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6 Days Kilimanjaro Trek – Umbwe Route

6 Days Kilimanjaro Trek – Umbwe Route

Safari tour package: A set-date, set-itinerary, group safari
Prices: $1750 - $1900
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 6 days
Best months: January - February, May - July, September October
Countries visited: Tanzania Tanzania
Parks visited: Kilimanjaro
Activity level: Extreme - Technical climbing (Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru)
Safari type:
  • Camping
THE KILIMANJARO UMBWE ROUTE (ALSO KNOWN AS THE “VODKA ROUTE”) IS OFTEN CONSIDERED THE HARDEST BUT MOST SPECTACULAR AND DIRECT WAY TO REACH UHURU PEAK – FOR MORE EXPERIENCED TREKKERS.DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL, IT’S NOT VERY POPULAR PROVIDING A NICE SENSE OF ISOLATION AND WONDERFUL VIEWS.

 

Day 1: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp

The day begins with a 50 minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. The trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rain forest. The path narrows and steepens as we climb the ridge between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe Camp is perched between trees and thick undergrowth.

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

Meals & Drinks

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

Day 2: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp

The second day of the trek follows rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro can be seen.  The path flattens as we approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest.

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

Meals & Drinks

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization

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

Meals & Drinks

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

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

Meals & Drinks

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

Day 5: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you  will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Meals & Drinks

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

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