Sasha Aventura

6 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Umbwe Route

Tour Overview

Because the ascent profile does not give climbers much time to adjust to the altitude, Umbwe is mostly avoided. The likelihood of success is extremely low.

It takes at least six days to complete the route, but seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, which is on the mountain’s southeast side. Because the path up and down is close by, Umbwe does not have the same variety of scenery as Machame, Lemosho, or Shira.

The Umbwe is ideal for those looking for a challenging climb and is confident in their ability to trek over steep slopes regularly. Umbwe is also for those who have prior altitude experience and are confident that the punishing schedule will not hinder their ability to adjust to the altitude. Umbwe is also ideal for those looking for a quiet hike.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp 

  • Distance: 11 km Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft
  • Time to hike: 5-7 hours
  • Heathland habitat

The day starts with a 50-minute drive to Machame Gate, where you’ll complete your registration paperwork. We then travel to Umbwe Gate via villages and coffee and banana plantations. The trail climbs steeply up a forestry track that winds its way through the dense rainforest. As we climb the ridge between two rivers, surrounded by massive trees, the path narrows and steepens. Umbwe Camp is nestled among the trees and thickets.

Day 2: Umbwe to Barranco Camp
Distance: 6 km Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft

  • Time to hike: 4-5 hours
  • Heathland habitat

The trek continues on a rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees on the second day. As we climb higher, we get a better view of Kilimanjaro. As we get closer to Barranco Valley, the path flattens out. The trail descends from Umbwe Ridge to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest.

Day 3

  • From Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp, it’s a long journey.
  • Distance: 5 km Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Time to hike: 4-5 hours
    Alpine Desert as a habitat

The day begins with a descent into a ravine to the Great Barranco Wall’s base. Then we climb the nearly 900-foot cliff, which is non-technical but steep. We descend sharply into Karanga Valley from the top of the Barranco Wall, passing through a series of hills and valleys. Karanga Camp is reached after a final steep ascent. This is a shorter day designed to help you acclimate.

Day 4

  • From Karanga to Barafu Camp
  • Distance: 4 km Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Time to hike: 4-5 hours
  • Alpine Desert as a habitat

We leave Karanga and come to a fork in the trail that connects to the Mweka Trail. We continue up to Barafu Hut’s rocky section. You’ve completed the Southern Circuit, which provides views of the summit from a variety of perspectives. To prepare for the summit day, we set up camp, rested, and eat an early dinner here. From this vantage point, the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen.

Day 5

  • Uhuru Peak to Barafu Camp
  • Distance: 5 km Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Time to hike: 7-8 hours
    Arctic habitat
  • Mweka Camp to Uhuru Peak
  • Distance: 12 km Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Time to hike: 4-6 hours
  • Rainforest habitat

We start our ascent to the summit very early in the morning (around midnight). This is the trek’s most mentally and physically demanding section. At this elevation and time of day, the wind and cold can be brutal. We climb for several hours in the dark, taking frequent but brief breaks. You’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular sunrise you’ll ever see coming over Mawenzi Peak near Stella Point (18,900 ft). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent.

We now descend from the summit, continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping for lunch at Barafu. The trail is rocky and can be difficult on the knees, so trekking poles are recommended. Mweka Camp is located in the upper forest, so expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Later that evening, we have our final meal on the mountain and a well-deserved rest.

Day 6

  • Mweka Camp is located near Mweka Gate.
  • Distance: 10 km Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Time to hike: 3-4 hours
  • Rainforest habitat

We continue our descent to Mweka Gate on our final day and collect our summit certificates. It can be muddy and wet at lower elevations. We travel another hour from the gate to Mweka Village. At Mweka Village, a vehicle will be waiting to take us back to the hotel in Moshi.

Related Trekking Packages


6 Days Marangu Route


6 Days Lemosho Route


6 Days Machame Route

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6 Days Umbwe Route

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7 Days Rongai Route


  • Park fees (For non-residents) 
  • All activities (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer Meals
    (As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)

Not Included

  • International flights (From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (Tipping guideline US$20.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government-imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

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