Duration: 6 days trekking; 4 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending
Length: 81 km/50 mi total; 43 km/27 mi to summit; 38 km/24 mi descent from summit
Elevation (m): 4,095 m to 3,915 m/12,845 ft descentUmbwe Gate 1,800 m to Uhuru Peak 5,895 m and descent to Mweka Gate 1,980 m
Elevation(ft): 13,435 ft to 12,845 ft descentUmbwe Gate 5,905 ft to Uhuru Peak 19340 ft and descent to Mweka Gate 6,500 ft
Description This Umbwe is the most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. This route became famous when it was featured in the dramatic IMAX film Kilimanjaro - To the Roof of Africa. On the Umbwe, you pass through strange landscapes as you climb through five climate zones ranging from rainforest to the summit’s glaciers. The route follows a forested ridge to the moorlands, then traverses below the southern icefields to reach the Machame Route, which you follow to the summit. This steep, tough, and in places slightly exposed trek is suitable for a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. Because of the route’s steepness, it is seldom used, and trekking poles are useful on the steep, slippery slopes in the rainforest. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Umbwe you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. You can add an extra day to your itinerary to explore or relax along the route
Note We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the climb on the day you prefer.
Arrival Day: Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel in Arusha/Moshi for your overnight and briefing by our mountain guide
Day 1: Moshi/Arusha to Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp Elevation(m): 915m/1387m to 1,800 m 2,800 m Elevation(ft): 3,000 ft/4921ft to 5,905 ft to 9,190 ft Distance: 8 km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Montane Forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and an hour drive from Moshi/Arusha to Umbwe Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters pack your equipment and supplies, and give you a lunch pack. You start your ascent at the small Umbwe Gate just above the village and follow a gentle winding vehicle track for an hour to a signboard that announces the small steep Umbwe trail. The introduction is over, and you now climb up for several hours through a dense forest of rubber trees and giant fig trees. In places, you must scamper up steep sections of roots and rock. The Umbwe Camp is in the forest, and there are some caves nearby. You will be greeted here with a graciously served hot meal
Day 2: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp Elevation(m): 2,800 m to 3,900 m Elevation(ft): 9,190 ft to 2,800 ft Distance: 8 km, Hiking Time : 4-5 hours Habitat : Semi-Desert
Your day starts early with a steaming cup of tea coffee. After breakfast, you will climb steeply through thinning forest glades to Giant Erica, Heather, and drier air. You continue up a ridge that drops steeply on both sides, and hopefully, the clouds will part to reward you with a view of Uhuru Peak looming overhead. After lunch, you enter a zone of giant groundsels (Seneci Kilimanjari) that seem to guard the heights, and this garden is one of Kilimanjaro’s special treasures.
Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Elevation(m): 3,900 m to 4,200 m Elevation (ft):12,800 ft to 13,780 ft Distance: 7 km, Hiking time: 4 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, then you climb this imposing obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo’s glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in camp, your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring. This short day is very important for your acclimatization, since your summit push is about to start.
Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp Elevation(m): 4,200 m to 4,550 m Elevation(ft): 13,780 ft to 14,930 ft Distance: 13 km, Hiking Time: 8 hours Habitat: Alpine Deser
In the morning, you hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. Turn left toward the mountain and hike up the ridge through asparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut where you will receive a hot lunch. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. After an early dinner, go to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.
Day 5: Summit Day! Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Elevation(m): 4,550 m to 5,895 m to 3,100 m Elevation(ft):14,930 ft to 19,340 ft to 10,170 ft Distance: 7 km up, 23 km down Hiking Time: 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down Habitat: Scree and seasonal snow
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see asupremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha Elevation(m): 3,100 m to 1,980m to890m/1387m Elevation(ft): 10,170 ft to 6,500m to 2,920 ft/4921ft Distance: 15 km Hiking Time: 3 hours Habitat: Forest
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a nice hotel.
Arusha/Moshi: Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris to the Tanzania Nothern Parks such as trips to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and to Arusha National Park. Also we can arrange trips to Southern Circuit such as trips to Selous game reserve, Mikumi National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Extra Day for Acclimatization You can add an extra day to your trek by staying at Barranco Camp for two nights. Then, you will hike to the Karanga Valley Camp on Day 5, the Barafu Camp on Day 6, summit on Day 7, and finish your descent on Day 8. Adding this day will ease your effort, and amplify your acclimatization
Note that if you skip the rest day, you can visit Mawenzi Tarn on a 6-day itinerary.
Price: US $1,438 per person sharing (minimum 2pax) - 6 days climb
Extra days on the Mountain: US $240 per person per day
* Discounts available for groups of 4 persons and above
Please note: The price above is valid up to June 2013 for July up to December 2013 price is subject to change.
Price Above Includes: - Transport to and from mountain gates. - All parks entry fees. - All camping fees. - Rescue fees. - Guide and porters fees. - Guide and porters salaries. - All accommodations on the mountain based on three meals a day. - Cook and all kitchen utensils.
Price Above Excludes: - International and domestic flights (we can arrange on request) - Accommodation on the first night upon your arrival before climb and on the last day after climb (book with us) - Airport transfers (book with us) - Tips, drinks and all items of personal nature - Hard and soft drinks and tips - Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request. - All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)
All our tours are tailor made to suit our client’s needs, so should you require any changes or inclusions please complete the enquiry form below for more information
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I really enjoyed this tour. Of all the things I had planned for my dad's visit, he enjoyed this the most, and said it's what he would remember the most.
The tour guides were very friendly, professional, and knowledgeable on what the tour covered. All the people in the duration of the tour knew them and that gave the tour a more authentic and welcoming vibe. Very good tour, very good guides, and a very good experience.
If anyone else comes to town, this is a tour I will always set up for them. To show them the real Tanzania.
My customized 13-day trip in Tanzania was absolutely amazing!
From breathtaking Ngorongoro hiking to a taste of Kilimanjaro and local village visits, it was truly a life-changing experience.
My driver and tour manager went out of their way to accommodate my whims and made sure that my stay in Tanzania was a pleasant one. Unfortunately I fractured my ankle during one of the hikes I took, but I was taken to the hospital immediately, and taken a great care of.
I would definitely recommend this operator to anyone who's looking for a tour that's much more than just game drives.'
We went on a two day walking – canoeing trip in Arusha National Park. The tour operator also made hotel arrangements for the first three days we were in Arusha.
They stayed in contact for 11 months via email. The person I was in contact with Elifasi and our guide, Apolo Kihwil, meet us at the airport took us to our hotel. On our rest day we visited a school at our request and not part of the paid itinerary this was on their time.
Our guide Apolo was the best we had on our entire trip. He was informative, friendly and had a great sense of humor, we were rewarded with a dream trip my favorite giraffe and several at a time the last bunch we counted eleven, baboons, wart hogs, black and white monkeys, hundreds of thousand of lesser and greater flamingos on big Momella Lake he provide delicious lunches and was infinitely patient while we took photographs.
I would not hesitate to use them on my next trip to Tanzania and would request Apolo as our guide.
We had a most wonderful holiday in Kenya and Tanzania.
They looked after us very well and we were very satisfied with their service. The service provided value for money. The only comment we would make is that the email from them gave us the impression that we would be staying in a lodge but when we arrived we were in a tent. We were satisfied with the tented accomodation, however it could have been made clearer in the original email that it was tented accomodation.
The staff were very kind and helpful.
Tour Operators Reply:
Thank you for the client's feedback and contructive comment/suggestion. We are glad that they were very satisfied with the service we provided to them, despite their impression that they would be staying in a lodge instead of tent.
As per the first enquiry which the clients sent into our company, she stated that she will prefer to stay in Camping “Accommodation Preference: Camping” and the price given to them was based on Camping accommodation, and these was stated in the itinerary that “Dinner and overnight at the camp”
However, there was typing error at the end of the itinerary which indicates Lodge accommodation instead of Camping accommodation.
We will try our level best to make sure that this mistake will not happen again.
After having a wonderful safari in southern Africa organised through your webiste, we decided to return again to Tanzania after 45 years.
We booked a 19 day safari to visit six game parks...Selous, Mikumi, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Tarangari.
Our guide/driver, Hurumu, met us at the Dar airport and drove us to a hotel for our day of jet lag recovery. We drove to Selous first. We're not strangers to East Africa, having first arrived in 1963. By far, Hurumu is the best guide that we've ever had. He was extremely knowledgeable of wildlife, has great game eyes, a good conversationalist, and was very caring for all our needs. He understood our physical age limitations (74) but was not at all solicitous. Cool water was always available. Hurumu had the ability to always get the Toyota into position for the best photograph.
We made our initial contact the operator in 2009. Elifasi, in the office, worked with me to create the itinerary. He also was most helpful. While at Selous we requested an itinerary change. Elifasi made the changes without a problem.
The entire safari was most enjoyable and problem free.
The best of Kenya & Tanzania and they made that experience a reality. They were always on time, concerned about our well being and would without any reservations recommend them! The scenery and game viewing were all memorable and expectations met. Organizing the tour was also without any hassle
I went solo, a 50 something white woman, and me and _______ (I forget his name), rode around for 5 hours. It was a unbelievable experience.
He was a wonderful guide, I called him the "Mayor" because everybody knew him! He was so popular everywhere we went that I felt completely comfortable, safe, and like an invited family friend.
He showed me 3 or 4 neighborhoods, I met coffee makers, chapati breakfast cooks (had breakfast there with a Masaai family who stopped by!), a traditional herbalist (where I learned the treatment for meconium aspiration, I'm a perinatal pathologist!), herbal pharmacist (where I saw that fenugreek seed is used to facilitate delivery with prolonged labor), local market, fabric seller, and had a delicious lunch at an outside Swahili restaurant. I played with kids, talked with everyone, and really got a great sense of the community.
My guide also is very active in local projects and inspired me to help with a bridge rebuilding project he is spear heading. The bicycle riding was easy and really the only way to get around in these neighborhoods. It was by far the best experience I had in Dar, and one of the best I have had in my many travels in East Africa!