6 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

This 6-day Kilimanjaro climb follows the Umbwe route, the least traveled, shortest and steepest trail. The trek through Umbwe is a 44.9 kilometer available only as a 6-day program. Recommended only to experienced hikers in good physical shape.

Umbwe 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.

The trek is shorter and much more direct than the other trails, however, should not be attempted by novice climbers. Difficulty rating: Extremely challenging. Previous trekking experience is highly recommended, as the days will feature 6-8 hours hiking with daily ascents of 900m to 1,000m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 1,100m to 1,200m.

You need complete confidence in your ability to trek for many days over difficult terrain. The success rate of the route is between 60% and 70%, with higher chances of reaching the summit if you give yourself extra time for acclimatization.

The tour begins from Arusha with a 50-minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. Umbwe starts from the southern part of Kilimanjaro and presents trekkers with a steep climb and travels below the Southern Ice Field before eventually summiting from Barafu. 

In the first two days, you will gain over 4,000′ of elevation up to 13,000 at Barranco. From there, your options are 13,200 at Karanga camp, or if your guide deems safe, skip it and go direct to Barafu camp at 15,000′.

Your final summit bid will most likely be very early in the morning when you battle the effects of altitude, lack of appetite, and a strenuous 4,000′ climb to the summit of Uhuru Peak. Very worthwhile, and be ready for a long, descent from the summit (10,000′ down at least).

There are two possible camps on the descent, which are very busy due to the only decent route (Millenium, and Mwenka).

Below you will find a detailed breakdown of what, where, and how long you’ll be trekking should you opt to select the challenging 6-day itinerary for the Umbwe route.



Altitude (Meters/ Feet)


Altitude (Meters/ Feet)


Distance (Kilometers/ Miles)


Umbwe Gate

1,600m/ 5,249ft

Umbwe Camp

2940m/ 9514ft

5 to 7

11km/ 7mi


Umbwe Camp

2,940m/ 9,514ft

Barranco Camp

3,976m/ 13,044ft

4 to 5

6km/ 4mi


Barranco Camp

3,976m/ 13,044ft

Karanga Camp

3,995m/ 13,106ft

4 to 5

5km/ 3mi


Karanga Camp

3,995m/ 13,106ft

Barafu Camp

4,673m/ 15,331ft

4 to 5

4km/ 2mi


Barafu Camp

4,673m/ 15,331ft

Uhuru Peak

5,895m/ 19,341ft

7 to 8

5km/ 3mi

Uhuru Peak

5,895m/ 19,341ft

Mweka Camp

3,068m/ 10,065ft

4 to 6

12km/ 7mi


Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft Mweka Gate 1,640m/ 5,380ft 3 to 4

10km/ 6mi

Safari Itinerary in Summary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Umbwe Gate, Hike to Umbwe Cave Camp
Day 2: Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp
Day 3: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Day 4: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi/ Arusha

Safari Itinerary in Detail

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Umbwe Gate (1800 Meters/ 5450 Feet) – Hike to Umbwe Cave Camp (3,000 Meters/ 9350 Feet)

After breakfast, you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate (about 1 hour) passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. On arrival at the Parks Gate, your guide and porters will meet you. Sign the register before you enter the park for your first step to accomplishing a life-long dream.

Commence the climb through the rain forest with packed lunch on route. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you.

The path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth

Our hiking distance is 11 Kilometers/ 7 Miles and the time taken is 5-6 hours through Montane Forest.

Overnight at Umbwe Cave Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Lunch & Dinner}

Day 2 : Umbwe Cave Camp (2850 Meters/ 9350 Feet) to Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/ 13,000 Feet)

After breakfast we depart from the camp, the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth, and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you – etched against the blue sky.

The path flattens as you approach Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe ridge, the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.

Our hiking distance is 6 Kilometers/ 4 Miles and the time taken is 4-5 hours through Semi-desert.

Overnight at Barranco Camp
Meal Plan: 
{Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 3 : Hike Barranco Camp (4000 Meters/13,000 Feet) to Karanga camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet)

After breakfast, you will start your hike towards a steep climb up the eastern wall that leads us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some spectacular views of Kilimanjaro.

We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo, the trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, finally, we have a steep climb up to Karanga Camp.

The campsite is spectacular and very cold, so you need to be prepared.

Our hiking distance is 5 Kilometers/ 3 Miles and the time taken is 3 to 4 hours through the Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Karanga Camp
Meal Plan: 
{Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 4 : Hike Karanga Camp (4050 Meters/ 13,250 Feet) to Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/ 15,350 Feet)

A steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views through this empty and dry landscape up to Barafu Camp.

The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can be seen from Barafu Camp. After a hot lunch at the Camp. The remainder of the day is spent resting as we prepare for the final ascent before an early night summit walk.

Our hiking distance is 4 Kilometers/ 2 Miles and the time taken is 3 to 4 hours through the Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Barafu Camp
Meal Plan: 
{Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 5 : Hike Barafu Camp (4700 Meters/ 15,350 Feet) to Summit (5895 Meters/ 19,340 Feet), Down to Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/ 10,150 Feet)

0200 Hours: Wake up before midnight in the cover of darkness. We begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5,735 meters.

We will rest there for few minutes to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling good can continue slowly to make the two-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to the main peak (5,895 meters), which is the highest point in Africa.

After a few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment we descend to Barafu Camp. The descend is amazingly fast, and we stop at Barafu Camp for some refreshment. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp (3100 m): 13 -15 hours walking. Our hiking distance is 4 Kilometers/ 3 Miles Up and 13 Kilometers/ 8 Miles Down and the time taken is 5 to 7 hours up / 5 to 6 hours down

Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Overnight at Mweka Camp
Meal Plan: 
{Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp (3090 Meters/10,150 Feet) to Mweka Gate 1680 Meters/ 5500 Feet, Drive to Moshi

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi/ Arusha. Our hiking distance is 10 Kilometers/ 6 Miles Up and the time taken is 3 to 4 hours through Forest

Meal Plan: {Breakfast}

6 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Prices

6 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Rates Includes:

Rescue fees + All Park fees + Walking Poles + Pulse Oximeters + Sleeping Mattress + Summit Emergency Oxygen + Clean, purified drinking water + Clean, purified drinking water + All meals while on the Mountain + Fair and ethical treatment of porters + Private, portable chemical flush toilets + Quality Mess  tents with table and chairs + Crisis management and safety procedures + Professional, experienced, mountain guides + Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees + Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food + Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents

Dates From Dates To 1 Guest 2-3 Guests
Per Person
4-6 Guests
Per Person

7+ Guests
Per Person

1st Jan 2022

31st Dec 2022

2,695 US Dollars

2,445 US Dollars

2,295 US Dollars

2,145 US Dollars


* The best Months for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are January, February, and also August and September. July can be colder and November to December can be wet. January to February is the warmest months, almost clear of clouds each evening and morning

6 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route Rates Do Not Include:

* Drinks
* Laundry
* Flights and airport taxes
* Optional but highly recommended Portable toilet
* Highly recommended travel and medical insurance
* Items of a personal nature & Communication charges
* Snacks, personal medicine, and water purifying tablets
Lunch or dinner in town (option and extra charges direct)
* Sightseeing not included in the package; optional activities
* Health requirements (Yellow Fever compulsory if traveling to Tanzania recommended)
* Personal hiking/ trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in Tanzania
South African passport holders do NOT require a visa for Tanzania, however, most other nationalities require a visa for Tanzania
* Personal expenses such as transfers to/ from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)
* Tips or gratuity for guides, porters, and cook (average tip is anything from US Dollars 230 to US Dollars 300 per hiker – depending on the number of days / how many hikers in the group and route chosen)

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