• Adventure, Family Friendly, Sightseeing, Wildlife

Hike To Mount Kilimanjaro - Umbwe Route

  • Moshi, Tanzania
  •   10
  • English, French


Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach and it’s the hardest and most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. The Umbwe Route is the trail for trekkers looking for a true climbing challenge. It is a quiet, seldom used path that can be very difficult, yet very rewarding at the same time. This is the route to choose if you want to test yourself on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, far from the crowds that are found on the more common trails. While Umbwe route is a non-technical climb, it does offer steep ascents and requires trekkers to scramble over rocks and tree roots at certain points. It is the hardest and most direct route up the mountain and even features several exposed ridges that are not for the faint of heart. The fitness and stamina of hikers may be tested along the way and it is best for experienced mountain trekkers who are looking for a challenge.


Pick up with our vehicle from the hotel, drive to Umbwe gate. Here after completing the gate registration procedures, the trek starts through the rainforest to Umbwe cave campsite where you will find all tents already setup then stop for dinner and overnight. Today you will walk across ridges and valleys into a really thick forest. Elevation: 1200m to 1700m to 2850m.Distance: 10 km.Hiking time: 4-5 hours.Habitat: Montane forest.

This day after breakfast you will trek through the remaining forest to the moorland and heath zone and you will be enjoying some wonderful views of Barranco valleys and ice cap on top of the mountain. Then you will arrive to Barranco Camp for dinner and overnight. Elevation: 2850m to 3950mDistance: 9 kmHiking time: 4-5 hoursHabitat: Montane forest and heather

Today you will be having a short day walk and in the late morning you will start climbing Barranco Wall and reach 4200m for acclimatization and continue crossing ridges and valleys to Karanga campsite for hot lunch. After lunch you will have a short rest and get another acclimatization of trekking up the screed slopes towards the Southern ice field, then you will return to the camp for dinner and overnight. Elevation: 3950m to 3900mDistance: 6 kmHiking time: 4-5 hoursHabitat: Moorland

Today trek up to the Barafu ridge campsite is tough because of altitude. The walking hours is few because it is steep, so you need to walk slowly to avoid fatigue as well as high altitude sickness. You will walk across alpine desert with strong cold wind blowing because there are no trees around as well as getting closer to the Kibo glaciers. You will have lunch and early dinner, then rest until midnight when you start the summit climb. Elevation: 3900m to 4620mDistance: 5 km.Hiking time: 3-4 hoursHabitat: Alpine Desert

The day starts around midnight with a light breakfast, and then last preparations for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. Leave to the peak at 12; 00 am, switchback up steep screen or possibly snow and reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,861m between 4 and 5 am. At this point, you will have views of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you and all spectacular area surrounding you. Then after 1 hour of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak. Here you will spend some time for taking photos. After your summit activities done, descend back to the BarafuHuts campsite, have lunch, rest, collect your equipment, and continue your walk down through moorland and heath zone to Mweka Huts campsite, then dinner and overnight at Mweka hut campsite. Elevation: 4620m to 5895m to 3100mDistance: 15kmHiking time; 10 – 12 hoursHabitat: Desert and ice

Today is your last day on the mountain so you will descend down to Mweka park gate walking across Montane forest this descent will take 3-4 hours. Then here at the gate you will sign out and get ready to board the vehicle ready for the transfer back to the hotel in Moshi for certificate presentation and a well deserved celebration. Elevation: 3100m to 1700mDistance: 9kmDescendng time: 3-4 hoursHabitat: Montane forest

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