8 days Kilimanjaro Trekking Umbwe Route

8 days Kilimanjaro Trekking Umbwe Route

per person

The notorious 8 Days Umbwe Route is our newest tour and the toughest route to tame the summit of Kilimanjaro. If you’re an experienced, bold climber you’ll relish challenging yourself on the unforgiving but uncrowded and beautiful terrain. You’ll enjoy breathtaking sights that few travelers see. You’ll experience the raw, primitive beauty of sun bleached rocky outcrops and balance along knife-edge ridges with water-carved ravines swooping giddily below.

You’ll climb upon the gnarled tree roots of ancient rainforest trails, traverse ice fields shimmering like frosted diamonds in the African sun, and sleep under sweeping star-filled skies. You’ll skirt round the dangerous mist-clad Western Breach, crossing each grade of alpine and glacier zone. Every moment will be a feast to your senses and a challenge to your body and character.

The Umbwe Route is like no other; a test of endurance amongst the majesty and grace of Kilimanjaro. As you stand proudly on Uhuru Peak at sunrise, you can say that you have conquered Umbwe. Although not technical, this route is arduous and the steep but short physical climb early on in the tour means there’s no time for altitude acclimatization. If you’re undecided or less experienced, try our Machame Route; more gentle but just as amazing.

As the shortest and steepest route on Kilimanjaro, the Umbwe Route is best suited to experienced hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly while tackling steep slopes. Due to its demanding nature, this route attracts less traffic than the others, making it ideal for those who are looking for a more secluded journey to the Roof of Africa, but its difficulty shouldn’t be underestimated.

Kilimanjaro’s Umbwe Route is typically climbed over six days, although seven-day options are available upon request. It approaches from the South, with registration taking place at Machame Gate, and traverses the dense rainforest at the base of the mountain before turning east and following the Southern Circuit to Barafu, Stella Point, and Uhuru Peak. Descent is via the Mweka Route.

When you Climb Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route with Tanzaniaflow tours, pre-and-post climb accommodations and airport transfers are included in the cost of your trip, and so the only extras you need to budget for are dinner/drinks at the hotel in Moshi and tips for your mountain crew.

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At Kilimanjaro International Airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Moshi. After hotel check-in, you will have a few hours to relax before meeting with your guide for a briefing.

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel (or similar)


Your driver will collect you early morning and transfer you to Machame Gate where you will complete the registration process. From here, you will continue further to the Umbwe Gate, where you will start your expedition to the Roof of Africa at 5,250ft or 1,600m above sea level. Today’s hike will take you through the unspoilt rainforest on route to Umbwe Cave Camp.


Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Cave Camp

Elevation (ft): 5,250ft to 9,515ft
Elevation (m): 1,600m to 2,900m
Distance: 11 km / 7 miles
Hiking Time: 6 – 8 hours
Habitat: Rainforest / Heath

Overnight: Camping Simba Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


You’ll start your day with a hot cooked breakfast in the mess tent before departing for your next basecamp, the impressive Barranco Camp that sits beneath the Barranco Wall. You’ll follow rocky terrain today with steep forest gorges and moss-covered trees until you reach the Barranco Valley and its magnificent Senecio forest.


Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation (ft): 9,515ft to 13,045ft
Elevation (m): 2,900m to 3,975m
Distance: 6 km / 4 miles
Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours
Habitat: Heath

Overnight: Camping Barranco Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Today you’ll tackle the mighty Barranco Wall, which looks far more imposing than it is. After breakfast, you’ll head over to the wall and begin your ascent using your hands in some parts to navigate the rocky terrain. After enjoying the spectacular vistas from the top, you’ll continue down through glacial valleys to Karanga Camp where you will dinner and overnight.


Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft

Elevation (m): 3,965m to 3,995m
Distance: 5 km / 3.1 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Overnight: Camping Karanga Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Today is a relatively short day for hiking and you’ll reach Barafu Base Camp at around midday. You’ll be leaving for the summit tonight, so it is essential that you rest, eat as much as possible, and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenge ahead. After an early dinner, you’ll head to your tent to sleep before a few hours. Now is a good time to prepare your backpack and hiking gear for your midnight departure.


Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
Elevation (m): 3,995m to 4,665m
Distance: 4 km / 2.5 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Overnight: Camping Barafu Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


It’s summit day! After hot tea and biscuits and midnight, you’ll leave Barafu Camp behind as you push for Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro’s summit at 5,895m above sea level. Today is going to be one of the most challenging days of your life, so prepare to dig deep, as you make your way through deep scree to the welcoming sign of Stella Point. From here, you have just an hour to go to reach your goal, and as the sun begins to rise over Africa, its warmth will spur you on your way. At Uhuru Peak, you’ll have time to admire the views and take souvenir summit photos before descending to Barafu Camp for a warm lunch.

You will then descend to Mweka Camp for your final night on the mountain.


Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp
Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)

Elevation (m): 4,665m to 5,895m (and down to 3,050m)
Distance: 5 km / 3.1 miles ascent / 12 km / 7.5 miles descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

Overnight: Camping Mweka Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After a final mountainside breakfast, you will continue your descent to Mweka Gate, where you will collect your certificate and spend some quality time with your mountain crew. You will then transfer to your hotel in Moshi for a hot shower and evening of celebrations.


Mweka Camp to Moshi
Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft

Elevation (m): 3,050m to 1,645m
Distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Equatorial Rainforest

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


After breakfast, your driver will collect you and transfer you to the airport for your return flight home, or onwards to your safari or Zanzibar beach extension.

From $1975.00 per person sharing


Day 1:
Arrival at Kilimanjaro international Airport We will pick you up at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to Hotel followed by briefing
Day 2:
Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Umbwe Gate, Hike to Umbwe Cave Camp Visiting: Moshi to Kilimanjaro Drive from Moshi to the Umbwe Gate (about 1 hour). Commence the climb through the rain forest with packed lunch on route. Elevation: 1660m/5450ft to 2850m/9350ft Distance: 11km/7mi Hiking Time: 5-6 hours Habitat: Montane Forest Meals: LD Budget Lodging: Umbwe Cave Cam
Day 3:
Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp Visiting: Kilimanjaro After breakfast, we leave the glades of the forest and follow an ascending path on the open moorland to Barranco Camp. Elevation: 2850m/9350ft to 4000m/13,000ft Distance: 6km/4mi Walking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Semi-desert Meals: BLD Budget Lodging: Barranco Camp
Day 4:
Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Visiting: Kilimanjaro After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft Distance: 5km/3mi Hiking Time: 34 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert Meals: BLD Budget Lodging: Karanga Camp
Day 5:
Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp Visiting: Kilimanjaro We continue up to the Barafu Camp. 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. Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft Distance: 4km/2mi Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert Meals: BLD Budget Lodging: Barafu Camp
Day 6:
Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp Visiting: Kilimanjaro Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), 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 you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft Down to 3090m/10,150ft Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit Meals: BLD Budget Lodging: Mweka Camp
Day 7:
Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi Visiting: Kilimanjaro to Moshi 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). From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft Distance: 10km/6mi Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Forest Meals: B
Day 8:
End of trip End of service, transfer to Airport for your flight home or extend your stay for safari