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6 Days Umbwe Route

Tour Overview

The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route – one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude.

Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route. Real Life Adventure Travel offers Umbwe as a six or seven-day private climb. The seven-day variation adds an acclimatization day on day three at Barranco Camp.

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ITINERARY / tour schedule

Welcome to Moshi- the more quaint, laid-back of the small towns sitting at the base of the famed Mount Kilimanjaro! Upon arrival in Kilimanjaro International airport you will be met by our Real Life Adventure Travel representatives, who will provide transportation to your hotel. No activities are planned for the day. You are free to explore picturesque downtown Moshi.

Group briefing and pre-trip discussion. You will be introduced to your trekking guide, have a comprehensive gear check. You are free to explore some more, take part in informal group tour around town; visit the market or a local coffee shop for lunch. Moshi is a relatively small, comfortable city that has a reputation for being somewhat laidback compared to it’s sister city of Arusha so fee free to wander. There will also be time to do last-minute shopping for the trek if needed.

Leave from your hotel after breakfast and your gear check you will drive to Umbwe gate to meet your crew’s porters. You are ready to start the climb. Hiking time is 5-7 hours through the thick tropical rain forest.

Today is an important acclimatization day as you travel up to 3,950 m before spending the night at Barranco. You will ascend through the moorlands to the alpine zone where the only plant life is the heartiest of grasses and lichens. This is the high altitude desert, with glorious views of the Western Breach of Kibo. After about 4 hours the path forks to the right and descends into a gorge (‘Barranco’ in Swahili). There is a fair bit of ‘up and down’ walking today which can be quite tiring.

In the morning you will climb the Barranco wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. Wonderful views are to be had of Kibo’s Southern glaciers if the weather is clear. This is a relatively short day, and you should arrive at your camp located just after the Karanga Valley set atop a ridge by lunchtime. Today is a valuable acclimatization day as you will be walking for the morning only and descending various ridges and valleys during your walk.
Hike from Karanga to half way Between barafu Camp and then return to the lower elevation of Karanga Camp for hot lunch and relaxation.

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction, which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.

At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. 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.

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).

For those returning home, will be tranfered to the airport to catch your flight. For those going on a safari or Zanzibar will be picked up at your hotel on the next day for your trip.

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We are Qualified for the best quality equipment for your Safari or Hiking Adventure in Tanzania. If you have a plan to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and you don’t want to carry heavy bags, or you want quality camping gear, We got you covered!

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