zones – from tropical jungle to everlasting ice – will test your strength and endurance. Umbwe provides a sense of accomplishment to those who reach the summit like no other path on Kilimanjaro.

Your first day on the mountain will begin at Umbwe Gate and continue with a long journey to Umbwe Camp, the first camp along the route. Despite the difficulty that Umbwe presents to hikers, well-planned camp locations will aid in adequate acclimatization.

 

The Umbwe hike is only accessible as a 6-day program.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Start: Umbwe Gate (1650m) Finish: Umbwe Cave Camp (2944m) + -
  • Total distance: 9.6km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 5-7 hours

The starting point for Umbwe is the closest from Moshi town- after a short drive you will arrive at the gate where you will sign in to the National Park.  The first couple of hours are a sharp uphill walk along a 4WD track, passing through the rainforest.  Keep your eyes peeled for Black and White colobus and blue monkeys as well as the little red beauty that is the Kilimanjaro Impatiens flower (native only to this region).  After approx. 2 hours trekking the road ends and the ‘real’ trail starts.  This is where the fun begins as you spend the rest of the day scrambling up over tree roots- reaching out for bits of shrubbery around to pull yourselves up some of the more vertical sections.  Your legs may be sore but you will no doubt be distracted by the beauty of the forest around you.  Eventually, you will emerge from the forest to see Umbwe Cave Camp, where a lovely hot dinner will be awaiting you (and you can finally put your feet up!).

Day 2: Start: Umbwe Cave Camp (2944m) Finish: Barranco Camp (3986m) + -
  • Total distance: 4.75km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 4-6 hours

This day takes you through one of the most scenic areas on the mountain.  Shortly after leaving camp you will come out on to a ridge, with two steep ravines home to the Lonzo stream on the left and Umbwe stream on the right, either side of you (those with a fear of heights best stay focused on Kibo peak up ahead).  Today you will start in the forest, come out into heathland then pass into moorland, before arriving at Barranco Camp on the border of the alpine desert ecosystem. This is one of the many marvels of climbing Kilimanjaro – encountering several ecosystems in one day.  Following lunch the path gets rockier and vegetation changes as the path steadily climbs before (finally!) a short downhill to arrive at Barranco Camp.  Say goodbye to the serenity you have enjoyed the previous two days and enjoy meeting with other travellers merging from the three routes (Lemosho, Machame and Umbwe).

Day 3: Start: Barranco Camp (3986m) to Karanga Camp (4035m) + -
  • Total distance: 6.6km            
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours 

A shorter day, giving you a good chance to adjust but still a little challenge just when you leave  the camp as you climb up what has been nicknamed the ‘breakfast rock’.  It’s all worth it though as at the top of this rock you can have a great view to Kibo peak and its magnificent glaciers, whilst at the same time in the other direction you’ll be able to see Mt Meru.  This day also includes a lot of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ until you reach the valley which marks the last point for water passing on the Machame route.  Head back up the valley to Karanga camp where you can relax for the afternoon before dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Start: Karanga Camp (4035m) to Barafu Camp (4640m) + -
  • Total distance: 3.9km            
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours 

During your trekking this day you will find the trail to get steadily steeper all the way to Barafu camp. On the way you will pass over the volcanic rocks from previous explosions of this volcano and you will be able to view the entire landscape of the mountain.  You will arrive at Barafu camp around 1pm for a hot lunch and then rest up and get some sleep in preparation for your summit night!  Although during the day time it can be a little hot at this time, the Barafu or ‘ice’ camp really lives up to its name once the sun goes down.

Summit Night:  Your friendly guide will give you a warm wakeup call at approximately 11pm (depending how well you have fared so far you may get up earlier or later!).  From here you will start your ascent to the summit.  This is the final push to the top and so your guide will take you at a much slower pace compared to your trekking the previous days, to make sure you have the best chance of getting to the peak, giving your body time to cope with the high altitude.  Once you reach Stella Point at 5735m you really have almost made it- only another 45 minutes until you will find yourself at Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa.  Enjoy your time here, take in what will surely be your most memorable sunrise and celebrate with your guide.

Day 5: Start: Summit (5895m) Finish: Mweka Camp (3080m) + -
  • Total distance: 10.8km            
  • Hiking time: Summit- Barafu Camp (2-3hours) Barafu Camp- Mweka Camp (4-5 hours) 

From the summit you will descend back down to Barafu Camp where you will be welcomed by the rest of the crew and enjoy a short break and breakfast.  Here you can have a nap for a couple of hours if you wish and depending on the time you arrive.   From Barafu Camp you will make your way down to Mweka Camp, passing from desert to moorland terrain.  You will reach Mweka Camp at approximately 5pm where you will dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Start: Mweka Camp (3080m) Finish: Mweka Gate (1800m) + -
  • Total distance: 8.5km            
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours.   

Passing through the montane forest, similar to your first day trekking, you will make your way down to Mweka Gate where you will sign out and exit Kilimanjaro National Park.  From here you will picked up by our company transport and transferred back to our office in town where you will be presented with you certificate before returning to your hotel for a well-deserved rest!

If you want a challenge like no other then the shortest and steepest route is for you.  You’ll be rewarded with some magnificent scenery and a very quiet path, but need to have a head for altitude as there is not much acclimatisation on the way up!

  • Suitable for: Those with high fitness levels and recent trekking experience
  • Pros: Lower in cost than other routes and able to be done on a short time frame.  Less popular trek so you’ll have a mostly clear path to the summit.
  • Cons: Extremely steep route with little opportunity for your body to adjust to the lower oxygen levels.
  • Trekking Days required: 5 or 6

We always recommend you have at least 1 day in town before starting your trek. This gives you time to rest, relax and prepare. On this day we make sure you meet your guide(s) so that they are able to check all your gear, we can rent anything else that you require and you have the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have!

This route should only be considered by those with some sturdy calf muscles and experience trekking at high altitude. It is the shortest route on Kilimanjaro (just 28km to the top) but there is no such thing as a short cut on the mountain… In your first two days you will reach the same point as it takes to reach with four days on the Lemosho route therefore you are missing out on extra days of acclimatisation. The beauty of this route is the solitude you will have for the first two days – most are put up by the idea of solid uphill walking! You will be some of the lucky few to experience absolutely breath-taking scenery, and undisturbed wilderness on the mountain. Provided you have done a fair bit of training and are used to trekking at altitude, you will absolutely love this climb and the thought you have trekked a path few others would be prepared to take.

Umbwe Route map
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi/Arusha (before/after the climb)
  • Transport to and from Moshi/Arusha to the trail head
  • Kilimanjaro National Park permits, camping /huts fees, rescue fee, and Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook and porters
  • Bottled oxygen for emergency rescue only
  • Camping tents 
  • Sleeping pads
  • Mess tents, tables, chairs, and lanterns
  • Fresh and nutritious meals on the mountain  
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Airfare and visa fees at airports  
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel  
  • Beverages at the hotel  
  • Personal gears and equipment  
  • Tipping

Best Time for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is between the warm and dry months of January through early-March and June through October. When the skies are clear and warm comfortable hiking conditions

How Much Does Climbing Kilimanjaro Cost?

Cost for safaris in Tanzania depends with the number of people, number of days visiting Tanzania and the type of accommodation on the safari (luxury, midrange and budget options ). Read more

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