Umbwe Route 8 Days

Select a Trip Month
May 01, 2019 - May 08, 2019
$1,849 per person
10 spots left
May 07, 2019 - May 14, 2019
$1,849 per person
10 spots left
May 15, 2019 - May 22, 2019
$1,849 per person
10 spots left
May 20, 2019 - May 27, 2019
$1,849 per person
10 spots left
May 25, 2019 - Jun 01, 2019
$1,849 per person
10 spots left

    What's Included?

  • 8 day adventure, 6 of which include 3 meals a day
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Moshi, breakfast included
  • Airport Pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport
  • All Ground Transfers
  • Accommodation while trekking*
  • National Park Entry Fees
  • Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
  • Porter service on the trek
  • First aid kit
  • Trip completion certificate
  • Farewell Dinner

*The Umbwe Route is tent camping.

The Umbwe Route, while not technically difficult, is certainly the most challenging route to Uhuru Peak. If you are up to the challenge you will be rewarded with stunning views and fewer crowds while you climb through Kilimanjaro's pristine forests and foothills.

As you climb the environment shifts around you, from lush forest to alpine mountains while the Kibo Massif looms above you. The route combines with the Machame Route at the Barranco Camp, and continuing up the famous Barranco Wall to Karanga Camp. It's a half-day climb from Karanga Camp through high alpine desert to get to Barafu Camp where you will take a brief rest before the final push to the summit.

You'll break camp shortly before midnight for the legendary Kilimanjaro summit hike, a night climb for the last few kilometers to the Roof of Africa. Enjoy the sunrise from Uhuru Peak, bask in the view from the highest point on the continent for a few moments, and then it's time to start the descent to Mweka camp for a well-earned rest before your return to Moshi.

This route is faster and steeper than others on the mountain. Climbers have to be careful in regards to acclimatization on this route since they are spending a longer time at higher elevations with a relatively quick ascent.

Full Itinerary

Umbwe Route Profile

Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi

Pick up from Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Meet your guide and review your equipment in the evening in preparation for the trek the following day.

Day 2: Umbwe Gate (1800m) - Umbwe Cave (2850m)

(2850 meters / 9350 feet)
Distance: ~10.5km / 6 miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours

The day begins with a drive from Moshi to the Umbwe Gate, where you'll check in with the Park Service, weigh your bags and meet your porters. From there, you'll start your climb through the rainforest foothills of Kilimanjaro for 5 to 7 hours to reach Umbwe Cave Camp.

Day 3: Umbwe Cave (2850m) - (2940m) - Barranco Camp (3950m)

(3,950 meters / 12,960 feet)
Distance: ~6.5km / 3.5 miles
Trekking time: 4-6 hours

Today the landscape shifts from rainforest to mountain heaths as vegetation gives way to large rock outcroppings. You'll follow the narrow Umbwe Ridge into the Barranco Valley, where the Umbwe Route begins to merge with the Machame Route before ending the day at the Barranco Camp. You'll rest in the shadow of Kibo summit before climbing the famous Barranco Wall in the morning.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3950m) - Karanga Camp (4000m)

(4000 meters / 13,123 feet)
Distance: 9 km / 5 miles
Trekking time: 5-8 hours

The day starts with a challenging climb up the steep Barranco Wall. This includes some scrambling, but is not a technical climb. Remember to use your hands and look where you step and you'll be over the wall and dropping into the Karanga Valley before lunch. You'll follow the circuit across the valley to Karanga Camp, resting at 4000m.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (4000m) to Barafu High Camp (4645m)

(4645 meters / 14,240 feet)
Distance: 3.5 km / 2 miles
Trekking time: 3-4 hours

Day 5 is a shorter climb as you make your way to Barafu High Camp and prepare for your assault on Uhuru Peak. You'll arrive in camp early, and have some time to rest and prepare for your ascent that night. Pack your headlamp, water, and other essentials and get a few hours' sleep, you'll be back on the trail by midnight for the fabled climb to Kilimanjaro's summit.

Day 6: Barafu (4645m) - Summit (5895m) - Mweka (3090m)

(5,895 meters / 19,340 feet)
Distance: 5 km / 3 miles ascent, 12 km / 7 miles descent
Trekking time: 10-16 hours

Today's the day. You'll leave Barafu High Camp at midnight and begin your night climb to the Roof of Africa. This stretch will push you, as your body is tired and the climb keeps going through the night. Keep a steady pace and listen to your guides as you make it through the final stage of the climb.

Standing at Uhuru Peak, watching the sun rise and the clouds run below you, you'll be glad you kept pushing.

After a brief rest and a few photos from the peak you'll be back on the trail. Descending is faster and easier, but you have a ways to go today. Going down you will head back to Barafu Hut for a short nap and snacks before continuing down to Mweka camp (3068m/10,065feet) for the night.

Day 7: Mweka Camp to Moshi

(1640 meters / 5380 feet)
Distance: ~9km / 6 miles
Trekking time: 3-5 hours

From Mweka campsite it is a half-day descent through the forest to Mweka gate to collect certificates and meet the vehicle. Return to Moshi for the night, enjoy a hot shower and have a final farewell dinner with your guides.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, according to your flight time we will drop you at the airport or assist you in catching the shuttle to Nairobi. End of our services.


    Extra Cost and Exclusions

  • For visas please click here.
  • All the meals are included on the climb but we only include breakfast while you are in Moshi.
  • We suggest a minimum tip for your climbing staff of $250. (Please Review our Tip Guidelines).

    Climbing Gear

  • We will provide tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
  • We will provide a duffel bag that you repack your personal gear into for the porter to carry.
  • You are responsible to bring your own personal gear (Check gear list).

Solo Travelers

We don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Moshi and a private tent during the climb.

Discontinued Climbs

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and others may have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($40 per/night) and meals. Keep in mind, our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing fewer days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have made arrangements for the climb such as renting gear and buying food the deposit is not refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.


Who can go?
How difficult is climbing Kilimanjaro?

The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult with a good trail with the only really steep point being the Barranco Wall. The final push to the the summit ridge takes about 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.

Are there any age limits for climbing Kilimanjaro?

The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

While it’s not technically required it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is.

What should I pack for my trip?

We have a complete downladable packing list or if you want more details visit our blog post on packing for Kilimanjaro Machame Route.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Kilimanjaro?

March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.

I am landing in Nairobi. How do I get to Kilimanjaro?

We generally advise flying into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) as you will likely end up spending several hundred dollars getting to and from Nairobi. There is a shuttle service from Nairobi operated by Riverside Shuttle which takes 6 to 8 hours and costs $35 to $40 each way. You will need a Yellow Fever Certificate to cross the land border into Tanzania. You will also need a separate visa for Kenya. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and generally cost $200 one way.

Are any permits required for climbing Kilimanjaro?

Permits are required and included in the cost of the trek. You will get your permit at the Machame gate on the first day of the trek.

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don't have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.

About the trek
How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

The Machame Route requires 6 days of trekking. Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day which is spent at Karanga Camp.

How long do we spend walking each day?

The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 12 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.

Room and board
What kinds of accommodations are available on Kilimanjaro?

We offer tented camping on the Machame Route. Your camp crew will set up the tents before you arrive. Tents are on twin sharing and private tents may be available for individuals travelling alone. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Will my mobile phone work? What about internet access?

Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please speak with your guide and he may be able to arrange something.

Can I charge my phone or camera during the trek?

In general its best to bring extra batteries or a portable solar charger. In some cases the park rangers may be able to assist you with charging a device for an extra fee.

Where will our drinking water come from?

We provide plenty of drinking water on the climb. Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.

What about showers?

Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.

Where do we eat our meals?

Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.

Health and safety
What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! Please review our blog post (Training for Kilimanjaro).

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. The 6 day trip up Kilimanjaro is a fairly rapid ascent and trekkers should report any problems to their guide. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid and is Wilderness First Aid Certified. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.

Are solo female travelers safe climbing Kilimanjaro?

Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters
What should I pack?

We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

Tipping is an important part of the culture in Tanzania. Please review our tipping guidelines.

How much money should I bring along?

Its not required to bring any money on the mountain and you can give tips at the hotel at the end of the climb. The hotel has a lock box where you can store valuables during the climb. Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.

What communication options exist while trekking?

Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.

What if I end my climb early?

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Please check our Terms and Conditions page.