6 Days Umbwe route

6 Days Umbwe route

Overview

This is a 6 day Kilimanjaro hike starting at Umbwe Gate and ascending via Stella Point. Note that it joins the Machame route in the Barranco Valley, and hence has similar levels of people on trail as the Machame Route thereon. There is a night time ascent to the summit and descent is via Mweka Route.

After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. Your first stop is atMachame Gate to collect your permits before getting back in your vehicle and driving to Umbwe Gate. After checking in you set off up through the forest zone. The first day hiking is not overly difficult but certainly steepens towards the latter end of the day. In the late afternoon you arrive in the first camp in time for dinner.

The second day ascends from the forest zone into the heath zone and there are some very steep sections here. Taking it easy is essential to allow your body to acclimatise. A picnic lunch is taken on route. Later that afternoon you arrive into Barranco Camp in time to relax for a while before dinner. The views of the Barranco wall and Western breach pertain to events some 60,000 years ago when this whole part of the mountain collapsed.

From Barranco Camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga Camp. Today is a relatively short day’s hike and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising. In the evening a practice walk for the summit is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable with the kit you are going to summit in.

Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp; yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the remainder of the evening.

Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence are the name of game to reach the summit (Uhuru Peak: 19341ft, 5895m) and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point (Alt: 18,865ft, 5750m) affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down however. The first stage is to get back to our base camp for a quick change of clothes and refuel before the long hike downhill to Mweka Camp. The downhill is hard on the knees and walking poles at this stage are highly recommended. You should reach Mweka Camp before dusk for your final night on the mountain.

After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well deserved shower! Later that evening you will be visited by Am Realistic Tour And Safaris Representative to congratulate you, to find out how the trip went and to answer any final questions you may have about your onward journey.