OAT 05 K - Kilimanjaro - Umbwe Route
Tour Code: OAT023 – UMBWE ROUTE
Tour Duration: 8 days
Destination: Kilimanjaro National Park - Tanzania
Specialty Categories: Trekking
Season: All year round
This Tour can NOT be Customized
The Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Fewer people, pristine forest and shorter walking distances make it a great option for fit hikers. Add to your experience - OVERNIGHT IN THE CRATER!! Be one of a few fortunate people to spend a night in Africa's largest volcano. This option is highly recommended, as this will be the only opportunity to get close to the beautiful and fascinating glaciers of Kilimanjaro and to be able to visit the ash pit. This route is the hardest but most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak.
It follows a forested ridge to the moorlands, then traverses below the Southern Icefields to reach the Barafu Route which is followed to the summit. An early start is made on the summit day to reach Stella Point, on the Crater Rim at dawn. Uhuru Peak lies a further 40 min. along the rim.
Porters will carry all your equipment and supplies and a cook prepares all your meals. In contrary to the accommodation on the Marangu route in huts, the Umbwe route offers strictly tents only. This makes Umbwe better suited to the slightly more adventurous hikers, rewarding them with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Umbwe route offers the adventurous hikers a stunning scenic "slide show" over 6 days. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days.
There is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain - acclimatization. The Umbwe route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimatization.
The Umbwe route can also be completed in 5 days. On day 3 on the itinerary below, you go directly to Kibo with an overnight at the Arrow Glacier camp, with your final summiting attempt on day 4. An extremely physically and mentally demanding option, not recommended for the average climber.
Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro and Transfer to Arusha
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, our guide will meet you and assist with your baggage then transfer to Snowcrest Hotel for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast
Day 2: Arusha to Umbwe
After breakfast you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m, passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. On arrival at the Parks Gate your guide and porters will meet you. Sign the register before you enter the park for your first step to accomplishing a life-long dream. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
Overnight at the camp. (B-L-D) At the height of (1800m)- Umbwe Gate and (2940m) -Bivouac camp, trekking time is approximately 5 hours and the habitat is Montane forest
Day 3: Bivouac camp to Barranco camp
After breakfast leave the camp and shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you - etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared. Overnight stay at the camp. (B-L-D) at the height of (3950m) Barranco camp, trekking time is approximately 6 hours and the habitat isMontane forest & Moorlands
Day 4: Barranco to Lava Tower
After breakfast you will start your hike towards Lava Tower, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro. The path is steep and rocky, with views of Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro's little sister, punching her peak through the clouds. From Lava Tower you turn towards the Western Breach, a steep climb to Arrow Glacier camp (4800m). This is taxing and symptoms of altitude sickness might become noticeable. The campsite is spectacular. Vegetation has now all but disappeared, leaving only rock and scree in varying shades of brown and black. The campsite is very cold and you need to be prepared. Overnight stay at the camp. (B-L-D) At the height of (4630m) - Lava Tower and (4800m) - Arrow Glacier Camp, Habitat is Moorland/Semi desert
Day 5: Arrow Glacier to Crater
From the Arrow Glacier camp steep scree and rocky outcrops requiring a scramble lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor (5700m). This day will be the toughest challenge by far. After snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an ice axe or ski stick may be required. When reaching the crater rim, you will be astonished by the view of snow and glaciers. Visible to you left is the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro with the Furtwangler Glacier in front of you. Walk past this glacier to the Crater camp, situated at the crater rim. If time permits, you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples in the world. The campsite is very cold as snow might occur. Be one of a fortunate few to spend a night in the inner crater of Kilimanjaro. Overnight at the camp. (B-L-D) at the height of (5700m) – Crater, trekking time is approximately 5 hours and the distance is about 15 km's, the habitat found here is Semi desert/ Snowfields
Day 6: Crater to Uhuru Peak then descend to Mweka Camp
Today you will rise around midnight, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the early morning darkness. From the crater floor you will probably encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue.
Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. The walk to Barafu camp from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest, before heading down to Millennium camp (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. washing water will be provided as well as drinking water, overnight at Mweka Camp. (BLD). At the height of (5895m) Uhuru Peak and down to (3100m) –Mweka, trekking time is approximately 2 hours to reach Uhuru Peak and 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka, the habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Day 7: Mweka camp to Mweka Gate
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. Height (1980m) - Mweka Gate, trekking time is approximately 3 hours and the distance is about 15 km's while Habitats are Forest
From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations. Overnight at Snowcrest Hotel (B-L-D).
Day 8: Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departure
Today after breakfast we provide a private transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or continue with your safari schedule. This trekking is suitable and recommended for extension safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Manyara or Beach holidays to the Spice Island of Zanzibar.
End of services.
Should you wish to extend the this program to the mentioned tourist destination, please contact us by email
The costing for this route will include:
-Transfer to and from the base of the mountain, Marangu Route trek as itinerary depicts, Full board
accommodation whilst on the trek
Meal plan as descriptions:
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner,
Accommodations at Snowcrest Hotel on First and Last day,
Accommodation in tents on the mountain as per the itinerary,
All park entrance fees to include government taxes, Service of an English speaking professional Mountain guide on the mountain, porters and skilled cook, All services begin and end at Kilimanjaro Airport as per the itinerary, Treated water and boiled water on the trek, Return airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Airport
The costing will Excluded:
-Tips, laundry, sleeping bags, drinks and climbing gears, Medical evacuation, USD 30 per person value, International flights and taxes, Visas to Tanzania, Items of a personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary.
Remember to carry your Identifications;
Travel / Medical insurance