Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route 6 days is the hardest but most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak and it follows a forested ridge to the moorlands.
Day1: Kilimanjaro through Montane Forest
The climb starts from Umbwe Gate (1,400 m.) The path follows a ridge between two deep valleys up through the dense montane forest. On sunny days, and especially in the dry season, this section is very lush and beautiful; it can also be a very muddy experience, particularly if it has rained recently! It’s a steep and rough walk up to our first camp, Umbwe Cave at 3,000 m. [6-8 hours walking]
Day 2: Kilimanjaro through Moorland
The path gets steeper on this section, as you get out of the forest. One place it’s necessary to do a bit of climbing / scrambling past a 10 meter rock, but after that the path gets easier. The views starts to open up, and the vegetation is now the typical moorland, with giant senecios around, and the ice fields at Kibo is now clearly visible. Camp is in the Barranco valley (3,950 m.), which has spectacular views to both Kibo and the plains beneath. [4-6 hours walking.
Day 3: Climbing through Barranco Wall
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Ice fields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga (4,000 m.), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. There is plenty of time to rest, or for a short optional acclimatization walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp. [4-5 hours walking]
Day 4: Walking through Barafu Campsite
This will be a short but steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views to reach Mweka Junction (4,150 m.). We then climb steadily to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m.) The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before an early night. [4-5 hours walking]
Day 5: Climb Through Crater Rim
We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m.), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,800 m.) Millenium. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding the crowded campsite. [11-15 hours walking]
Day 6: Kilimanjaro Retrace through Forest
A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m.); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. [4-6 hours walking]
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