When climbers on this Route arrive at Barranco, they have a choice: east and round to Barafu Campsite to access the summit via Stella Point; or, if you hanker after the quieter, more dramatic option, you could have joined the path up to Lava Tower to continue to the summit via the Western Breach. The best alternative is to head from Barranco to Barafu Campsites. So that’s Umbwe: dramatic views, blessed solitude and some terrific, invigorating walking and all without the clutter and chatter of other climbers.
Day 1: Umbwe Gate (1,800 meters) - Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850 meters)
Distance Approximation: 11 km
Climbing time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
You will be driven from Moshi to the Machame Gate where registration takes place and transferred to the Umbwe Gate at 1,800 meters. The trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rain forest. The path narrows and steepens as we climb the ridge between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe Camp is perched between trees and thick undergrowth. The camp sits between large evergreen trees and thick undergrowth, with Umbwe Cave a short walk away.
Day 2: Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850 meters) - Barranco Camp (3,950 meters)
Distance Approximation: 6.3 km
Climbing time: 4-6 hours
On Day 2 the landscape changes rapidly from rainforest to moorland, with rocky outcrops and scarce vegetation. The path follows the narrow Umbwe Route ridge until it begins to flatten close to the Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest. The Barranco Camp sits in the valley under the shadow of the Great Barranco Wall with Kibo visible in the distance. At Barranco Camp you will be joining climbers from the Machame, Lemosho and Shira Route.
Day 3: Barranco Camp (3,950 meters) - Karanga Camp (4,200 meters)
Distance: 6 km/3 miles
Climbing time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 3 starts with a steep climb up the Barranco Wall. No technical skills are required but you will need to use all four limbs to scramble up to the top. From here you will follow an up and down route along the Southern Circuit through the Karanga Valley and up to Karanga Camp. You will stop at Karanga Camp for the night.
Day 4: Karanga Camp (4,200 m) - Barafu Camp (4,680 m)
Distance Approximation: 4 km/2 miles
Climbing time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: High alpine zone
Day 4 is a relatively short climb from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp at 4,680 meters. The route sojourns through the rocky and sparsely vegetated
high alpine desert zone. Barafu Camp is very exposed to the elements, especially the gale force winds that are common at this altitude. You will arrive at the camp around lunchtime and you will have a lot of time to rest or you can choose to climb a bit higher if you are feeling up to it. You may have lost your appetite but it is important that you try to eat some food. Set an hour aside to ensure that your gear is ready and packed for the summit ascent which begins around midnight and tries get to bed before 19:00 as you will be awoken around 23:30 to begin your summit attempt.
Day 5: Barafu Camp (4,680m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp (3,100m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Climbing time: 10-14 hours
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. After being awoken with hot tea and biscuits you will set off up the heavily screed slopes of Kibo. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the climb. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. It is important to remain focused on your goal, one step at a time. Around dawn you will reach Stella Point (5,739 meters) at the top of the crater rim. This is not the summit but is a major milestone. Take a moment to rest and enjoy where you have got to but don’t lie down as this can stymie your final push to the summit. From Stella Point, the route smooths as you walk an additional 1 to 2 hours to Uhuru Peak. You will not be able to stay too long at the summit as the lack of oxygen and cold is debilitating. You may decide to scree slide down the slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp where you will have a chance to take a short break before continuing on to Mweka Camp. Remember to use your climbing poles as the impact on your knees of the 5 to 8 hours descent from the Summit to Mweka Camp can be very tiring and painful.
Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,100m) – Mweka Gate (1,640m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Climbing time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day on the mountain is a short climbing. after breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew, you will start your final descent to Mweka Gate. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Gate. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Sal Salinero Hotel. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.
There are hotels in Arusha or Kilimanjaro Area.
On this route, there are designated Campsites.
JRO Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
2 Nights Moshi accommodation at the Sal Salinero Hotel (3 Stars).
Quality climbing gears including Sleeping bag and walking poles.
Free Local Moshi City walking tour.
Professional mountain guide.
All national park fees (Campsites, Permits and Rescue fees).
Storage for excess unused staffs.
Fair Mountain crew Salaries.
3 Meals and purified mineral water.
International and local airfares.
Meals and drinks not specified.
Entry visa in Tanzania.
Private mountain gears.
Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
Portable toilet with a toilet tent is available for extra charges $70
Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.
All our hiking services start and end in Arusha / Moshi. The Kilimanjaro International Airport is about 40 miles from Arusha and receives daily KLM flights from Europe via Amsterdam and Nairobi in Kenya.
Please contact our booking team for more information, we will be very happy to hear from you.