Umbwe route on Kilimanjaro – by Dream World Adventures

A steep acsent, yet spectacular way up Kilimanjaro.

The Umbwe route on Kilimanjaro is also known as the “steep way” up Kilimanjaro, due to the steep slopes that are covered hiking on the first couple of days. It is advised to attempt this route should you already be acclimatized due to the nature of the first couple days of the route.
This can be done by hiking up Mount Meru, situated in the Arusha National park prior to starting up Kilimanjaro. Accommodation on this route will be in tents, included in the package, and the porters will pitch your tent for you.

The Umbwe Route itinerary
Distance from Umbwe gate to Uhuru peak 32km

Day one on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania

The first day of your itinerary, after arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, will be to traveling to Moshi in Tanzania.
Your adventure itinerary will start and finish in Moshi.
If you will be traveling by Air your arrival Airport will be at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a representative of our Tanzanian counterparts and be transferred to Hotel Springlands in Moshi.
This hotel offers great views of mountain Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
You will overnight at Hotel Springlands.

Day two on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 1 on Kilimanjaro

After a relaxing night stay at Springlands your first day on your Umbwe route Kilimanjaro adventure starts. Depending on what time your arrived at the hotel on the previous day, you would either have had a detailed briefing with your guide. Important things that needs to be covered are your equipment, if you still need to rent some gear this is the time to get all in place. Also the meals that will be prepared for you will be covered, if you have specific requirements or needs please remember to communicate this to your guide.
From Springlands Hotel it will be approximately 1 hour drive to Umbwe Gate, the starting point of your hike on the southern side of the National park.
While you sign in and register at the Umbwe gate, the guides and porters will prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment.
The guide will present you with a lunch pack, and drinking water for the first day will be bottled water that you can purchase at Springlands Hotel in Moshi.
It is important to understand that your acclimatization proses starts from day one, and you need to ensure that you allow your body enough time to acclimatize. Also important you keep up with water intake, in order to keep your body’s natural balance. Your guide and his assistant guide will provided the pace for your hike, do not try and go faster.

The first day you will be hiking though the rainforest belt that is found around the park. Although this section is short in distance, it is also very steep. Caution needs to be taken not to ascend to fast as this will cause altitude related problems later in the hike. Lunch will be provided to you in a form of a lunch packet at the gate.
There is a high possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience, ensure to have your wet weather gear handy in your day pack.
Utilizing the full day to reach your first camp on the route, The Umbwe cave camp at 2 850m, you can start relaxing as all the normal camp responsibilities are taken care of by your guide and his support team. Dinner will be prepared by the head cook, and drinking water collected by the porters. Have your containers ready to be filled up by the support team (water will be boiled).
While the water has been tested by the Tanzanian National parks board (TANAPA), it will be saver to use the boiled water that is made available. Using water purification tablets will add extra peace of mind.
Washing water will also be made available.
Your guide will schedule in a briefing with the group either that evening or the next morning, with a test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.
After enjoying dinner in the dining tent, you will retire to your tent for a good night rest, to be ready for the following day’s adventure.
Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at the Umbwe cave campsite, with the Sun normally setting & rising just before 7 o’ clock each day.
A good idea will be to take some reading material or some card games to keep yourself busy in the evening.

Start of day
  Umbwe Park gate 1800m
End of day    Umbwe cave camp 2850m
Terrain   Rain forest / Montane forest
Distance to walk   11 km
Hiking time   6 hours

 

Day three on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 2 on Kilimanjaro

This day for most people will be the easier day on the Umbwe route. By now you should be more adapted to the surroundings. If you have packed your gear like we recommend, in separate plastic bags, getting ready will be much easier. Breakfast will be early in the morning with a short briefing with your guide on what lies ahead for the day. Weather plays a huge role, but for most cases the day should be easier hiking experience compared to the first day.
After breakfast you will pack your last things in your duffle bag & your day pack, and collected water that is again boiled and easy for consumption.
The increase in altitude will be around 1 050m.
This section is also very short and steep, and can be done in a couple of hours. It is however recommended to ascent very slow as it will be of no benefit to just relax at the following camp.
After arriving at the Branco campsite the porters will start to collect and prepare drinking and washing water for each hiker.
Dinner will be enjoyed followed by a briefing with your guide and the daily test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.
The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Start of day    Umbwe cave camp 2850m
End of day    Baranco camp 3900m
Terrain   Heathland / Moorland
Distance to walk   6 km
Hiking time   4 hours

 

Day four on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 3 on Kilimanjaro

Start as early as possible to cross over the Great Barranco wall. The wall looks more difficult and intimidating than it is, but will still take you allot of effort to reach the top.
From the top of the wall a couple of valleys need to be crossed before reaching the Karanga valley.

In the Karanga valley runs a small river and this will be your last water point prior to your descending from the summit. Your guide will also advise you on this fact.
Overnight at the Karanga valley campsite.

Start of day
 Barranco camp 3 900m
End of day   Karanga Valley camp 3995m
Distance to walk
 5 km
Hiking time
 4 hours
Terrain
 Alpine Desert

 

Day five on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 4 on Kilimanjaro

The following morning we now continue on in an eastern diction, until the route meet up with the Mweka route, we then turn left up towards the Barafu camp.

Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.

Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.

Start of day
  Karanga Valley camp 3995m
End of day   Barafu camp 4673m
Terrain   Alpine Desert
Distance to walk   4 km
Hiking time   4 hours

 

Day six on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 5 on Kilimanjaro

Around midnight you will have to start your final ascent to the summit. You will be woken with tea/coffee and biscuits.
This part of your hike will be done at night to be able to reach Stella Point around first light.
This will be by far the most difficult part of your hike, as you will not only be hiking on a slope of loose gravel, but also be doing so at altitude. Remember to constantly be on the move and only take short breaks every 1 hour or so to avoid getting cold. Your equipment that you have on should be able to assist your body to warm itself, and to keep cold wind out, but when not moving this becomes more difficult.

Once arriving at Stella Point, people tend to stay too long and subsequently turn around at this point. Do not spend more than 10 minutes here as you still have the last leg of your trip to complete.

Another approximate 1 hour’s hike and you will have reached Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa!

After this amazing and emotional experience you will return to Barafu camp via Stella Point.
This will go a lot faster than when you summited and you should arrive back at Barafu camp before lunch time.
Enjoy a light lunch and a short break before continuing down with the Mweka route to the Mweka camp, where you spend your last night on the mountain.

Start of day   Barafu camp 4 673m
1st point of interest
 Stella Point at 5 756m
Distance to walk
 4,3 km
Hiking time   6 hours
2nd point of interest
 Uhuru Peak at 5 895m
Distance to walk
 0,7 km
Hiking time
 1 hour
Descent down to
 Barafu camp 4 673m
Distance to walk
 5 km
Hiking time   Dependent on hikers pace
Descent down to
 Mweka  camp 3 100m
Distance to walk
 7,5 kn
Hiking time
 Dependent on hikers pace

 

Day seven on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe route itinerary
Day 6 on Kilimanjaro

After Breakfast, you start your final descent to the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village.
Enjoy the scenery as you walk thought the rain forest. From Mweka village you will be transferred back to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch and a well-deserved hot shower.

It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of your trip. Tips must only be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel.
This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5756m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.

Overnight in Springlands hotel.

Star of day  The Mweka camp 3 100m
End of day   The Mweka gate 1 640m
Terrain   Rain forest
Distance to walk   10 km
Hiking time   3 hours

 

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