Umbwe route on Kilimanjaro

Umbwe route Kilimanjaro, More info on the Umbwe route with maps, distance, pictures, huts, reviews, success rate, package prices and more.

Umbwe route Kilimanjaro
  • The Umbwe route on Kilimanjaro is also known as the “steep way” up Kilimanjaro, due to the steep slopes that are covered hiking on the first couple of days.
  • It is advised to attempt this route should you already be acclimatized due to the nature of the first couple days of the route.
  • This can be done by hiking up Mount Meru, situated in the Arusha National park prior to starting up Kilimanjaro.
  • Accommodation on this route will be in tents, included in the package, and the porters will pitch your tent for you.



Umbwe route map on Kilimanjaro

Important questions and answers about the Umbwe route on Kilimanjaro


Why choose the Umbwe route?

If you have already done Kilimanjaro in the past, and looking for a fresh different route, then the Umbwe is just the route on Kilimanjaro for you.
Also if you are already acclimatized, having been up Mount Meru, this route will be perfect for you.

Why not to consider the Umbwe route?

Very fast ascend that may effect you as far as high altitude related problems.

What is the Umbwe route success rate for hiking on Kilimanjaro?

Official statistics are not available from the Kilimanjaro national park, but the success rate will depend on a couple of factors.

The Umbwe route will have you ascend very quickly each day, and this is in fact the wrong approach for hiking high altitude mountain.
Very few hikers will opt for the Umbwe route, but the route has a high success rate for those that adapt fast and have completed Mount Meru before.
No route on Kilimanjaro will guarantee you reaching the summit, but is that not the reason why you want to climb Kilimanjaro? You want to challenge yourself, with the reward being worth so much more at the end.
With Dream World Adventures, through our years of experience and logistical systems in place, we offer our clients a 100% chance of reaching the summit, helping you prepare for your adventure from mental and physical aspect.
Anybody with average fitness levels, the right equipment and armed with knowledge of what lies ahead will stand a good chance of successfully summitting Kilimanjaro and no prior experience is required due to it not being a technical climb at all.
Unfortunately though, altitude affects each person differently, irrespective of age, gender and fitness levels and the fear of ‘will I get sick?” plagues all of us before the time.

What Kilimanjaro tour packages are available?

If traveling from South Africa, we also have some great Kilimanjaro packages from South Africa.

Recommended days to plan for on the Umbwe route?

The Umbwe route can only be done as a 6 day itinerary.

What is the distance from the park gate to the summit of Kilimanjaro on the Umbwe route?

From the Umbwe park gate to Uhuru Peak, the top of Kilimanjaro is has been calculated by the Kilimanjaro National park to be 32 km.

Other Kilimanjaro routes that we also recommend

While the Machame route should definitely be consider, other routes on Kilimanjaro we recommend will be the Marangu routeMachame routeRongai route or the Lemosho route.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on how to climb Kilimanjaro?

Look no further than our Kilimanjaro online guide.
When booking your Kilimanjaro adventure with Dream World Adventures you also have access to one of our consultants that have years of experience in planning successful and safe Kilimanjaro travel packages.

Umbwe route itinerary

Marangu route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 01

Umbwe route itinerary day 01
Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania.

The first day of your itinerary, after arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, will be to traveling to Moshi in Tanzania.
Your adventure itinerary will start and finish in Moshi.
If you will be traveling by Air your arrival Airport will be at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a representative of our Tanzanian counterparts and be transferred to Hotel Springlands in Moshi.
This hotel offers great views of mountain Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
You will overnight at Hotel Springlands.

Umbwe route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 02

Umbwe route itinerary day 02
Moshi – Umbwe Gate – Umbwe cave camp.

After a relaxing night stay at Springlands your first day on your Umbwe route Kilimanjaro adventure starts.
Depending on what time your arrived at the hotel on the previous day, you would either have had a detailed briefing with your guide.
Important things that needs to be covered are your equipment, if you still need to rent some gear this is the time to get all in place.
Also the meals that will be prepared for you will be covered, if you have specific requirements or needs please remember to communicate this to your guide.
From Springlands Hotel it will be approximately 1 hour drive to Umbwe Gate, the starting point of your hike on the southern side of the National park.
While you sign in and register at the Umbwe gate, the guides and porters will prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment.
The guide will present you with a lunch pack, and drinking water for the first day will be bottled water that you can purchase at Springlands Hotel in Moshi.
It is important to understand that your acclimatization proses starts from day one, and you need to ensure that you allow your body enough time to acclimatize.
Also important you keep up with water intake, in order to keep your body’s natural balance. Your guide and his assistant guide will provided the pace for your hike, do not try and go faster.
The first day you will be hiking though the rainforest belt that is found around the park.
Although this section is short in distance, it is also very steep.
Caution needs to be taken not to ascend to fast as this will cause altitude related problems later in the hike.
Lunch will be provided to you in a form of a lunch packet at the gate.
There is a high possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience, ensure to have your wet weather gear handy in your day pack.
Utilizing the full day to reach your first camp on the route, The Umbwe cave camp at 2 850m, you can start relaxing as all the normal camp responsibilities are taken care of by your guide and his support team.
Dinner will be prepared by the head cook, and drinking water collected by the porters. Have your containers ready to be filled up by the support team (water will be boiled).
While the water has been tested by the Tanzanian National parks board (TANAPA), it will be saver to use the boiled water that is made available.
Using water purification tablets will add extra peace of mind.
Washing water will also be made available.
Your guide will schedule in a briefing with the group either that evening or the next morning, with a test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.
After enjoying dinner in the dining tent, you will retire to your tent for a good night rest, to be ready for the following day’s adventure.
Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at the Umbwe cave campsite, with the Sun normally setting & rising just before 7 o’ clock each day.
A good idea will be to take some reading material or some card games to keep yourself busy in the evening.

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 04

Umbwe route itinerary day 03
Umbwe cave camp – Baranco camp.

This day for most people will be the easier day on the Umbwe route.
By now you should be more adapted to the surroundings.
If you have packed your gear like we recommend, in separate plastic bags, getting ready will be much easier.
Breakfast will be early in the morning with a short briefing with your guide on what lies ahead for the day.
Weather plays a huge role, but for most cases the day should be easier hiking experience compared to the first day.
After breakfast you will pack your last things in your duffle bag & your day pack, and collected water that is again boiled and easy for consumption.
The increase in altitude will be around 1 050m.
This section is also very short and steep, and can be done in a couple of hours. It is however recommended to ascent very slow as it will be of no benefit to just relax at the following camp.
After arriving at the Barranco campsite the porters will start to collect and prepare drinking and washing water for each hiker.
Dinner will be enjoyed followed by a briefing with your guide and the daily test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.
The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 05

Umbwe route itinerary day 04
Barranco camp – Karanga Valley.

Start early to cross over the Great Barranco wall.
The wall looks more difficult and intimidating than it is, but will still take you allot of effort to reach the top.
From the top of the wall a couple of valleys need to be crossed before reaching the Karanga valley in time for lunch.
It is our recommendation to add this extra day on the mountain, in doing so completing a 7 day itinerary compared to the standard 6 days.
Doing this, you will shorten the following day so that you can reach the Barafu camp earlier which will allow you much more time to rest prior to your summit attempt.
Dinner and overnight at Karanga valley Camp site.

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 06

Umbwe route itinerary day 05
Karanga Valley – Barafu camp

In the Karanga valley runs a small river and this will be your last water point prior to your descending from the summit.
Your guide will also advise you on this fact. We now continue on the Mweka route up towards the Barafu camp.
On arrival and after lunch start to prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt.
This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.
Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Umbwe route itinerary day 06
Barafu camp – Uhuru peak – Mweka camp.

Around midnight you will have to start your final ascent to the summit.
You will be woken with tea/coffee and biscuits.
This part of your hike will be done at night to be able to reach Stella Point around first light.
This will be by far the most difficult part of your hike, as you will not only be hiking on a slope of loose gravel, but also be doing so at altitude.
Remember to constantly be on the move and only take short breaks every 1 hour or so to avoid getting cold.
Your equipment that you have on should be able to assist your body to warm itself, and to keep cold wind out, but when not moving this becomes more difficult.
Once arriving at Stella Point, people tend to stay too long and subsequently turn around at this point.
Do not spend more than 10 minutes here as you still have the last leg of your trip to complete.
Another approximate 1 hour’s hike and you will have reached Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa!
After this amazing and emotional experience you will return to Barafu camp via Stella Point.
This will go a lot faster than when you summited and you should arrive back at Barafu camp before lunch time.
Enjoy a light lunch and a short break before continuing down with the Mweka route to the Mweka camp, where you spend your last night on the mountain.

Machame route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 08

Umbwe route itinerary day 07
Mweka camp – Mweka Gate – Moshi.

After Breakfast, you start your final descent to the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village.
Enjoy the scenery as you walk thought the rain forest.
From Mweka village you will be transferred back to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch and a well-deserved hot shower.
It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of your trip.
Tips must only be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel.
This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5756m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
Overnight in Springlands hotel.

Umbwe route table

Umbwe route table day 01
Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania.

Start of day:Kilimanjaro International Airport
End of day:Moshi
Traveling time:60~90 minutes drive


Umbwe route table day 02
Day 1 on Umbwe route:

Start of day:Umbwe Park gate 1 800m
End of day:Umbwe cave camp 2 850m
Terrain:Rain forest / Montane forest
Distance covered:11 km
Hiking time:6 hours


Umbwe route table day 03
Day 2 on Umbwe cave camp – Barranco camp:

Start of day:Umbwe cave camp 2 850m
End of day:Barranco camp 3 900
Terrain:Heathland / Moorland
Distance covered:6 km
Hiking time:4 hours


Umbwe route table day 04
Day 3 on Umbwe route:

Start of day:Barranco camp 3 900 m
End of day:Karanga Valley camp 3 995 m
Terrain:Alpine Desert
Distance covered:4 km
Hiking time:5 hours


Umbwe route table day 05
Day 4 on Umbwe route:

Start of day:Karanga Valley camp 3 995 m
End of day:Barafu camp 4 673 m
Terrain:Alpine Desert
Distance covered:4 km
Hiking time::4 hours


Umbwe route table day 06
Day 5 on Umbwe route:

Start of day:Barafu camp 4 673 m
1st point of interest:Stella point 5 756 m
Distance covered:4.3 km
Hiking time:6 hours
2nd point of interest:Uhuru Peak at 5 895m
Distance covered:0.7 km
Hiking time:1 hours
Descent down to:Mweka camp 3 100 m
Distance covered:12.5 km
Hiking time:8 hours


Umbwe route table day 07
Day 6 on Umbwe route:

Start of day:Mweka camp 3 100 m
Descent down to:Mweka Park gate 1 640 m
Distance covered:10 km
Terrain:Rain forest / Montane forest
Hiking time:3 km
End of day:Moshi



Umbwe route packages

Umbwe Route Kilimanjaro

Steep ascent, yet spectacular way up

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Umbwe route fact sheet

Download a pdf copy of our Umbwe route fact sheet.

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