Umbwe route


What to expect on the Umbwe Route?

Starts at: 1,600 M

Best for: Very experienced climbers

Known for: Difficult, steep slope

Hike Northern Circuit for: A shorter but challenging journey; add days as desired

Highlights of Umbwe Route

Steep slope:

Day 1 and day 2 will present steep and challenging climb before reaching Barranco camp at the end of day 2.

Barranco Wall:

This is a 257 meters - 843.176 ft. rock wall that you scramble to climb it. It is one of the best experience on Kilimanjaro.

Minimum Trekking days:

You can do it in 6 days. We customize this with more days and alternative trails for acclimatization.

You can do it in 6 days. We customize this with more days and alternative trails for acclimatization.

Umbwe is suitable for those who are are experienced trekkers or have strong physical stamina.

6 days Umbwe route


Day 1: Umbwe Gate (1,800 meters) to Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850 meters)

The day starts with a drive to Umbwe gate for registration and all required procedure. Trekking starts from the rain forest presence. Expect the trail to be mud & wet.
Umbwe route was traditionally a route utilized by those who took the steep western breach and Arrow’s glacier approach to the summit. 

  • Distance: 11km
  • Trekking time: 6-7 hours
  • Zone: Montane Rainforest
  • Altitude gain: 1,050 meters

Day 2: Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850 meters) to Barranco Camp (3,900 meters)

After breakfast and check up at the campsite the trek will begin by finalizing part of the rain forest. Multiple colors of trees will create nice scenery and view which will attract visitors. Expect a very challenging hike on this day up to Barannco campsite. We will pass through the moorland and heath zone and you will be enjoying some wonderful views of Barannco valleys and ice cap on top of the mountain.

  • Distance: 6km
  • Trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest
  • Altitude gain: 1,050 meters
  • Altitude gain: 95 meters

Day 3: Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) to Karanga Camp (3,995 meters)

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. Once more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization. Baranco is among most of climber’s memorable area.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 4 Barafu Camp

Day 4: Karanga Camp (3,995 meters) to Barafu Camp (4,673 meters)

We leave Karanga Camp and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka descending Route. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are well viewable from this position.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Distance: 4 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Barafu Camp (4,673 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Mweka Camp (3,100 meters)

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenger portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent but short breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak (Independence Peak) – the Africa’s highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro. People will be taking photos for memories here and shout of joy for accomplishment.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Descending Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

On our last day, we continue the descent,at lower elevations it can be wet and muddy to Mweka Gate, The summit certificates will be awarded for our summit conquers upon the Gate.

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

From the gate, we continue for about another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to your hotel in Moshi Town.

Please note:

  • Itineraries are flexible and customizable to your needs.
  • Airport pick up and drop off are optional, meaning if you are already in Moshi or Arusha or you can arrange your own airport transfers, we can take them out of the price for this tour.
  • Pre- and post-climb accommodations are optional.

Trekking Packages

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Inquire Umbwe route trek

Umbwe treks start at $2,400 per person. Inquire for a quote below.