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
Our unique relationship with our tour operators ensures only people who have participated in a trip after making an enquiry for it at The Africa Guide can leave a review.
The email we send you when you make an enquiry has full instructions for registering a booking and leaving a review - both are free services.
Feel free to read through the reviews for any trip you like the look of.
Trips with no reviews are usually new to the The Africa Guide but are normally operated by a tour operator who is established here. Most tour operators listing here will usually have gained reviews about other trips they have listed here.
Thanks for visiting, happy travels and don't forget to send us your reviews...
I am very happy to provide feedback on our recently completed trip to Tanzania.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time on all our days in Tanzania and couldn't have asked for a better guide than Apollo.
Despite the odd puncture, which seems to be an occupational hazard for any vehicle which drives on unmade-up roads, the entire trip went off without a hitch.
We were happy with the hotels that we stayed in and all the other parts of the trip that could be controlled by the tour operator, although to the surprise of our guide we preferred the Sopa hotels we stayed in to the Serena hotels.
The only downside was that the animals at times didn't co-operate by coming into close range for taking photos, but that's not something the tour operator can control and we don't consider that we can blame them for that (just our bad luck in some respects)
We would have no hesitation in recommending this safari operator to anyone, especially if they are lucky enough to get Apollo as their guide, and would rate the entire experience as a 9 out of 10 holiday. (we have been to quite a few places in the world including the Galapagos Islands, Borneo, China, India, Hong Kong and Japan and have yet to rate anything a 10. But this last trip has probably come the closest)
I just returned from a 13 day safari to Kenya and Tanzani. It a was fantastic trip and the price was great too !! It was my second trip to Africa and my first with this tour operator.
We were 4 women (aged 25-69) and we had our own private safari vehicle in both Kenya and Tanzania. This is very important, especially for first time safari travelers, to have your own window even with the pop-up top. The vehicle we had seated 9, but it was our private vehicle as promised by the safari operator. We saw countless safari vehicles so packed with people that it was obvious that not everyone would have a great view.
We first went to Kenya, then Tanzania, then back to Kenya to spend our final night at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.The guide for Kenya was Jonathon. He was wonderful, the best! Reliable, knowledgeable about the parks, the animals and so accommodating that when we returned to Nairobi after Tanzania we asked for him again. I just can't say enough good things about Jonathon. He was there upon our arrival in Nairobi and for the next 8 days in Kenya. When I lost my battery charger he found a place for me to replace it and drove me into the town. (warning...the lodges we stayed at did not carry camera equipment). Saw the Big 5, saw the aftermath of a kill, saw lions, giraffe, leopard, cheetah...you name it, we saw it - every day!
Our guide for Tanzania was Apollo and again we had the best guide in Tanzania. Apollo clearly loves his job and is so enthusiastic its infectious. He is very knowledgeable and fun to be with...great sense of humor as he loved to tease us. Apollo also was very accommodating (stopping when we screamed "simama" because we saw a shop we wanted to spend some time in or we wanted to back up for a certain picture. When we were in the Serengeti he pulled over to the side of the road because he spotted a male lion. (both of our guides had vision that's hard to believe) Right after we pulled up the lion came out of the high grass, walked across the road in back of our truck, then came around to the front and sat down in the road in front of us. Amazing! This is how we saw many animals, up close and personal.
We also got to meet Chislon, our agent, in Arusha. I can't tell you how many emails we sent back and forth to get the final itinerary. He worked very hard for us to get exactly what we wanted.
The food and accommodations were great, especially the SOPA Lodges. You will never go hungry. Too much food...we all gained weight! The one place I wasn't comfortable in was the Katikati Tented Camp in Serengenti. I think this would be wonderful for families but it was a little too rough-hewn for us older women. The 25 year old didn't mind it at all...she said that's what camping is about.
Our final night was spent at Giraffe Manor. This is very pricey but well worth it. You get to feed the giraffes up close and they even come to your bedroom window for food. You can also have breakfast with them as they stick their heads in the dining room. The really cater to you at Giraffe Manor and if you can afford to splurge this is the place to do it, even if only for one night.
Our itinerary was Samburu Reserve, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara in Kenya, then Serengeti, Ngorongoro and the Crater, Tarangire National Park, Arusha in Tanzania and then Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.
It was a very busy itinerary and my only regret was not scheduling time in Zanzibar between Kenya and Tanzania.
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 a 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 this was stated in the itinerary “Dinner and overnight at the camp”
However, there was a 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.