This route is the steepest with the shortest and most direct routes to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach and Uhuru Peak. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. However it is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.
This route is not used much. The Umbwe route is only suitable for people with extensive mountain climbing experience.
DAY 1: UMBWE GATE – UMBWE CAVE | MOORLAND
Elevation: 1651m/5417ft to 2944m/9659ft | Distance: 9.6KM/6MI | Time: 6-8hrs | Altitude gained: 1293m
Departing from Moshi driving to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here. The path follows a ridge between two deep valleys up through the dense montane forest. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
DAY 2: UMBWE CAVE – BARRANCO CAMP | MOORLAND
Elevation: 2944m/9659ft to 3986m/13,077ft | Distance: 4.75KM/3MI | Time: 4-6hrs | Altitude gained: 1042m
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we emerge from the rain forest and continue on a steep ascending path, along the Umbwe ridge as it descends slightly to Barranco camp situated in the valley. Temperatures begin to drop.
DAY 3: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP | ALPINE DESERT
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft | Distance: 5.2KM/3MI | Time: 3-4hrs | Altitude gained: 48m
After breakfast, we continue on a steep ridge up the adventurous Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction, which connects, with the Mweka Trail. This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
DAY 4: KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP | ALPINE DESERT
Elevation: 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft | Distance: 3.3KM /2 MI | Time: 3-4hrs | Altitude gained: 628m
We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles. An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT: 4.86KM /3MI UP | 5-7HRS | – MWEKA CAMP | GLACIERS, SNOW CAPPED SUMMIT
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft | Distance: 11.5KM /7.1MI Down | Time: 5-6hrs | Altitude gain: 1233m Descent to 3106m/10,190ft | Altitude lost: 2789m
Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
We continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers trying to stay warm and focused of the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way.
Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!
After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.
DAY 6: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI | RAINFOREST
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft | Distance: 9.1KM/5.7MI | Time: 3-4hrs | Altitude lost: 1473m
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
- Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
- Professional, English-speaking Wilderness First Responder & CPR certified Guide
- Proper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters)
- Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights Bed and Breakfast)
- Airport Transfers
- Meals according to the itinerary
- Drinking water and Full Board Meals
- All National Park & Hut Fees, Crew Permits and VAT
- Fair and Sustainable Salary Crew Wages
- Gate Transfers
- Complimentary Oxygen Cylinder
- Credit Card Transfer Fees
- Visa fees
- Travel or Medical Insurance is required and you should ask for Recommendation
- Gamow Bag
- Tips for porters and mountain crew (20% Industry Standard Recommended)
- Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
- Energy food & beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks
- Personal hire gear such as trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.
- Additional lodge nights if early descent from the mountain