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6 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking – Umbwe Route

  /  6 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking – Umbwe Route

6 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking – Umbwe Route

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The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route – one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude.

Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Tour Plan

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Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft Distance: 11 km/7 miles  Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Heath The day begins with a 50 minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. 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.
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Day 2: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft Distance: 6 km/4 miles  Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Heath The second day of the trek follows rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro can be seen.  The path flattens as we approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest.
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Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft Distance: 5 km/3 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
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Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft Distance: 4 km/2 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.
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Day 5: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft Distance: 5 km/3 miles Hiking Time: 7-8 hours Habitat: Arctic Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft Distance: 12 km/7 miles Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Rain Forest Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you  will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. 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.
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Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft Distance: 10 km/6 miles Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Rain Forest On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.
Package Includes:
  • Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Mountain crew (cook & porters)
  • Overnight stays in hotels and mountain tents
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water
  • All national park fees
  • All mentioned transfer
  Package Excludes:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance
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