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The Kilimanjaro hike via Umbwe Route is the steepest and shortest path that has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. The Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route is for those who are seasoned high-altitude trekkers who are looking for a very challenging climb. The first two days on the Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route itinerary are extremely steep, muddy and generally making it suitable for well-trained hikers. The rapid climb on the first day with little time for acclimatization is compensated by the breathtaking panoramic views. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern circuit before summiting from Barafu. The Umbwe route is the least popular among all other routes because of its difficulty therefore it is not very busy. Our 8-day trip is open for climbers with high-altitude mountaineering experience.
|Day 01 Arrival in Kilimanjaro; drive to Moshi||950m/3,117ft|
|Day 02 Trekking from Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp||2,930m/9,613ft||5-7 hrs|
|Day 03 Trekking from Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp||3,960m/12,993ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 04 Trekking from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp||4,270m/14,010ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 05 Trekking from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp||4,800m/15,749ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 06 Climb Uhuru Peak and Descent to Millennium Camp||5,895m/19,341ft||9-12 hrs|
|Day 07 Descent from Millenium Camp to Mweka Gate||1,640m/5,381ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 08 Final Departure||-|
On arrival at the international airport in Kilimanjaro, you will be met by a Himalayan Glacier representative who will escort you to your designated hotel in Moshi. Later, in the evening, there will be a pre-trip discussion with our manager. You will be provided all the details of the forthcoming climb by your travel manager. You may ask as many questions to your trip guide and get a clear vision about your upcoming trip. The final part of your preparation is a final check of your readiness to tackle Kilimanjaro. After the discussion, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, we will try excellent Tanzanian cuisine which will introduce us to the country’s food culture.
In the morning, your guide will arrive at the hotel along with a support crew who will meet you and have another short briefing. After breakfast at your hotel, you will drive off to the Umbwe Gate (1640m) of Kilimanjaro National Park. After acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, you will start trekking to the Umbwe Camp (2930m). The route follows a foresty track through the rainforest before steepening between the Lonzo and Umbwe Rivers. As you will be walking through the rainforest, tropical showers can be expected so it is necessary that you have a raincoat with you particularly for this day besides the spare clothes. Umbwe Camp is perched between large evergreen trees and thick undergrowth, with Umbwe Cave a short walk away. On arrival at the campsite, your tents will already be assembled and dinner will be served to you.
Since it is your first day at this altitude, we strongly advise you to pay attention to the following instruction:
• Stay away from drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
• Drink as much boiled water as possible, at frequent intervals. It is best for your body if you drink at least 4 liters each day on your trek.
• To lessen symptoms of altitude sickness, take a Diamox pill. If you are allergic to certain medicines, it is recommended that you consult your doctor prior to your trip.
• If you experience any discomfort associated with your breathing and start feeling sick or get a headache, tell your guide about your condition immediately.
After breakfast in the morning, you will start your trek towards the Barranco Camp. The landscape changes rapidly from rainforest to moorland, with rocky outcrops and sparse vegetation. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge and if the weather is clear, you will be able to see Meru Volcano for the first time. On gaining elevation, you will also catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you. The path flattens as you approach the Barranco Valley and at lunchtime, you will reach Barranco Camp (3960m) through the beautiful Senecio Forest. The camp sits inside a huge volcanic fault under the shadow of the Great Barranco Wall with Kibo visible in the distance. After lunch, you will relax for the rest of the day to facilitate the acclimatization of your body to the high altitude.
Today, you will climb the Barranco Wall. Hiking up the wall is not so hard and takes around one hour to the summit. In order to avoid crowds of other groups, it is advised to make an early start from the camp after breakfast. On reaching the top of the wall, you will rest for a while and take photographs in front of the Kibo volcano. It is then time to take up a more difficult hike towards the Karanga Camp. After walking with an optimal pace on the frequent ascents and descents on the route, you will reach the camp and have your lunch. A couple of hours after lunch, you will hike further higher to get acclimatized and then walk back down to the camp.
Note: It is advised to take the acclimatization hikes seriously as they help you avoid getting altitude sickness and ultimately increase the chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro. It is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude that we recommend trekkers to do so as to speed up the acclimatization process.
Today, you will begin towards the Barafu Summit Camp (4640m) after breakfast. The camp is the starting point for summiting the Uhuru Peak (5835m). On reaching the camp, you will have your lunch and rest for a few hours. Then you will head out for another acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4800m). Coming back to the camp, you will eat your dinner and spend the remaining of your time resting and sleeping. You will begin summiting at night time.
You will wake up just before midnight. After having some tea and biscuits, you will begin the climb to the top of the Uhuru Peak. Relatively, it is an easy climb with only the high altitude as a challenging factor. Your trekking guide will monitor your physical and mental conditions throughout the entire journey. In about 6 hours, you will reach Stella Point (5685m) located on the crater rim and make a brief stop with magnificent sunrise views. From this point onwards, you may encounter snow all the way in the 1-hour ascent to the last point of the climb – Uhuru Peak, the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After spending some time drinking tea and taking photographs on the summit, you may descend to the nearest glacier is you wish. Then you will return back to Barafu Camp which will take around 3 hours. Here at the camp, you will rest and enjoy your hot lunch in the sun and after resting for a while, you will descend further to the Millenium Camp (3820m) to spend the night.
Waking up in the morning in the camp situated in a tropical forest, you will be relieved with the normal elevation and the satisfaction of making it to the top. Following a well-deserved breakfast, you will have a big celebration with your staff, present your tips to the guides and other crew members. Then you will descend down for three hours and head towards the park’s exit Mweka Gate (1640m). Hikers will be congratulated and given a chance to share their opinions on the climb in the guestbook. In the end, you will be presented with commemorative certificates in our office and transferred back to your hotel room. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure back home. The hotel check-out time is 11.00 am but if you have an evening flight and wish to check out from the hotel at a later time, there is an option to extend your hotel stay for an extra charge. If you wish to extend your stay in Tanzania for a few more days, then you have the option to go on a Tanzania safari or relax on the beaches of Zanzibar.
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