6 Days Umbwe Route

6 Days Umbwe Route

Overview

The Umbwe route is the shortest and steepest route up Kilimanjaro. It’s the least used trail, probably for its poor acclimatisation profile, and only 589 people climb it each year. Success rates via this route are lower than the average. The route approaches from the south and camping is the only available accommodation option. Pre-acclimatisation is recommended for those who choose to trek this route. The Umbwe route is less scenic than the other Kilimanjaro routes because of how steeply and quickly it ascends the mountain. That said, the scenery it does have is beautiful, and includes rainforest, moorland and high-altitude desert. The Umbwe route is one of the toughest and steepest Kilimanjaro routes and shouldn’t be undertaken by anyone who isn’t fit and accustomed to steep trekking. It also has some steep drops, so it should be avoided by those afraid of heights. The route heads directly upward in a northerly direction towards Barranco Wall. At the wall it links up with the Shira, Lemosho and Machame routes. Because of its steep ascent profile, it has a relatively low summit success rate.

Umbwe Route

Uniqueness

  • The Umbwe route has a reputation for being the most challenging route on Kilimanjaro. 
  • It’s the shortest and steepest of the Kilimanjaro routes, and accordingly has a poor acclimatisation profile. 
  • For this reason its summit success rate is low and it’s one of the least used trails on the mountain. 
  • The Umbwe approaches the summit from the south and camping is the only available accommodation option. 

Success Rate

The Umbwe route is one of the shortest, most direct Kilimanjaro routes, which lowers the quality of its acclimatisation profile. Summit success is low. Whilst there are no official statistics, the average success rate across all Kilimanjaro operators for the five-day Umbwe route is just 50%.

Highlights

  • Panoramic views
  • A challenge for seasoned climbers

Tour Details

  • The Umbwe routestarts its approach of the summit from the south.
  • After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and takes trekkers below Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit. 
  • It leads to Barafu Camp, which is the starting point for summit day.
  • The trail descends the mountain via the Mweka route.

Itinerary

Day
1
Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

You enter Kilimanjaro National Park at Machame Gate, where you’re recorded in the park registry. From here you start your trek by making your way through warm and humid mountain rainforest to Umbwe Camp, where you stay overnight.

Day
2
Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

On the second day of the trek you make your way from Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp. The journey is rocky and takes you through the Senecio Forest. Giant groundsels (ragworts) can be seen here, which is a highlight for nature lovers. You soon arrive at Barranco Camp and stay here for the night.

Day
3
Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

This is a short hiking day of four to five hours that’s important to your acclimatisation. After an early breakfast, it’s time for you to conquer the great Barranco Wall. Although it may look intimidating, trekkers usually report that it turned out to be less taxing than they anticipated. At the top of the wall, you’re above the clouds and have superb views of the Southern Ice Fields and the summit. The trail then winds up and down until you arrive at Karanga Camp, where you spend the night.

Day
4
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

It’s getting real – you’re now very close to the summit! Today you have a short climb of about two to three hours to each Barafu Camp. The views throughout the day’s hike are epic. Tonight you all head to bed early as your summit trek begins around midnight!

Day
5
Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Today you trek for five to six hours through alpine desert to reach Kibo Hut. The trek is a gradual incline that heads west through the Saddle, a ridge of barren land that connects the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.Today’s summit attempt starts at around midnight! The route heads northwest into the dark night, taking you on a path that’s made mostly of scree. After about seven hours of trekking you reach Uhuru Peak, which sits at 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by your achievement!After some tome at the summit, you start your long descent to Mweka Camp at 3,110 m (10,204 ft) above sea level. This is where you spend your final night on the mountain.

Day
6
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Today you trek through rainforest to reach the foot of the mountain, where your driver fetches you. What an adventure to have climbed Kilimanjaro!.

Map

What's Include

  • Gate Enter fees
  • All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
  • Purified water throughout the climb
  • Breakfast and dinner at the lodge before and after the climb
  • Beautiful lodging before and after the climb (2 nights, based on double occupancy)
  • Professional, English-speaking, experienced mountain guides
  • Transport to and from trail head
  • Cook and porters
  • Private toilet tent
  • High-quality sleeping bags and insulated pads
  • Tents and all camping gear
  • Emergency oxygen and rescue equipment
  • Daily blood check with pulse oxymeter

What's Exclude

  • Airfare to Tanzania
  • Airport transfers
  • Visa
  • Tips for the crew
  • Personal rental gear you might need

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