This is the perfect route for hikers looking for the ultimate challenge! The Umbwe Route is known as the most difficult route to the summit of Kilimanjaro and is only suitable for trained mountaineers. For those who can handle it, a unique adventure awaits filled with wildlife, sweeping vistas, and an epic climb to the top! An acclimatisation day is rarely offered on the standard program, but one can be added, giving the climber an extra day in the Karanga Valley.
The Route: This southern route will take you from Umbwe Gate through Umbwe Caves, Barranco Camp, Karanga Camp, Barafu Hut and finally Uhuru Summit.
Accommodation: On the mountain you will be staying overnight at tented campsites. Mauly Tours can organise accommodation for you the night before and after as well as transport to and from your accommodation both days.
Hiking Time: 8 km taking 6-7 hours
Terrain: Mountain forest
You will start your trek at Umbwe Gate where you will register and meet your guide and porters.
Your guide will take you through lush vegetation of ferns, moss and ancient trees. You’ll easily spot small bushbuck and monkeys in the area. There is also rich and varied bird life. The first days walk is relatively easy, and you will camp for the night in a small clearing along the trail.
Hiking Time: 6 km taking 6 hours
Terrain: Mountain forest, heather and moorland
In the morning your hike will lead you from forest to heath, gradually leading you to an edge with a steep drop on each side. Here you will see stunning views of both Kilimanjaro’s southern flank and across to Mount Meru some 50 miles away. The wildlife also changes in this area; jackals may be heard barking and the huge Lammergeyer circling overhead.
You camp for the night overlooks the Barranco Valley with views up towards Arrow Glacier.
Hiking Time: 6 km taking 3-5 hours
Terrain: Heather, alpine desert
Today you head towards the eastern side of the valley to the Great Barranco Wall, also called the Breakfast Wall, which will take some effort to climb.
Of course like all difficult journeys, the view at the end it well worth the effort. After this, you will head to Karana Camp for an afternoon of rest and acclimatisation.
Hiking Time: 4 km taking 3-4 hours
Terrain: Alpine desert
Today you will head to Barafu Camp at an elevation of 4640m. The ascent begins on a narrow, rocky path with a slight uphill slope. A relatively easy climb, today will prepare you for your summit climb tomorrow!
The evening will be spent preparing for your summit. So, get to bed early because you will be up at midnight for the final leg to Uhuru Peak.
Hiking Time: 19 km taking 13-15 hours
Terrain: Alpine desert, snow, heather and moorland
Today is the day! You’ll awake before midnight to start your 6 hour ascent. The climb will take you past the final waypoint, Hans Meyer point (5,888 m/19,318 ft) after which you will reach the summit of Uhuru Peak. You have finally done it! You have reached the highest point on in Africa at 5,895 m/19,341 ft. This achievement will be tough to top, that’s for sure.
After a moment of basking in your triumph, you will start your descent down past Barafu Camp to Mweka Camp. Here you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Hiking Time: 10 km taking 3-4 hours
Terrain: Mountain forest
In the morning you will head to the road, an easy journey after the adventure you just had! Now it’s time to say kwaheri to your guides and porters. You will be taken to your hotel for dinner and for what will probably feel like the best shower you have ever had.