UMBWE CLIMB

6 day camping trekking tour + 2 nights’ hotel stay

The Umbwe Route is a short, steep and scenic route which approachs the summit from the south. It is the least used route on the mountain and also the most demanding.

This route offers spectacular views and a fast summit approach, but due to the latter it is not the best route in terms of acclimatization.

Highlights

Day 1

Start: Umbwe Gate (1640m)
Finish: Umbwe Cave Camp (2930m)
Walking Time: 5-6h

A long and strenuous first day through the rainforest and out onto a mountain ridge.


Day 2

Start: Umbwe Cave Camp (2930m)
Finish: Barranco Camp (3960m)
 

A difficult ascent into the moorland and heather, then over the sheer Rope Roack and onto Barranco for great views of Kibo and the Barranco Wall


Day 3

Start: Barranco Camp (3960m)
Finish: Karanga Camp (4035m)

Walking Time: 3-4h

The imposing Barranco Wall lies ahead today, but it is not as bad as it looks. It is a steep climb but the views of Kibo’s southern glacier are breathtaking.


Day 4

Start: Karanga Camp (4035m)
Finish: Barafu Camp (4640m)
Walking Time: 3-4h

A relative easy day through the desolate moon-like landscape of the alpine desert.


Day 5

Start: Barafu Camp (4640m)
Finish: Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3080m)
Walking Time: 10-14h

Summit day starts off in the dark. You will first go to Stella Point on the crater’s rim. Another few hours to reach Uhuru peak in the early sunrise. After a few minutes at the summit, the descent is steep and long.


Day 6

Start: Mweka Camp (3080m)
Finish: Mweka Gate (1630m)
Walking Time: 2-3h

Traditional farewell ceremony then an easy and relatively short descent with a good path through lush rainforest to the gate.


Itinerary

Arrival in Moshi

On your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport one of our welcoming transfer drivers will take you to your accommodation for the night, the San Salinero hotel, which is just a short drive away from the small and laid back town of Moshi. You may wish to explore one of the town’s bustling markets or just relax by the hotel pool. Our operations team will meet you to check all your equipment and to give you a thorough briefing of what to expect on your trek.

Dinner


Day 1 Moshi – Umbwe Gate (1640m) – Umbwe Cave Camp (2930m)

In the morning after breakfast our driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Kilimanjaro National Park which is only an hour drive away. At the gate your mountain guide will take care of the registration process and once everything is packed, you can begin your adventure. The trail will start as a wide forest road but then gets narrower as it climbs through the rainforest. You will walk on a mountain ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers before reaching Umbwe Cave Camp (2930 m) after about 5 to 6 hours of strenuous walking. At the campsite you can rest and enjoy some snacks while dinner is being prepared. You might be lucky enough to see the reflective eyes of a wild cat or monkeys jumping through the trees.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 2 Umbwe Cave Camp (2930m) – Barranco Camp (3960m)

Today the first section of the trail will be steeper than on the first day. You’ll start with several muddy slopes which make the ascent more difficult. As you climb higher you will enter the heather and moorland zone of the mountain, characterized by Erica tree heathers that grow up to 3 or 4 meters. You will continue on the ridge with views into the Umbwe Valley until you reach a vertical rock wall called Rope Rock. This is the steepest wall on any of this mountain’s routes. Your guide will take take your daypack and assist you to get up this rocky passage. Afterwards the gradient of the trail will ease out as you make your way to the picturesque Barranco Camp, you resting place for the night. Enjoy amazing views of Kibo and the Great Barranco Wall.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 3 Barranco Camp (3960m) – Karanga Camp (4035m)

After an early breakfast you will begin your day by tackling the famous Barranco Wall. From time to time you might need your hands to hold on tight but there are no real climbing passages, and the ascent is easier than it looks. Once you’ve tackled the wall, the trail will proceed in an undulating fashion towards Karanga Camp. There are great views of the southern glaciers of Kibo. Karanga Camp is situated less than 100 meters higher than your previous camp. After about 3 to 4 hours you will arrive at the camp and you can spend most of the afternoon relaxing or take further a acclimatization trip towards Barafu Camp before returning back to Karanga Camp for the night.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 4 Karanga Camp (4035m) – Barafu Camp (4640m)

Your destination for today, Barafu Camp at 4640 meters, should be reached after about 3 to 4 hours. For most of the route you’ll be trekking through the barren and striking afro-alpine desert. This will be your last stop before the summit night. So try and get an afternoon siesta before dinner is served. After a final briefing from your guide you’re advised to get straight back into your sleeping bag as you will be woken up again around midnight to begin the summit climb.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 5 Barafu Camp (4640m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3080m)

Finally your time has come – you will slowly make your way towards the summit after a hot drink and some biscuits for fuel at the camp. Today’s strenuous trek will take around 5 to 7 hours until you reach Stella Point, the crater rim of Kibo. You can have a short rest here while the sun’s first rays light up a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscapes. From here the path flattens out for the final stretch to Uhuru Peak, which takes  about an hour, towering above anywhere else on the African continent at 5895 meters. Standing on the `Roof of Africa’ will be a truly special moment as you watch the sunrise lighting up the mountain’s iconic glaciers. Shortly, you will move back to Stella Point and start your descent to Barafu Camp. After a couple of hours you can rest at the camp and enjoy a well-deserved meal. Your camp for tonight will be in sight after another descent of around 3 hours. Exhausted from the past few days’ achievments, you should have a good night’s sleep at Mweka Camp.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 6 Mweka Camp (3080m) – Mweka Gate (1630m) – Moshi

This morning you’ll be treated to the traditional farewell ceremony with your mountain crew before you start your final descent to Mweka Gate. This stretch should take about 2 to 3 hours and leads you back through Kilimanjaro’s beautiful rainforest sections. Our driver will be waiting for you at the gate to take you back to your hotel in Moshi. Here you may just relax or enjoy a swim in the hotel pool, or sink a couple of celebratory beers whilst reflecting on the unforgettable experience of the past days.

Breakfast; Dinner 


Arusha or Safari

After breakfast you can head off on a safari with our sister company Tanzania-Experience or be taken back to Kilimanjaro Airport for your transfer home or elsewhere.

Breakfast

Price includes:

  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Personal porter
  • Kilimanjaro Trekking Tour according to the travel plan description
  • Meals as indicated in the tour brochure
  • Return transfer from Moshi to the National Park Gate
  • Transfer to and from Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Overnight stay in hotels and tents according to travel plan
  • All national park fees
  • Chemical toilet

Price excludes:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Meals not indicated in the tour description
  • Alcohol and soft drinks (coke, mineral water etc.)
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance

FAQ

  • The group size is between five and a maximum of ten persons
  • On a private climb, you choose your hiking partners. You will not be teamed up with strangers. We can accommodate private groups of up to 100 or so.

As per the national park authorities, the minimum age for climbing Kilimanjaro is 10 years but seeing that children are more prone to altitude sickness than adults, we recommend a minimum age of 12. There is no maximum age restriction, but a medical check-up is advisable for people over the age of 60.

Kilimanjaro is one of the few mountains of its height that can be summited without mountaineering skills or experience. You should however be healthy and fit enough to manage the 4-6 hour hike each day, as well as the 12-14 hour hike on the day of the summit. For the last stretch, much endurance and willpower is needed.

Generally yes. We however discourage any attempts during the main rainy season (end of March to beginning of June). During the short rainy season (November), daily short rainfalls and cloudy views can be expected. From December until the end of February, temperatures are at their highest and rainfall is at its minimum. These are the busiest times. Between the end of June and the middle of October is also a good time to climb. Temperatures are a little lower but there is almost no rain.

The Lemosho route begins on the rather remote western side of Kilimanjaro, but meets up with the Machame route on day 3 at the Shira Plateau. The Lemosho route is the longest route and it covers the most kilometres, which is why one should allow a minimum of seven days for the climb.

Overnight accommodation will be in two-man tents and sleeping mats are provided. Single travellers usually share a tent with another group member of the same gender. Single tents can be provided on request at additional cost.

There are no ablution facilities except for basic long-drops (very simple latrines), but on private climbs mobile chemical toilets are included.

  • Fresh water will be collected from the available sources on the mountain and is boiled before it’s served. Porters will carry water in canisters for the higher areas, where no more fresh water is available. All meals are freshly prepared by your cook.
  • Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Breakfast usually consists of fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, toast and jam, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. For lunch you are usually provided with a lunch box that contains sandwiches, boiled eggs, chicken etc.
  • For dinner you will be served a soup and bread followed by the main course that either consists of red meat or poultry served with some sort of starch (chips, mashed potatoes, pasta or rice) and vegetables. For dessert you will get fresh fruit, hot chocolate, coffee or tea and milk.
  • Breakfast and dinner are served in a mess tent that is equipped with a table and chairs while lunch is usually enjoyed en-route.
  • We are able to provide meals for vegetarians or people with other dietary requirements or food allergies but we need to know in advance in order to cater for special requests.

Almost every hiker attempting Kilimanjaro will notice the altitude and the thinner air. Fitness fanatics are just as likely to suffer from it as couch potatoes. Symptoms include headaches that are often accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea. More often than not, symptoms are mild, allowing you to continue to ascend. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and a rapid descent is required, after which your body tends to recover quite quickly. Please however always keep in mind, that severe altitude sickness can be life-threatening and it may even lead to death. We do not recommend the use of medication, as it suppresses the symptoms of altitude sickness. We do however encourage you to drink enough water to replace the fluids lost from the physical activity. Two to four litres per day are recommended, as well as mineral supplements (magnesium etc.) to help replace lost minerals and to prevent muscle cramps.

  • Unfortunately there are no state of the art mountain rescue services like the ones to be found in the European Alps for example. If you no longer have the ability to walk, you will either be carried or transported on a wheeled stretcher. This is by no means a pleasant experience which is why we encourage you not to overstrain your body and to travel safe. Helicopters can only land at a lower altitude and are therefore rarely used.
  • Please ensure that you are covered by your health insurance while travelling. If you do not have sufficient coverage, we highly recommend taking out appropriate travel insurance. Your insurance should cover all your medical expenses including costs for rescue and repatriation.
  • It is common practice to tip the members of your mountain crew after the climb. Tips make up a large portion of their income and are therefore highly appreciated. Below are some guidelines based on a group (not per person)
  • Guide: 12-18 USD / day
  • Assistant Guide: 8-12 USD / day
  • Cook:   8-10 USD / day
  • Waiter: 7-9 USD / day
  • Porter:   6-7 USD / day
  • Of course the above is just a guideline. If you are happy with the service received, you are welcome to show this when it comes to tipping.
  • If you plan to tip in USD, please make sure the notes have been printed after 2004 as any earlier dated bank notes are not valid and can therefore not be used in Tanzania.
  • Travel bag, backpack or kitbag, weighing no more than 12kg. Please do not bring a suitcase or trolley bag, as this type of luggage cannot be carried by the porters.
  • Day backpack with rain protection.
  • High quality sleeping bag for harsh conditions (at night temperatures can drop to -20°C).
  • Different layers of clothing including thermal base layers, fleece clothing, trekking pants, warm jacket and water-resistant top layers as well as a warm headgear.
  • Water-resistant and comfortable hiking boots and a variety of trekking socks.
  • Please note that the above list is not complete and these are just a few things that you will have to bring with you. Once we have confirmed your booking, you will receive a more detailed list.
  • Citizens of all nationalities need to contact the embassies of their travel destination to check the visa regulations.
  • In general, European citizens can apply for a Tanzanian Tourism Visa upon arrival in Tanzania.
  • It is the sole responsibility of every traveller to be in possession of the required documents and visa that allows them to enter their holiday destination.
  • Tanzania is no longer a yellow fever region, so a yellow fever certificate isn’t generally a requirement. If visiting any other countries in the region either before or after Tanzania, be sure to check if a yellow fever vaccination is required
  • Although there are no mosquitoes at high altitude, Tanzania is within a malaria region. It is up to you if you wish to take medication, but we suggest that you speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side-effects.
  • Although Tanzania does not require proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.

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