UMBWE ROUTE (KILIMANJARO)
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
The Umbwe Route is one of the most secluded ones on Kilimanjaro. It starts at the tropical rainforest and goes in parallel with the Machame Route, joining together at Barranco Camp on 3800 m point.
Hiking Umbwe you will see all the climate zones of Kilimanjaro from the rainforest to the famous glaciers. Umbwe also is the shortest way to Uhuru Peak due to its steepness, however the properly selected camps are always good to adapt well, that is why this route is popular for ski marathons.
Usually travelers do not favor this route because of the physical requirements to summit successfully, and the presence of acclimatization experience is highly recommended to hike Kilimanjaro by the Umbwe Route. However, it is a very interesting route and a real challenge for skilled climbers.
TREKKING FROM UMBWE GATE TO UMBWE CAMP
A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle to the entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park : Umbwe Gate (1,640 m).
After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group will start trekking up to your first camp : Umbwe Camp (2,930 m).
This will be a long trekking day that includes an important increase in altitude, so don't hurry. It is important to find the right pace for your group and stick with it for the rest of the trip.
You should also remember to take your raincoats : this route includes passage through a rainforest, where tropical showers are highly probable.
By the time you reach the camp, our professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary, put tents and cook dinner for you.
This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on :
- Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine
- Drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)
- Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.
At night you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude : because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.
TREKKING FROM UMBWE CAMP TO BARRANCO CAMP
Early wake up, breakfast and the start of trekking to Barranco Camp.
The rainforest will quickly give way to brush, and if it is not too cloudy you will be able to see Meru Volcano for the first time.
Trekking on the Umbwe Route for this day will be of a moderate length, and around lunchtime you will reach Barranco Camp (3,960 m), which is nestled inside a huge volcanic fault.
Lunch will be provided here, and then you have the opportunity to relax for the rest of the day, which significantly facilitates the acclimatization process.
TREKKING FROM BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP
Early wake up, breakfast and the start of summiting Barranco Wall (we recommend you leave the camp as early as possible to avoid crowds of the other groups).
Hiking up the Gorge wall is not difficult and only takes around an hour.
After the climb you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano.
Then you start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp, which features numerous ascents and descents during the route, but don't worry : our guides are experts at choosing an optimal pace for the group.
After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch.
After a couple of hours you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Barafu Camp with a 200-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.
Note : The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.
TREKKING FROM KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP
In the morning after breakfast you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m), the starting point for a night summiting Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).
Our team will set up a camp for you ahead of time, including tents and sleeping bags, so you can relax.
After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner.
It is better to spend the remainder of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.
ASCENT TO UHURU PEAK AND DESCENT TO MILLENNIUM CAMP
Departure from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro : Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).
Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude.
Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions.
After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired.
Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue your descent to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).
Note : Don't forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.
DESCENT FROM MILLENNIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE
The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest.
When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit.
After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park's exit : Mweka Gate (1,650 m).
After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook.
Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
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