Kilimanjaro Climb, Umbwe Route 6 Days 5 Nights

Overview

This route is the hardest but many say the most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. The route begins by passing through the forest to the moorland area. From there climbers cross below the southern ice fields to reach the Barafu Route which is then followed to the summit. Accommodation on the mountain is camping.

However all your equipment and supplied will be carried up the mountain by our friendly porters and delicious meals will be made for you each day. This route is steep and tough. In places it is slightly exposed and can really challenge an individual’s fitness. We therefore only recommend this route to those who are used to walking in mountainous areas. If you are interested you can add an extra day to explore or relax along the route.

Day - 1

Umbwe Gate (1,800m/5806ft) to Bivouac Camp (2,900m/9355ft)

  • Hiking Time: Approx five to six hours
  • Distance: Approximately eighteen kilometres
  • Habitat: Montain forest

After a hearty breakfast your guides will come to collect you and you will drive to the gate. After registering at the gate you will begin by entering the rain forest. Living up to its name, there is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience.

You will have a welcome packed lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. The crew will set everything out at your campsite and all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Day - 2

Bivouac Camp (2,900m/9,355ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12742ft)

  • Hiking Time: Approximately five to six hours
  • Distance: Approximately nine kilometers
  • Habitat: Forest and Moorland

After an early breakfast you will climb for an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you will continue up a rocky ridge with great views of the icy breach wall and the great Barranco gorge below. The climbing crew will provide you with a tasty meal and you will then have plenty of time to sit back and relax.

Day - 3

Rest day at Barranco Camp at (3,950m/12,742ft)

  • Hiking Time: Depends on you
  • Distance: Depends on you
  • Habitat: Moorland

You will take this day to rest and acclimatize, thereby increasing your chances of reaching the summit. During the day you can take time to explore the local area and enjoy the scenery. You will dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day- 4

Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,742ft) to Barafu Camp (4,550m/14,677ft)

  • Hiking Time: Approximately seven hours
  • Distance: Approximately thirteen kilometres
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Your day begins by tackling the awesome obstacle of the Great Barranco Wall. Whilst initially an imposing site, its climb is invariably easier than anticipated. You will quickly appreciate how beautiful the mighty Kilimanjaro is when you reach the bottom of the Heim Glacier. You will then head down through the Karanga Valley over the ridges and valleys, and join up with the Mweka route. After another hour or so, you reach Barafu (Swahili for Ice) Hut. This camp gives you a real experience of the icy elements.

The camp is exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony ridge. You will appreciate your warm and cosy sleeping bags on this night! The summit is now only a further 1,345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. The team will help you to prepare your equipment and clothing for your summit attempt. You will go to bed at about 19:00 hrs and try to get some precious rest and sleep.

Day - 5

Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,742ft) to Barafu Camp (4,550m/14,677ft)

Barafu Camp (4,550m/14677ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895m/19,016ft) to Mweka (3,100m/10,000ft)

  • Hiking Time: pproximately eight hours to reach uhuru peak and another seven-eight hours to descend to mweka
  • Distance: Approximately seven kilometres ascent – and a further twenty three kilometres descent
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

At about 23h30 you will be awoken to some tea and biscuits and will make a move into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. Many climbers find this 6-hour walk to Stella point the most mentally and physically challenging aspect of the climb. At Stella Point (5,685m/18,339ft/) your efforts will be rewarded with a short rest and 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 highest point in Africa and achievement you will remember for the rest of your life.

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, before heading down to Mweka hut (3,100m/10,000ft). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. Here you will rest and feel proud of your achievement.

Day - 6

Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,000ft) to Mweka Gate (1,980m/6387ft)

  • Hiking Time: Approximately three hours
  • Distance: Approximately fifteen kilometres
  • Habitat: Forest

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate where you will receive your certificates; those climbers who reached Stella Point (5,685m/18,339ft) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,016) receive gold certificates.

You will be picked up and brought back to the hotel for a warm welcome, a cold celebratory drink and a hearty meal.