Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Umbwe Route – TKUMB
Conquer the peak of Africa on a Mount Kilimanjaro climb, using the Umbwe route, by far the most difficult one offered on the mountain. Based in the south, the first two days are extremely steep, muddy and generally strenuous, making it only suitable for well-trained mountaineers. Spectacular views, moraine forest, dizzying ridges, and wildlife will be accompanying you on your ascent to the top of Africa. 6 days are spent on the mountain, in provided tents. The nights before and after your climb are spent in a hotel.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Itinerary
Day 1 Moshi
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town for dinner and overnight at a base hotel.
Day 2 Umbwe Cave Camp (2940 m)
Hike through the Montana Forest, full of wildlife, for 5 hours to 2940 m. The majority of the hike on the first day of the Umbwe Route is through the Montana Forest. Lush vegetation with very old trees and lilts of ferns and mosses mark this as an area that gets reliable rain year round. The forest abounds with wildlife; small bushbuck and duikers as well as monkeys. There is also rich and varied bird life. The first three hours or so is on gently rising land before steepening for the last two hours. The camp for the night is in a small clearing on the trail.
Day 3 Barranco Camp (3860 m)
Shortly after starting the hike today, the forest gradually gives away to the giant heath. The trail follows a ridge for some time and as it ascends through the heath land the ridge narrows and sharpens. Finally, it becomes a knife edge with steep drops on each side. As the height of the heath reduces, there are stunning views of both Kilimanjaro’s southern flank and across to Mount Meru some 50 miles away. Wildlife changes with the vegetation; jackals may be heard barking and the Lammergeyer may be spotted circling overhead. After 6 – 7 hours, you will reach the camp, overlooking the Barranco Valley with views up towards Arrow Glacier.
Day 4 Karanga Camp (4000 m)
On the eastern side of the valley, across the stream is the Barranco Wall, a 950 ft. barrier of volcanic rock. Although it is tall and looks steep, it is very easy to climb. This is our first challenge of the day. The views from the wall are nothing less than magnificent. The rest of the day is spent skirting the base of Kibo peak over our left shoulder. We descend down into the Karanga Valley, after 4 hours, where we rest up for the night before the tough climb up to Barafu hut.
Day 5 Barafu Camp (4600 m)
From Karanga the tour heads up a moraine ridge taking your time and going slowly. The views here can be spectacular on the southern glaciers and of the glacial valleys that snake their way down the mountain. The final stage to Barafu is quite steep. Consequently, it is taken very slowly. You reach camp after about 6 hours of hiking, leaving lots of time to prepare and relax. In the evening your guide briefs you for the final ascent.
Day 6 Summit Uhuru (5895 m) and Mweka Camp (3100 m)
Hiking Time is 6- 8 hours on the ascent and 7-8 hours on descent. Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwestern direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
At Stella Point (5685m / 18,652 ft), you will stop for a short rest. Be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From there, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1 hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you will have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Use your gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 7 Mweka Gate (1830 m)
Continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate and receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be fine to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). At the gate, a driver will await you. Next is a transfer back to a base hotel in Moshi for dinner, celebrations and overnight.
Finally, after breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town.
Mount Kilimanjaro Map