Umbwe route is just too steep for most climbers and therefore the least used of the ascent routes. The trailhead is close to Moshi town and the main road, so does not require a 4WD to reach. The first day from the trailhead to the Umbwe Forest Caves is very steep with climbers experiencing a very high altitude gain on Day 1 and Day 2. The route links with Machame route at Barranco from where climbers can split into the Barafu/ Southern Circuit or Western Breach Routes. Umbwe route combined with the Western Breach is a good climb for very fit, acclimatized climbers. It is perfect if added to a Mt. Meru or Mt. Kenya climb with cimbers already acclimatized, fit and ready to go. Umbwe-Western breach is a very tough but exclusive way to climb Kili.
In the morning, we drive to the trailhead for the start of a 6 hrs hike to our campsite at 2940m.
Overnight Umbwe Forest Camp, 2940m
Today, we have a 6 hrs hike out the forest, above the Breach Wall to the Great Barranco. We then descend to our camp, Barranco Camp 3900m.
Overnight Barranco Camp, 3900m
Today’s is an easy 4 hrs climb, up and down the mountain slopes via Barranco Cliff to Karanga Camp.
We arrive in camp n time for lunch.
You may spend the afternoon on a hike in the Karanga or resting in readiness for the climb ahead.
Overnight Karanga Camp, 3900m
Climb from Karanga to Barafu with majestic views of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. With lunch en-route, arrive at Barafu Camp at around in the early afternoon. Sleep early today in readiness for tomorrow’s summit climb, the longest day.
Overnight Barafu Camp
After a wake up at midnight with a very light breakfast, today’s 13 hrs hiking starts at 0100 hrs. This is the most difficult part of the climb with temperatures ranging from -4° to 5° Fahrenheit and most climbers suffering altitude sickness. Climbers are advised to carry as little as possible.
Flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, we climb for about 6 hrs to the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another 1 hr of climbing brings us to the summit, Uhuru Peak which standing at 5,860M is the highest point in Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy so climbers are advised to concentrate on their feet and follow the guide very closely. And the descent is no easier.
We reach Kibo Hut after about 3 hrs (around 11:30 AM) with opportunity for resting and some refreshments before continuing on the descent. We reach Mweka Camp at around 1700 hrs, having trekked for about 13 hrs for overnight.
Overnight: Mweka Camp (3090m)
We descend from Mweka to the base, gate approx. 5 hrs arriving before noon. You will be awarded with certificates for a successful climb Mount Kilimanjaro.