The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail are very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route - one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude.
Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and travers’s underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
• Rising (ft): 5,905ft /1,800m to 9,190ft /2,800m
• Stretch: 8 km
• Hiking time: 5-7 hours
• Climatic habitat: Rain Forest
After an early breakfast, you will have a briefing from your guide at 9:00 am. Our staff will take you on the hour-long drive from your hotel in Moshi to the Umbwe village, where your guides and porters will prepare your equipment and supplies. Kilimanjaro Park registration will be completed here and you will also receive your lunch pack. After registration, you will begin your ascent from the Umbwe gate and continue on a small vehicle path until you reach the signage notifying you have reached the Umbwe Trail. You will then climb for 5-6 hours through dense rain forest. It is impossible to miss the giant fig trees and rubber trees as in some places, their roots have overtaken the path. Although, sometimes slippery themselves they can make for good footholds when the path becomes sloppy with mud after a rain. Umbwe Camp is inside the forest and will your first stop. When you arrive, you will find your camp and tent is already set up by the porters who ran ahead. They will bring you boiled drinking water and washing water in preparation for dinner.