Umbwe is not for the faint of heart. Though it is similar to Machame, it is much steeper and more rugged, and therefore we recommend that only experienced, very fit climbers attempt this route. It also does not offer much opportunity to acclimate to high altitude. Although we have listed it as a six-day route, it can be done in seven, depending on whether you want to summit via Barafu Camp or the Western Breach.
The Umbwe Route starts at the Umbwe Gate, where you can visit with members of the Chagga Tribe. Your trek starts in the rain forest, where you may see monkeys or birds. Your stop for the night is Umbwe Cave.
On Day Two, following breakfast, you start a very challenging ascent to Barranco Camp. You will encounter many opportunities to use your Class Three scrambling skills over the rocks. You will have stunning views of sheer walls and cliffs as you make your way to Barranco Camp. There you will enjoy dinner and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
On Day Three, after breakfast, you will start with more "monkey business" (Class Three scrambling) up the Great Barranco Wall. After celebrating atop the Barranco Wall, you will descend and then ascend into Karanga Camp. Karanga Camp also affords spectacular views, where you can see Moshi Town, with Kilimanjaro beckoning behind you.
Day Four involves a trek to Barafu Camp, which will be your base camp for the summit bid. Barafu sits at about 4,000' below the Uhuru Peak summit. After reaching Barafu, you will eat lunch, receive instructions to prepare for summit night, take a nap, and eat a light dinner after your nap. After dinner, your guide will give you your final instructions to prepare for summit night. Depending on you and your group's progress, your staff will wake you around 11:00 pm to midnight, with your summit bid starting once your guide clears you for departure.
On Day Five, you will climb to Stella Point, followed by an approximately one-hour hike to Uhuru Peak at 19,341'. After celebrating and taking pictures of the beautiful glaciers and views, your guides will take you down through the scree back to Barafu Camp. Depending on your guide's advice, you may eat lunch and rest a short time at Barafu. Then you will prepare to descend to Millennium (High Camp) or Mweka Camp, depending on your guides' advice and assessment.
On Day Six, you will wake and eat breakfast and enjoy your staff's rendition of the
Kilimanjaro and Jambo songs. After that, you will start your final descent to Mweka Gate. At Mweka Gate, you will eat a hearty lunch, drink Kilimanjaro beer and/or soft drinks, and have the opportunity to gift some of your gear and clothing to the staff. After that, this is the proper time to tip your staff. (See Tipping Guidelines.) Make sure you show your appreciation for the excellent service and their hard work!
Following the celebration, we will provide transportation back to your hotel, after which you can arrange for safari, an excursion to Zanzibar, or something else tailored to your needs.
Day 1: umbwe Gate to umbwe cave
Day 2:umbwe cave to barranco camp
Day 3:barranco camp to karanga camp
Day 4:karanga camp to barafu camp
Day 5: BARAFU CAMP to summit to millenium or mweka camp
Day 6: MILLENIUM OR MWEKA CAMP to mweka gate