The umbwe route is known as the most challenging Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Route. Because hikers get to a high altitude within a very short time, it does not offer enough time for acclimatization. The trail is used by very few hikers and the success rate to the summit is very low. The Umbwe Route is generally very challenging and tough, and should be attempted by only determined hikers who are assured of their ability to quickly acclimatize to high altitude.

The route approached the summit from the south, and it is the shortest route offering a short but steep climb. Once you reach the Barranco camp, you will head south and traverse below the southern icefield trail also known as the southern Circuit. From there, you will summit the mountain from Barafu. The descent takes the Mweka route.

Umbwe Route can be completed in six or seven days. The seven days’ itinerary comes with an additional day at Barranco Camp on day three for acclimatization.

Additional information

duration6 days
locationMount Kilimanjaro

6 day Climb Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route – Itinerary

Day 01

Transfer from Umbwe Gate - Hike to Umbwe Camp

Today you will begin with a short drive to the Machame Gate where you will complete all the park entrance formalities; the drive takes approximately one hour. You will go through the plantations of bananas and coffee as you head to the Umbwe Gate. From there the trail sharply descents into the verdant forest. The paths become more narrow and steep as you ascend the ridge found in-between two (2) rivers that are surrounded by thick vegetation.

Route Plan: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

Elevation: 5,249 feet to 9,514 feet

Distance: 11 kilometers / 7 miles

Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours

Habitat Moved: Heath

Day 02

Hike Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

Today you will follow the rougher trail with more rocks and less undergrowth. As you ascend and move higher in altitude, you will begin to sight the higher zones of the mountain. The route flattens as you get closer to the Barranco Valley. The Barranco camp which will be your final destination today is found after a descent through the scenic Senecio Forest. You will have dinner and spend the night at the camp.

Route Plan: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 9,514 feet to 13,044 feet

Distance: 6 kilometers / 4 miles

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Habitat Moved: Heath.

Day 03

Kilimanjaro Trek from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

You will start the day by making a descent into the ravine bottom of the Barranco wall. You will then ascend to a not so challenging yet steep cliff to the top of the Barranco wall where you will cross a number of rolling hills before making a sharp descent into the Karanga Valley. The Karanga camp where you will spend this night is not very far from this valley; you will make a short descent and then finally arrive there. The day is shorter mainly to allow climbers an opportunity to acclimatize.

Route Plan: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 13,044 feet to 13,106 feet

Distance: 5 kilometers / 3 miles

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 04

Trek from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

An early breakfast will be taken at the Karanga camp, and then you will follow the trail to the junction heading to the Mweka trail before finally reaching the Barafu camp. This is where the southern circuit which offers various views of the mountain summit ends. You will camp here, rest, have your night meal and get an early sleep as you prepare to make it to the summit the following day. At this point you can actually see the Kibo Peak as well as the Mawenzi peak.

Route Plan: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,106 feet to 15,331 feet

Distance: 4 kilometers / 2 miles

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Habitat Moved: Alpine Desert

Day 05

Summit Day! Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

You will begin this day’s hike to the summit very early around midnight. head North West and ascend across the thick gravel to Stella Point at an elevation of 18,600 feet found on the rim of the crater. This section of the trail is the most challenging both physically and mentally, the cold and wind here are extreme. Once at Stella Point, you will have a brief rest and if the weather is good, you will be able to see the most breathtaking sunrise.

From this point you will ascend traversing the snow covered terrain all the way to the Uhuru peak which stands at a height of 19,341 feet (5,895 meters). It is the highest point on Mountain Kilimanjaro and Africa as a whole.

After spending some time at the summit resting and taking some photographs, you will begin the descent to the Mweka camp which will be the final destination for the day, making a stopover for lunch at the Barafu camp. During the challenging tough descent, you will use your trekking poles and gaiters to traverse the loose gravel. Mweka camp is located on the upper side of the forest, so expect some rainfall or mist in the late afternoon. You will have your evening meal before having your night’s rest.

Route Plan: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Summit to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 15,331 feet to 19,341 feet (and descent 19,341 feet to 10,065 feet)

Distance: 5 kilometers / 3 miles ascent (and 12 kilometers / 7 miles descent)

Hiking Time: 7 to 8 hours ascent (and 4 to 6 hours descent)

Habitat Moved: Arctic / rain-forest

Day 06

Descend from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

This is the final day of this 6 Days’ hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro. After your breakfast at Mweka Camp, you will descend to the Mweka- Park Gate where you will be awarded your summit certificates for either the Uhuru peak or Kibo peak. As you descend along the lower part of the forest trail towards the button of the mountain, you will realize that the terrain is very muddy as slippery. So once again, you will use your trekking poles together with the gaiters. You will continue to walk for approximately one hour until you make it to Mweka village.

Your driver will be waiting for you at Mweka village, and he will transfer you back to your hotel in Moshi town.

Route Plan: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 feet to 5,380 feet

Distance: 10 kilometers / 6 miles

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours

Habitat covered: Rain Forest

6 day Climb Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Prices

Price depends on number of persons. Please request for your best discounted price depending on how many persons are coming with you.

6 Days Umbwe Route Kilimanjaro Trails

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