The 6 days Umbwe Route itinerary on Kilimanjaro is unpopular with many climbers especially first-time climbers for many reasons. First of all, it is one of the most challenging routes on the mountain. it also does not properly offer acclimatization stages and issues attributed to fast ascent to high altitudes leading to low summit success rates in comparison to the other routes. The positive to this route though is that since it is seldomly used, you will have the mountain to yourself as the traffic of climbers is too low most of the year even in peak seasons.  We recommend this route to experienced hikers that have the stamina and ability to acclimatize quickly as this route may be difficult and demanding.

Umbwe Route MapSummiting the 6 Day Umbwe Route

The 6 days Umbwe route trail which is a rather short, steep, and direct climb, begins from the south of Mount Kilimanjaro and on reaching the Barranco Camp, the trail deviates eastwards and crosses beneath the Southern Icefield via the Southern Circuit trail before approaching the summit, Uhuru Peak from Barafu camp.

Descending the mountain via Umbwe Route

To descend Mount Kilimanjaro using the Umbwe Route, you will take a different route that is used by most routes on the Mountain. Mweka route is the trail that is used to descend mount Kilimanjaro for hikers climbing the mountain using Umbwe Route.

Tranquil Kilimanjaro offers Umbwe as a six or seven-day itinerary. The seven-day itinerary option adds an acclimatization day on the third day at Barranco Camp.

How to climb Umbwe Route

  • Before your Kilimanjaro excursion, make sure you have tried and actually used your hiking boots and shoes to avoid blisters on your feet, and consider bringing insoles and suitable socks.
  • Trekking poles will become your best friend, and some trip operators may include them in your tour ticket; nonetheless, it is recommended that you go on a few hikes beforehand to get used to them.
  • Make a packing list and double-check that you have everything you need before leaving; rentals will be available from certain operators, but you don’t want to be caught short on anything vital.
  • Drink as much water as you physically can to help minimize the symptoms of altitude sickness (AMS).
  • Most importantly, enjoy your expedition and take in the scenery.

Facts about Kilimanjaro & Umbwe

Name and height of the summit

Uhuru Peak is 5,895 m or 19,341 feet high

Amount of climbers annually

Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually

Last major eruption

Roughly 360,000 years ago

Warmest months

January, February, March

A day-by-day Umbwe route Itinerary Overview

If you choose the tough 6-day Umbwe route, you’ll find a thorough summary below of what you’ll be trekking, where you’ll be traveling, and how long you’ll be trekking below.

DAY START ALTITUDE (M/FT) FINISH ALTITUDE (M/FT) TIME (HRS) DISTANCE (KM/MI)
1 Umbwe Gate 1,600m/ 5,249ft Umbwe Camp 2940m/ 9514ft 5-7 11km/ 7mi
2 Umbwe Camp 2,940m/ 9,514ft Barranco Camp 3,976m/ 13,044ft 4-5 6km/ 4mi
3 Barranco Camp 3,976m/ 13,044ft Karanga Camp 3,995m/ 13,106ft 4-5 5km/ 3mi
4 Karanga Camp 3,995m/ 13,106ft Barafu Camp 4,673m/ 15,331ft 4-5 4km/ 2mi
5 Barafu Camp 4,673m/ 15,331ft Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft 7-8 5km/ 3mi
Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft 4-6 12km/ 7mi
6 Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft Mweka Gate 1,640m/ 5,380ft 3-4 10km/ 6mi

 

Additional information

DifficultyChallenging
Day 1

Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

Elevation: 5,249 ft to 9,514 ft
Distance: 11 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

The first day of your 6-day Umbwe climb starts with a 50-minute journey to Machame Gate, where you’ll finish your registration paperwork. After that, we travel to Umbwe Gate via villages and coffee and banana fields. On a forestry track that weaves through the lush rainforest, the route ascends quickly. As we approach the slope between two rivers, which is encircled by massive trees, the trail narrows and steepens. Umbwe Camp is nestled in the thickets of forests.

Day 2

Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 9,514 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Heath

The second day of the hike takes you through more rugged terrain with scant vegetation and moss-covered trees. As we climb higher, we have a better view of Kilimanjaro. As we reach Barranco Valley, the terrain flattens out. The trail descends from Umbwe Ridge to Barranco Camp via the unusual yet magnificent Senecio Forest..

Day 3

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 3 of the Umbwe trek begins with a descent through a gully to the Great Barranco Wall’s base. Then we ascend the almost 900-foot cliff, which is non-technical but steep. We descend quickly into Karanga Valley from the top of the Barranco Wall, passing through a succession of hills and valleys. Karanga Camp is reached after a final difficult ascent. This is a shorter day designed to help you acclimate.

Day 4

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and arrive at a juncture with the Mweka Trail. We proceed up to Barafu Hut’s difficult portion. You’ve finished the Southern Circuit, which provides views of the summit from a variety of perspectives. To prepare for the summit day, we set up camp, rest, and have an early dinner. From this vantage point, the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks may be seen.

Day 5

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak - Summit Day

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

We start our ascent to the peak quite early in the morning (about midnight). This is the trek’s most psychologically and physically demanding section. At this elevation and time of day, the wind and cold may be brutal. We climb for many hours in the dark, taking frequent but brief stops. You’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular dawn you’ll ever see rising over Mawenzi Peak around Stella Point (18,900 ft). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent.


Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: RainForest

We now descend from the peak, heading straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, pausing for lunch at Barafu. The terrain is rough and difficult on the knees; hiking poles are recommended. Mweka Camp is located in the higher forest, so expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. We had our final meal on the mountain and a well-deserved rest later that evening.

Day 6

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

We continue our descent to Mweka Gate on our final day and obtain our summit credentials. It can be muddy and damp at lower levels. We go another hour from the gate to Mweka Village. At Mweka Village, a van will be waiting to take us back to the hotel in Moshi. This marks the end of our brief 6 day Umbwe Route trek on Mount Kilimanjaro

The cost of  climbing Kilimanjaro via the Umbwe route is as follows.

1 Person: $2,120

A group of 2 people: $2,595 per person

A group of 3 people: $1,770 per person

A group of 4 people: $1,655 per person

A group of 5 people: $1,595 per person

A group of 6 People: $1,560 per person

A group of 7 people: $1,535 per person

A group of 8 people: $1,475 per person

A group of 9 people: $1,445 per person

A group of 10 people: $1,420 per person

6 Days Umbwe Route Price includes

All transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel

Professional, experienced, mountain guides

Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees

Quality, waterproof, four-season mountain sleeping tents

Sleeping Mattress

All meals while on the Mountain

Quality Mess tents with table and chairs

Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food

Clean, purified drinking water

Conservation fees (part of park fees)

Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)

Rescue fees (part of park fees)

VAT (18% charged by the Government)

Surcharge for online payment of deposit (5%)

Price Excludes

Airport transfers

Accommodation in Arusha

Tanzania Visa

Gratuity

Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)

Meals not listed above

Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)

Below are the most frequently asked questions about the Umbwe Route on Mount Kilimanjaro.

What is the location of the Umbwe route?

It’s simple to get to the start of the Umbwe path. Starting from the south side of Mount Kilimanjaro, the trip is straightforward but not without its challenges. The Umbwe trail, also known as the mountain’s most difficult track, comprises a difficult vertical climb through the rainforest and, in some parts, tree roots that operate as a natural ladder.

The landscape is the greatest reward, aside from the physically demanding trek. Along each stage of the voyage, your eyes will be treated to breathtaking sights. The Umbwe route begins in the southern section of Kilimanjaro, presenting trekkers with a difficult ascent, and traverses beneath the Southern Ice Field before summiting from Barafu.

The trail of Umbwe Route does not go through the famous Crater Camp

Is the Umbwe route difficult?

The trail is shorter and more direct than the others, although it is not recommended for beginning climbers. It’s not a difficult climb, but it’s a physically and psychologically demanding trek. Previous trekking experience is strongly advised, since the days will consist of 6-8 hours of hiking with daily ascents of 900m to 1,000m, with the occasional day going to 1,100m to 1,200m. You may be walking at a height of above 3,500m depending on the route. You must have entire faith in your abilities to journey through challenging terrain for several days.

Some climbs may need the use of ice axes and crampons due to altitude and weather extremes. The hike will require physical and mental stamina to finish since the days will be long.

• Difficulty level: Extremely difficult
• Elevation: The Umbwe trail ascends to the summit, reaching 5,895 meters and the Uhuru peak (19,341 feet)
• Duration: The Umbwe route may be done in five days, although this is not recommended due to the lack of acclimatization days and low success rates. The majority of itineraries go for 6 or 7 days to allow for acclimatization.

• Terrain conditions: The trail is steep, and you’ll be trudging through rocky outcrops and, in some parts, clinging to tree branches as you drag yourself up the slope. You will experience severe winds and be exposed to the elements as you go to the high alpine zone.

What is the Umbwe route’s success rate?

The Umbwe route, regarded as Kilimanjaro’s most challenging, should only be attempted by experienced climbers. The path has a 60-70 percent success rate, with better odds of reaching the summit if you allow extra time for acclimatization.

What should I do to be ready for the Umbwe route?

Any physical exercise you can undertake before to your climb will make it more fun. The intensity of your training will vary depending on whether you’re going for the Uhuru Peak or a shorter trek, and it will be different for everyone.

When is the best time to climb the Umbwe route?

The Umbwe trail is accessible all year, but it may be wet and chilly, necessitating the use of appropriate waterproof clothing. Climbing seasons are January–March, and June–October. The rainiest months are April, May, and November.

What should I bring and what will I need?

While some trekking trip companies may provide part of the equipment, there are a few items that are non-negotiable, such as waterproof gear, a flashlight, sunglasses, adequate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle, and a cap or beanie.

What are the directions to the Umbwe Route?

Before embarking on your hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you’ll need to figure out how to get there and which kind of transportation is appropriate for your itinerary or trip. Travelers arriving from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, or Canada, as well as other regions of the world, have a few alternatives to choose from.

What climbing skills are required for the Umbwe route?

Mount Kilimanjaro welcomes hikers of all fitness levels and abilities, but reaching the summit requires careful preparation and rigorous training. To minimize altitude sickness and to enjoy your experience climbing Kilimanjaro, consider adding extra time to your plan.

What permits do I require?

Each visitor will be charged a conservation fee per person, per day to assist in the management of the national park; however, most excursions will cover the permits and entry costs.

Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days
Umbwe Route 6 Days