This route is the steepest with the shortest and most direct routes to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach and Uhuru Peak. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. However it is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Umbwe route itinerary
Upon arrival to Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met and transferred for overnight accommodation at Your Hotel in Moshi or Arusha. Your head guide will meet you for your briefing, gear check and arrange for you to hire any equipment you may need.
Departing from Moshi driving to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here. The path follows a ridge between two deep valleys up through the dense montane forest. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we emerge from the rain forest and continue on a steep ascending path, along the Umbwe ridge as it descends slightly to Barranco camp situated in the valley. Temperatures begin to drop.
After breakfast, we continue on a steep ridge up the adventurous Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction, which connects, with the Mweka Trail. This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles. An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. We continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers trying to stay warm and focused of the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way. Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa! After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.
Today you will can have your morning safari activity before you are driven back to the airstrip for your scheduled light aircraft flight to Zanzibar. You are met on arrival in Zanzibar and are driven to your beach accommodation, which is Unguja Lodge on the southern tip of the Island. Most parts of the island take around an hour to drive to from the airport. The northern tip of the island, the Nungwi area, usually takes a little bit longer. You will check-in to your hotel where you stay for the next five nights on half board basis.
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles. From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!