6 Days Umbwe Route Trekking

Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach and it’s the most hardest and challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro.


The Umbwe Route is the trail for trekkers looking for a true climbing challenge. It is a quiet, seldom used path that can be very difficult, yet very rewarding at the same time. This is the route to choose if you want to test yourself on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, far from the crowds that are found on the more common trails.

While Umbwe route is a non-technical climb, it does offer steep ascents and requires trekkers to scramble over rocks and tree roots at certain points. It is the hardest and most direct route up the mountain and even features several exposed ridges that are not for the faint of heart. The fitness and stamina of hikers may be tested along the way and it is best for experienced mountain trekkers who are looking for a challenge.

Because of it’s steep, direct approach, the success rate on Umbwe route is lower than some of the other routes.

To get the most out of this climb, trekkers are encouraged to be as fit and ready as possible, as this is a steady march uphill for the first few days, which is contrast to some of the other routes that make slow, steady ascents or wander up and down to aid in acclimatization.

Tour Plan


Elevation (m): 1600m to 2900m, Distance: 11km, Time: 6 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.

We will register at Umbwe Park Gate before starting our trek. The small winding path leads us up through rainforest and along the Umbwe river. The first night’s camp is at Umbwe Cave Camp, at about 2,900m altitude.


Elevation (m): 2940m to 3970m, Distance: 6km, Time: 4-5 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.

We leave camp and shortly afterwards the forests ends. We can see the sheer wall of the Western Breach appearing and disappearing as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco. We will camp at Barranco camp tonight.


Elevation (m): 3950m to 3930m, Distance: 7 km, Hiking Time: 4 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Today starts with a short, but fun, scramble, to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers.  We will stay overnight at Karanga campsite.


    Elevation (m): 3930m to 4600m, Distance: 6kms, Hiking Time: 3 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert.

    We leave Karanga campsite behind to meet the junction connecting with the Mweka descent Trail. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.


    Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m (and down to 3100m) , Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent , Time:6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent, Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.

    You will be woken at 23:30 with some quick tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers. We will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). At Uhuru Peak (5895m), we will have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose gravel going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.


      Elevation (m): 3100m to 1800m, Distance: 8 km, Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.

      We depart after breakfast descending down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will be suitable (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

        Tour Price Will Include
        Tour Price will not include
        • Arrival and departure transfers from, to “JRO”
        • Accommodation in the mountain and hotel 2 nights
        • Meals
        • All parks fees, mountain rescue fee, government taxes
        • Services for crew team and salary
        • Tent highest quality tent Eureka or Mountain hard ware
        • Transport to and from mountain
        • Emergency oxygen cylinder
        • Mattress
        • Items of personal nature such as passport, visa, travelers etc.
        • Tips for the crew
        • Medical equipment as hyperbaric chamber
        • Portable toilets: available for renting 110 USD/trip
        • Note Over weight, extra luggage will require an extra porter, at a rate of 11 USD per bag per day
        • Massage we may arrange for 40 USD per person

        Book This Tour

        Our classic tariff is an ideal combination of price and quality. We have selected comfortable lodges right in savannah centers for an unforgettable experience. Each lodge offers a cozy room with breathtaking scenery and all the necessities, including Wi-Fi. Chef-inspired meals, prepared with fresh ingredients are sure to please both vegetarians and meat-lovers.

        Our professional tour guides will tell you all about the wild world of Africa and lead you to some of the rarest animals on the continent

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