Umbwe Route: Is the most scenic but is recommended only for experienced climbers. It starts with a quick ascend, so it provides very little time for acclimatization. It is located at the southern part of the mountain and referred to whisky route because of its steep ascend. It can be climbed in 6 to 7 days. To get to Umbwe gate 1600m you have to drive to Machame gate first to get your entry permit, then you have to drive about 30km back to Moshi and take a diversion left to Umbwe village. 6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb – Umbwe Route Compared to the other routes it does not provide enough time for acclimatization because from beginning it is very steep.
Day 1: Umbwe Gate – Bivouac Camp
Habitat: Montane forest Hiking time: 5 hours After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from Moshi and driven to the Umbwe Gate. Here you can buy mineral water and will receive a packed lunch. At this time, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest. During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. Also, be on the look out for wildlife, including Colobus monkeys! About halfway up the trail you will have a lunch break and you will reach the Bivouac Camp (2940m) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served. For overnight, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Day 2: Bivouac Camp – Barranco Camp
Hiking time: 6 hours Habitat: Moorland After an early morning breakfast, you will start your ascent leaving the rain forest and entering the heathland moorland vegetation. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. As you ascent, the trail provides a spectacular view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The trail then flattens then descends into the Barranco Valley until you reach Barranco Camp. At this campsite, you will be next to a stream and have a spectacular view of the Western Breach and the Great Barranco Wall in the East. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Day 3: Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp
Hiking time: 4-5 hours Distance: Approximately 5 kilometers Habitat: Alpine desert After an early morning breakfast, it is now time to conquer the Great Barranco Wall! Although it may look intimating at first glance, hikers state that this Class 2 hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley. This is an ideal hiking day for acclimatization.
Day 3: Karanga Camp – Barafu Hut
Hiking time: 2-3 hours Distance: Approximately 4 kilometers Habitat: Alpine desert Following breakfast, you will leave Karanga Camp (3959m). The trail intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for an hour, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m). The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Day 5: Summit attempt
Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 – 8h to descend to Mweka Distance: Approximately 7 kms ascent – 23 kms descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers, this 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear. The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.
Day 6: Mweka camp – Mweka Gate
Hiking time: 3 hours Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers Habitat: Forest After breakfast, you will continue the descent 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 probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate you will sign out in Kilimanjaro national park log book and your guide will collect your certificate for those who reached the summit and let you enjoy your lunch before get to our minibus and drive to your hotel in Moshi for hot shower and beer