" /> 8 Days Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route - Ashford Tours & Travel Ltd

8 Days Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

(6 Days on the Mountain)

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  • Ideal for experienced high altitude climbers
  • Un crowded and beautiful terrain
  • Toughest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro

Umbwe Route 8 Days

The most challenging route to Kilimanjaro

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 travellers 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 clamber 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.

Day Destination Activities Accommodations Meals
1 Moshi Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to hotel. Tour orientation Chanya Lodge L, D
2 Umbwe Cave Camp (2,930m) Transfer to Machane gate for registration. Then to Umbwe gate (1640m). Start the mountain climbing Umbwe Cave Camp BB,L, D
3 Barranco Camp (3,950m) Trek to from Umbwe to Barranco Camp Barranco Camp Camp BB,L, D
4 Karanga Camp (4040 m) Trek from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Karanga Camp BB,L, D
5 Barafu Camp (4,600m) Trek from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp Barafu Camp BB,L, D
6 Mweka Camp (3,100m) Trek from Uhuru Peak (5,895m) then descend to Mweka Camp Mweka Camp BB,L, D
7 Moshi Descend Mweka Gate (1,500m) Chanya Lodge BB,L, D
8 Departure Transfer from Moshi to Kilimanjaro Airport BB

Abbreviations: BB – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner, LB: Lunch Box

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi

Our driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel for briefing. Your guides will provide you with a detailed orientation and will examine your gear. If you arrive at midday or before, you will have time to explore Moshi, a chilled-out blend of African and Asian influences with a colourful market and a choice of coffee houses and bars. Overnight at Moshi.

Day 2: Moshi to Umbwe Cave Camp

Elevation Gain: 1250 metres Walking Time: 5-7 hours Distance: 10.5km

This morning you’ll meet your crew, who will be with you at all times during your trip. After a sustaining breakfast you’ll be driven the 45-minute trip from your hotel through a lush landscape of bustling villages and coffee smallholdings sheltered by banana palms to the Umbwe Gate. Here, your crew will register you for your climb, while the porters and guides make last minute preparations. After lunch the real work starts. Your journey begins through dense green mountain rainforest. The air, warm and heavy with moisture, is redolent of the lush vegetation as you scramble and slide your way up an often muddy track through a dense canopy of rubber and giant fig trees. The route steepens between the Umbwe and Lonzo rivers, and you’ll need every ounce of strength to pull yourself upwards using the wild, strong tree roots. As you climb, you’ll see Kibo, unexpected, glimmering in the distance. Beneath your feet drop deep gorges. After a sumptuous dinner, you’ll rest overnight at the lonely Umbwe Cave Camp, nestling amongst giant trees and deep undergrowth, with the mystery of Umbwe Cave a short walk away.

Day 3: Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation Gain: 1150 meters Walking Time: 4-6 hours Distance: 6.5km

After a good, energy-rich breakfast you’ll prepare for today’s climb which takes you out of the rainforest and into the drier, crisper air of moorland broken with rocky outcrops. You’ll ascend through cloud forest, past thinning, moss-entwined trees, glimpsing more and more of the bright blue sky as you ascend the hair-raising and spectacular Umbwe Route ridge with sides that drop steeply until it flattens out near to the Barranco Valley. The Barranco Camp nestles in the valley below the Western Breach and the Great Barranco Wall, which you should study as this is your first climb after breakfast tomorrow! Enjoy a filling and delicious dinner gazing on the dramatic colours of a glowing African sunset.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation Gain and Loss: 300 meters Walking Time: 4-6hours Distance: 6km

The first thing that greets you this morning is the scaling of the 257 meter Great Barranco Wall, often called the Breakfast Wall as it’s the first thing you’ll do after breakfast! It’s challenging but more of a scramble than a climb and you’ll enjoy a total-body workout. You’ll top out just below the glorious Helm Glacier soaring above you, and from here the views are incredible. You’ll descend through a tumbling up-and-down route across scree and ridges through alpine desert towards the Karanga Valley, lying beneath the icefalls of the Decken, Heim and Kersten Glaciers. Overnight after a satisfying dinner at Karanga Camp.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp


Elevation Gain: 641 meters Walking Time: 4-5hours Distance: 3.5km

After a good breakfast you’ll attack the path that starts climbing as you leave Karanga Camp. The Southern ice fields of Kibo sparkle to your left as you journey the arid and surreal high alpine landscape, such a contrast to the green lushness of earlier days. The route takes you up a constant climb then shelves into a shallow valley with a short, sharp scramble and hike leading you into Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is situated on a rocky and desolate ridge, exposed to the elements but with glorious panoramic views from 15,000 feet up. You’ll be gazing at clouds below your feet and ice fields and the summit above you. It’s a tough environment for you to prepare your equipment and your mind-set for your final ascent tonight. Grab as much rest as you can before your 11pm push for the Uhuru Peak summit.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters Walking Time: 14-16hours Distance: 19km

It’s summit day and you’ll be woken at 11pm for hydration, food and a quick medical check. You’re very close now; but this section of the climb is the most dangerous. You’l l be climbing a steep gradient of heavy scree in darkness through the night as the temperature drops to below freezing. But as you reach Stellar Point, something amazing begins. Imperceptibly at first, then more quickly, the sky pales to the softest blue and as you look east, the sun rises apricot, pink and gold above the cloud horizon. Tramping through iridescent ice fields burnished gold by the colours of sunrise and past impressive, impassive Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, look west to see the giant shadow of Kilimanjaro spreading across the plains far below you. In another hour you’ll reach Uhuru Peak. You have conquered Umbwe Route. Marvel at the glorious vista with Mawenzi silhouetted against the blue skies and the dawn clouds gliding below. There’ll be time for pictures before you make your descent via breakfast at Barafu Camp. Your journey isn’t over, yet. You’ve a long descent over loose gravel through ice-capped outcrops and down to the welcoming moorland of the lower reaches. Mweka Camp nestles in lush vegetation in the mists of the upper forest and you’ll enjoy good food and good company as your body recovers from the harsh but beautiful experience of the night before.


Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi

Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters Walking Time: 3-4hours Distance: 10km

With Uhuru Peak a glorious memory far behind you, you’ll begin your hike back to civilization on a full stomach. The slope here is gentler than the ascent at Umbwe, but it can be slippery so watch those knees! You’ll have time to take in the misty cloud forest and perhaps even spot a Columbus monkey or two. Arriving at Mweka Gate you’ll receive your summit certificates and there’s an opportunity to buy sodas and t shirts. Our Ashford Tours vehicle will take you back to your hotel in Moshi. What a difference a week makes!

Day 8: Moshi to Kilimanjaro Airport

Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport, from where you will connect your flight back home. If you’ve opted to go on a safari – well, that’s a new adventure and we’ll be pleased to arrange it for you!

The Tour Includes

  • Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to the hotel in Moshi
  • Transport from Moshi to Park Gates
  • Transport from Park Gates to Moshi
  • Pre & post climb accommodation in Moshi
  • Kilimanjaro National Park Conservation fees (entry fee)
  • Kilimanjaro National Park compulsory rescue fees
  • Kilimanjaro National Park hut accommodation fees
  • Kilimanjaro National Park trained certified English speaking guides
  • Kilimanjaro National Park trained certified English speaking porters
  • One Porter per person for personal Mountain luggage (maximum 15 kgs)
  • Kilimanjaro National Park trained certified cook/Chef, utensils, cutlery, crockery etc
  • All meals while on the mountain and bed and breakfast in Moshi
  • Boiled water; tea and coffee with meals
  • 1 basic first Aid kit per group

The Tour Excludes:

  • Any Domestic of International lights
  • Specialized climbing equipments such as Oxygen cylinders (available at cost)
  • Travel insurance, Visa and passport fees
  • Increases in park fees where applicable
  • Personal mountain  equipments such as sleeping bags, walking poles, mattresses, duffel bags etc (available at cost)
  • Metal water bottles, water bladders (please note no soft plastics are permitted on the Mountain)
  • Tips/gratuities for guide(s), porters & cook
  • Beverages such as Soda and Alcoholic drinks
  • Additional unscheduled transfer form park gates to Moshi.

Tour Cost

8 Days Kilimanjaro climbing – Umbwe Route

Number of Passengers in a Group 1 2 3 4 5 6-10 11+
Per person sharing rate 1820 1355 1165 1065 1065 1035 920
Single room supplement all through 150 150 150 150 150 150 150

The cost may change if influenced by increment of park entrance fees, Government taxes

The cost may change if influenced by increment of park entrance fees, Government taxes

Payment Policy
– booking fee: 30% within 7 days after confirmation of the booking
– balance and full payments to be paid 25 days prior to safari starting date.
– Booking confirmed within 25 days to the tour starting date should be paid in full.

Ashford Tours is not liable for the progress of any booking incase of non-compliance of the above payment conditions. We recommend that you secure your booking with a deposit of 30% of the tour fees within 7 days of confirmation. The balance of payment is due 25 days prior to the tour starting date. Upon receipt of full payment, Ashford Tours will issue all relevant travel documents.

Cancellation Policy
If you cancel a confirmed booking, a cancellation fee will apply. A cancellation is only possible if communicated in written form. If you cancel a trip:
• At any time but over 45 days after your booking has been confirmed Ashford Tours and Travel retains 5% non-refundable deposit as administration costs on all services booked with us. We advise you to sign cancellation insurance at the time of booking which will cover cancellation fees.

  • Any monies paid will be refunded less the cost of cancellation fees levied by hotels or food expenses and administrative costs as indicated here below;
No of days to travel date Percentage forfeited of tour price
Over 45 days 5% Administration cost
25 – 45 days to arrival date 30% of tour price
24-15 days 50% of the tour price
7-14 days 70% of the tour price
Less than 6 days and no show No refunds. We retain 100% of the tour fee

• If you leave a tour for any reason after it has commenced we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.

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