Umbwe Route

6 days
T4 trails
Distance: 15 - 20 km / 9 - 12 mi per day
500 - 1000 m / 1640 - 3281 ft ascent per day

> Defeat the most difficult trail of the Kilimanjaro
> Almost no traffic on the route
> dazzling sunrise views at the Uhuru Peak (5,985m)

You came to Tanzania because you want to have the greatest adventure? Conquer the roof of Africa over the difficult Umbwe Route and enjoy the deep, pure feeling of satisfaction when you finally reach the Uhuru Peak. Challenge your body to its edges and trek on the route, where you will meet almost nobody, except some other crazy adventurers like you.

In general the traffic on the Umbwe Route is very low, due to its quick ascent and short acclimatization process this trail has to offer. If you already trekked some similar routes and you know how much your body can take, then come and experience this quiet paradise for adrenaline junkies on Mount Kilimanjaro. You will not have to share the phenomenal vistas with a crowd of people, as only a few experienced trekkers will be on the same path as you.

The Umbwe Route leads you through the cloud forests of Kilimanjaro, heaters, wide tall grass landscapes and wildflower sceneries. With every step you ascent, you will discover something new and enjoy the views of the highest mountain in Africa. Open moorlands and the most incredible vistas at the Barranco Camp with its beautiful lobelias and giant senecios, will form unforgettable memories of your trek. Climb higher and higher, gather every piece of energy that is left in your body and challenge your way up to the Barranco Wall. This steep part of the trail requires you to use your hands to further ascent and reach the target of every trekker in Tanzania: the 5,985m high Uhuru Peak.

Now is the time to relax your body, take a seat on a rock and let your muscles cool down a bit, while you are waiting for the sun to come out. Slowly the sun rays will colour your surroundings into beautiful yellow, orange and red shades and the promised feeling of deep satisfaction fills your soul. Enjoy it, you just defeated Umbwe, the most challenging route of the Kilimanjaro.

Itinerary

Day
1

Umbwe Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) to Cave Bivouac Camp (2,850m/9,350ft)

Duration: 05:50 h
Distance: 9.1 km / 5.7 mi
Ascent: 1260 m / 4134 ft
Descent: 100 m / 328 ft
At 8am leave Moshi for Umbwe Gate where you will meet our porters, guides, and cooks who will spend the next six days trekking with you to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. After arriving, wait at the gate while we register your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations. Your first day’s destination is Cave Bivouac Camp, approximately 6 hours from the gate. The trail is steep and can be slippery in some places. Hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. The forest will thin later in the hike and heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers will come into view. Porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival.

Cave Bivouac Camp

Info
Day
2

Cave Bivouac (2,850m/9,350ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft)

Duration: 04:05 h
Distance: 4.92 km / 3.1 mi
Ascent: 1110 m / 3642 ft
Descent: 10 m / 33 ft
The first section of the trail continues following the ridge. After leaving the forest, continue through open moorlands until reaching Barranco Camp. Barranco is generally regarded as the most scenic campsite on the Umbwe Trail as it’s surrounded by giant senecios and lobelias. As Barranco is in a valley, the sun rises later than at the other camps.

Barranco Camp

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Day
3

Barranco Camp (3,950m) to Karanga Camp (3,930m)

Duration: 02:40 h
Distance: 4.45 km / 2.8 mi
Ascent: 350 m / 1148 ft
Descent: 270 m / 886 ft

Today, you face the challenge of conquering the Barranco Wall. While certain sections may demand the use of your hands for improved grip, actual climbing is not required. Your guide will be right alongside you, offering assistance every step of the way. Our video demonstrates that the experience isn't as daunting as some blog posts might suggest.

The route's series of ascents and descents serve as a valuable acclimatization opportunity before reaching the mountain ridge. Walking along this ridge allows you to absorb the stunning landscape, characterized by captivating contrasts between desert and vegetation. Eventually, you'll arrive at the mist-shrouded Karanga Camp, positioned at 4,035 meters (13,240 ft). Even through the clouds, Kibo remains visible, while the call of Uhuru Peak beckons.

Karanga Camp

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See entire itinerary

Included

  • Private transport to and from airport to your hotel

    Your trekking company is able to pick you up from the airport and bring your to your hotel. A transfer back to the airport is also included in the package.

  • Transportation to and from the start/end point

    The transport from your accommodation to the start point is taken care of. This also applies to the way back.

  • Four Season Mountain tents

    On Mount Kilimanjaro you're staying in our strong and well maintained four season mountain tents. Every time you arrive at your camp the tent has already been set up.

  • Double Layered Sleeping Mats

    Double layered mats provided by your trekking company will put you to sleep in no time.

  • Hot meals daily while on the mountain

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared during the trek. Your trekking company is bringing their own cook. Don't be surprised when you see an exclusive three course dinner on your plate.

  • Treated and filtered water

    During the trek you won't have a shortage on drinking water.

  • Hot water for washing

    Don't expect an extensive shower, but there will be the possibility to use hot water for a decent wash.

  • Altitude Sickness & First Aid Kit

    The guides carry an altitude sickness kit to monitor your pulse rate, oxygen saturation and heart rate twice a day (very useful for monitoring the symptoms of altitude sickness (AMS) at altitude). Also emergency portable oxygen is carried along. On top of that the guides are qualified Wilderness First Responders.

  • KINAPA Rescue Fee

    The fees for the Kilimanjaro Rescue Team are covered. This is managed by KINAPA, Kilimanjaro National Parks. Interesting fact: Kinapa means “We carry each other” in Swahili.

  • Park fee, camping fee, VAT and other taxes

    The park entry fees, the crater fee, camping fee and value added tax are included in the price.

  • Fair salary, food, insurance and accommodation for guide and porter(s)

    The total amount covers not only your own basics, but also those of your guide and porter. No unpleasant surprises.

  • Your own team of porters and guides

    Per person you generally have a team of 1 guide, 1 cook and 8 porters who will support you in your climb. If you are part of a group of four, you will be able to enjoy 2 guides, 1 cook and 12 porters. Although there will always be enough hands on deck, the exact amount of support staff varies per route.

Excluded

  • Visa for Tanzania

    Visas are required for all visitors, and cost about $50. For most nationalities it is possible to get a visa upon arrival when you arrive at the airport in Tanzania. Check with your local Tanzanian embassy or consulate to see what the requirements are.

  • Flights to and from Moshi

    The total amount is also exclusive of flights to and from Tanzania. To get an idea of which airlines are visiting Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), it is best to have a look at their website.

  • Personal expenses

    All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.

  • Travel Insurance Including Repatriation

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Tanzania.

  • Tipping

    Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous and read our blog post about tipping when you are planning go trekking in Tanzania.

  • Portable flush toilet

    Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is available for USD 70 for the entire trek.

  • Accommodation before and after the trek

    Whether you stay in Moshi, Arusha or anywhere else, before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation and meals.

FAQ

  • How Hard is the Umbwe Route? 

  • The Barranco Wall on the Umbwe Route

  • Best Season for the Umbwe Route

How to Book

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Contact our Trekking Expert
Sierd van der Bij
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