Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Climb

Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Climb

Duration: 6 days
From $2,505 pp

Umbwe is a short route, providing challenges as it is very difficult to climb due to its steepness. Due to the fast ascension, this route does not provide enough time for altitude acclimatization, so proceeding slowly is vital.

Although the traffic on this route is very low, the chances of success are not as great unless an acclimatization day is added. The route is offered at a minimum of six days, and seven days is preferred. This route merges along the way with Machame route, Lemosho route and Shira route.

Western Breach Approach

An alternative route to the summit approaches Uhuru Peak from the west, called the Western Breach Route.

The strenuous Western Breach ascends 850m in about 1.25 miles (2 km), and requires some scrambling (climbing on hands and feet) at certain points. This path is very beautiful but also very challenging due to its rocks formations and its steep slope.

The Western Breach was gaining popularity by climbers using the Umbwe, Lemosho, Shira and Machame routes until a rock fall claimed the lives of three climbers in January 2006. In response, Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) closed the Western Breach Route but in 2007 KINAPA opened it again with condition that all clients and their supporting members who want to use this option must sign at the entrance gate that they are doing it at their own risk.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to Moshi

  • Elevation: 1,000 m to 1,200 m
  • Distance: 36 km
  • Driving Time: 45 min
  • Habitat: Town

Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi for overnight B/B.

Day 2: From Hotel to Umbwe Cave Campsite

  • Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,700 m to 2,850 m
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Montane forest

We will pick you up with our vehicle from the hotel, drive you 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 spend the night. Today you will walk across ridges and valleys into a really thick forest.

Day 3: Umbwe Cave Campsite to Barranco Hut Campsite

  • Elevation: 2,850 m to 3,950 m
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Hiking time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Montane forest and heather

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 spend the night.

Day 4: Barranco Campsite to Karanga Campsite

  • Elevation: 3,950 m to 3,900 m
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

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 a 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 spend the night.

Day 5: Karanga Campsite to Barafu Campsite

  • Elevation: 3,900 m to 4,620 m
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Today trekking up to the Barafu ridge campsite is tough because of altitude. The walking hours are few because it is steep so it needs walking slowly so as 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 at around 1700hrs then rest until midnight when you commence you push for the summit.

Day 6: Barafu Hut Campsite to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Hut Campsite

  • Elevation: 4,620 m to 5,895 m to 3,100 m
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Hiking time; 10 – 12 hours
  • Habitat: Desert and ice

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; 00am, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,861m between 4 and 5am. At this point, you will have views of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you and all spectacular all area surrounding you. Then after 1 hour of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows which take you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak. Here you will spend some time taking photos.

After your summit activities are done, you will descend back to the Barafu Huts campsite, have lunch, rest, collect your equipment, and continue your walk down through moorland and heath zone to Mweka Huts campsite, have dinner and spend the night at Mweka hut campsite.

Day 7: Mweka Hut Campsite to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 3,100 m to 1,700 m
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Descending time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Montane forest

After breakfast, 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.

Day 8: Moshi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

  • Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,000 m
  • Distance: 36 km
  • Driving Time: 45 min
  • Habitat: Town

Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from Moshi and transfer you back to JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) or to Safari or Zanzibar if you have extension because we do organize safaris too. Please request for this service. Thank you.

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