The Umbwe route is known for its caves. The first night you actually sleep at the Umbwe Cave Camp with two more caves that can be visited en route the following day. Because of the high risks involved with sleeping at Arrow Glacier camp and summiting via the Western Breach, all our Umbwe route hikes are re-routed, to join with the Machame route from night 2 on the mountain. On special request we can assist with Umbwe route hikes attempting to summit using the Western Breach / Arrow Glacier path and overnight at the Crater camp. Please note this can only be arranged through our higher quality Standard packages and a supplement rate will apply.
The main itinerary difference between the Umbwe 6 day and 7 day routes is the additional acclimatization day at Barranco camp.
Day 1: Kilimanjaro Umbwe Park Gate
Altitude (m): 1600m to 2900m, Distance: 11km, Time: 6 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.
First Formalities at Kilimanjaro Umbwe Park Gate before starting trekking. The small winding track leads us up through rainforest and along the Umbwe River. The porters arrive earlier than you in a camp is at Umbwe Cave Camp and prepare tents and food, at about 2,900m altitude.
Day 2: Umbwe Camp to Baranco Camp
Altitude(m): 2940m to 3970m, Distance: 6km, Time: 4-5 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.
After breakfast, start hiking and shortly afterwards the forests ends. The wall of the Western Breach appearing and disappearing as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco. We will camp at Barranco camp tonight.
Day 3: Baranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Altitude (m): 3950m to 3930m, Distance: 7 km, Hiking Time: 4 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert.
This day we start 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.
Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu
Altitude (m): 3930m to 4600m, Distance: 6kms, Hiking Time: 3 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert.
Depart from Karanga campsite and 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.
Day 5: Barafu Camp to Mweka Hut
Altitude (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.
Wake up at around 23:00 with some quick tea,chocolates 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. Walking sticks are needed for stability when descending to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Hotel
Altitude(m): 3100m to 1800m, Distance: 8 km, Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest.
After breakfast we descend down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and walking sticks will help
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