Adventure Hikking Trekking Kilimanjaro Climb 6 Days Umbwe Route


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Duration
6 Days
Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro
Travellers
50+
  • Tour Overview
  • Tour Plan
  • Kilimanjaro Climbing Cost
  • Tanzania Destinations
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Kilimanjaro Climb - 8 Days Umbwe Route


The notorious 8 Days Umbwe Route is our newest tour and the toughest route to tame the summit of Kilimanjaro. If you’re an experienced, bold climber you’ll relish challenging yourself on the unforgiving but uncrowded and beautiful terrain. You’ll enjoy breathtaking sights that few travellers see. You’ll experience the raw, primitive beauty of sun bleached rocky outcrops and balance along knife-edge ridges with water-carved ravines swooping giddily below. You’ll clamber upon the gnarled tree roots of ancient rainforest trails, traverse ice fields shimmering like frosted diamonds in the African sun, and sleep under sweeping star-filled skies. You’ll skirt round the dangerous mist-clad Western Breach, crossing each grade of alpine and glacier zone. Every moment will be a feast to your senses and a challenge to your body and character. The Umbwe Route is like no other; a test of endurance amongst the majesty and grace of Kilimanjaro. As you stand proudly on Uhuru Peak at sunrise, you can say that you have conquered Umbwe. Although not technical, this route is arduous and the steep but short physical climb early on in the tour means there’s no time for altitude acclimatization. If you’re undecided or less experienced, try our Machame Route; more gentle but just as amazing.

Tour Map

What's included

Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro Discover Mt Kilimanjaro
Tour Start Date & Time
Everyday
Additional Information
Visas: Visas are required for all visitors
Price includes
  • All Government taxes and levies including 18% VAT.
  • All meals while on the mountain
  • All transfers to the mountain and back to your Moshi hotel
  • Beautifully illustrated souvenir map
  • Community Development Fund
  • Conservation Fund
  • Entrance tickets to monuments and museums
  • Fair Wages
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Kilimanjaro Certificates after Trek
  • Kilimanjaro National Park Entrance fees
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance
  • Quality mess tents with table and chairs
  • Quality, waterproof, four seasons private mountain sleeping tents
Price does not include
  • Laundry Services
  • Other International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to Mountain Crew
  • Visa arrangements
  • Day 0
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
Day 0

Arrive in Moshi, Tanzania

Our driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel for briefing. Your guides will provide you with a detailed orientation and will examine your gear. If you arrive at midday or before, you will have time to explore Moshi, a chilled-out blend of African and Asian influences with a colourful market and a choice of coffee houses and bars. Overnight at Moshi.

  • Driving distance: 55 km/miles,
  • Driving Time: 1hour
  • Habitat: Cultivated zone
  • Hotel: Bed and Breakfast
Day 1

Moshi to Umbwe Cave Camp

Elevation Gain: 1250 metres Walking Time: 5-7 hours Distance: 10.5km This morning you’ll meet your crew, who will be with you at all times during your trip. After a sustaining breakfast you’ll be driven the 45-minute trip from your hotel through a lush landscape of bustling villages and coffee smallholdings sheltered by banana palms to the Umbwe Gate. Here, your crew will register you for your climb, while the porters and guides make last minute preparations. After lunch the real work starts. Your journey begins through dense green mountain rainforest. The air, warm and heavy with moisture, is redolent of the lush vegetation as you scramble and slide your way up an often muddy track through a dense canopy of rubber and giant fig trees. The route steepens between the Umbwe and Lonzo rivers, and you’ll need every ounce of strength to pull yourself upwards using the wild, strong tree roots. As you climb, you’ll see Kibo, unexpected, glimmering in the distance. Beneath your feet drop deep gorges. After a sumptuous dinner, you’ll rest overnight at the lonely Umbwe Cave Camp, nestling amongst giant trees and deep undergrowth, with the mystery of Umbwe Cave a short walk away.

  • Distance: 11km/7miles,
  • Hiking Time: 5-7hours,
  • Eleven:5,249 ft – 9,514 ft
  • Vegetation: Rain Forest
Day 2

Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation Gain: 1150 meters Walking Time: 4-6 hours Distance: 6.5km After a good, energy-rich breakfast you’ll prepare for today’s climb which takes you out of the rainforest and into the drier, crisper air of moorland broken with rocky outcrops. You’ll ascend through cloud forest, past thinning, moss-entwined trees, glimpsing more and more of the bright blue sky as you ascend the hair-raising and spectacular Umbwe Route ridge with sides that drop steeply until it flattens out near to the Barranco Valley. The Barranco Camp nestles in the valley below the Western Breach and the Great Barranco Wall, which you should study as this is your first climb after breakfast tomorrow! Enjoy a filling and delicious dinner gazing on the dramatic colours of a glowing African sunset.

  • Distance: 6km/4miles,
  • Hiking Time: 4-5hours,
  • Eleven:9,514 ft – 13,044 ft
  • Vegetation: Heath
Day 3

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation Gain and Loss: 300 meters Walking Time: 4-6hours Distance: 6km The first thing that greets you this morning is the scaling of the 257 meter Great Barranco Wall, often called the Breakfast Wall as it’s the first thing you’ll do after breakfast! It’s challenging but more of a scramble than a climb and you’ll enjoy a total-body workout. You’ll top out just below the glorious Helm Glacier soaring above you, and from here the views are incredible. You’ll descend through a tumbling up-and-down route across scree and ridges through alpine desert towards the Karanga Valley, lying beneath the icefalls of the Decken, Heim and Kersten Glaciers. Overnight after a satisfying dinner at Karanga Camp.

  • Distance: 5km/3miles,
  • Hiking Time: 4-5hours,
  • Eleven:13,044 ft – 13,106 ft
  • Vegetation: Alpine Desert
Day 4

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation Gain: 641 meters Walking Time: 4-5hours Distance: 3.5km After a good breakfast you’ll attack the path that starts climbing as you leave Karanga Camp. The Southern ice fields of Kibo sparkle to your left as you journey the arid and surreal high alpine landscape, such a contrast to the green lushness of earlier days. The route takes you up a constant climb then shelves into a shallow valley with a short, sharp scramble and hike leading you into Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is situated on a rocky and desolate ridge, exposed to the elements but with glorious panoramic views from 15,000 feet up. You’ll be gazing at clouds below your feet and ice fields and the summit above you. It’s a tough environment for you to prepare your equipment and your mind-set for your final ascent tonight. Grab as much rest as you can before your 11pm push for the Uhuru Peak summit.

  • Distance: 4km/2miles,
  • Hiking Time: 4-5hours,
  • Eleven:13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Vegetation: Alpine Desert
Day 5

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters Walking Time: 14-16hours Distance: 19km It’s summit day and you’ll be woken at 11pm for hydration, food and a quick medical check. You’re very close now; but this section of the climb is the most dangerous. You’l l be climbing a steep gradient of heavy scree in darkness through the night as the temperature drops to below freezing. But as you reach Stellar Point, something amazing begins. Imperceptibly at first, then more quickly, the sky pales to the softest blue and as you look east, the sun rises apricot, pink and gold above the cloud horizon. Tramping through iridescent ice fields burnished gold by the colours of sunrise and past impressive, impassive Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, look west to see the giant shadow of Kilimanjaro spreading across the plains far below you. In another hour you’ll reach Uhuru Peak. You have conquered Umbwe Route. Marvel at the glorious vista with Mawenzi silhouetted against the blue skies and the dawn clouds gliding below. There’ll be time for pictures before you make your descent via breakfast at Barafu Camp. Your journey isn’t over, yet. You’ve a long descent over loose gravel through ice-capped outcrops and down to the welcoming moorland of the lower reaches. Mweka Camp nestles in lush vegetation in the mists of the upper forest and you’ll enjoy good food and good company as your body recovers from the harsh but beautiful experience of the night before.

  • Distance: 5km/3miles and 7km/4mile
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours and 2-4 hours
  • Eleven: 15,331 ft to 19,341ft and 12,434 ft
  • Vegetation: Arctic to Heath
Day 6

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi

Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters Walking Time: 3-4hours Distance: 10km With Uhuru Peak a glorious memory far behind you, you’ll begin your hike back to civilisation on a full stomach. The slope here is gentler than the ascent at Umbwe, but it can be slippery so watch those knees! You’ll have time to take in the misty cloud forest and perhaps even spot a Colobus monkey or two. Arriving at Mweka Gate you’ll receive your summit certificates and there’s an opportunity to buy sodas and t shirts. Our vehicle will take you back to your hotel in Moshi. What a difference a week makes!

  • Distance: 12km/7miles,
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours,
  • Eleven:12,434 ft – 5,380 ft
  • Vegetation: Rain forest 
Day 7

Moshi to Kilimanjaro Airport

Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport, from where you will connect your flight back home. If you’ve opted to go on a safari – well, that’s a new adventure and we’ll be pleased to arrange it for you!

The true price of a cheap Kilimanjaro climb

If you are planning for Kilimanjaro Climbing Adventure and you have many quotes with variable prices, you might be confused and worried!

What does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro and what should a Kilimanjaro climb cost you?

The prices for Kilimanjaro climbs vary wildly. To climb Kilimanjaro can cost you anything from $1000 to $4000 and above.

(There are some operators advertising cheap Kilimanjaro climbs that cost below $1200. Don't go there. Actually, don't go below $1700. You'll see why.)

That is the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb itself. It does not necessarily include you accommodation before and after, it definitely does not include the equipment you need to buy, the vaccinations, the flight...

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not a cheap holiday!

Of course you try to save money where you can. The temptation is big to go hunting for the cheapest Kilimanjaro climb.

DON'T! Do not start your search for a Kilimanjaro climb by looking at the cost first.

If you do, you may end up paying the ultimate price, or someone else may have to pay it for you...

Every year both climbers and porters die on Kilimanjaro. Needlessly.

Also, was it really such a great buy if you then fail to make it to the summit? Would you really feel good to know that children have to go hungry or aren't able to continue their education, just so you could save a few bucks?

I didn't think so.

Few tourists are aware why the cost of climbing Kilimanjaro is so high and where the budget operators cut corners to drop the prices. Let's look at where your money actually goes, what you pay for, and why.

The true cost of a Kilimanjaro climb

Several hundred climb operators are competing for business on Kilimanjaro, which has resulted in a cut throat price war. Good for you, you may think. Drops the prices.

Well, sure, it does,. But if operators drop prices they also have to cut expenses to stay profitable.

The steep Kilimanjaro National Park fees are something that nobody can change. For a six day/five night camping trek you pay about $800 in fees alone!

So where can operators save? And how does it affect you?

The links and information below will shed some light on that.

The very first place where budget Kilimanjaro operators will cut costs is staff expenses. And I am not talking about the lovely lady in the office who takes your booking. I am talking about the porters.

Booking a cheap Kilimanjaro climb? The money you save is coming straight out of the pockets of your Kilimanjaro porters, and porters' wages are not the only place where money is saved at their expense. Read that page before you book a cheap Kilimanjaro climb!

Of course, all other staff on a budget climb are also paid less and treated with less respect. Few staff on Kilimanjaro climbs have permanent or at least reliable employment. Most of them freelance.

If someone does not get decent pay, does not get appreciated and has no idea who he will work for next time, how do you think that affects their motivation? How much will they care if you reach the summit or not? And whether you enjoy the experience or not?

Also, your safety depends on how many guides/assistant guides are on your team and how well trained they are by the company.

Hopefully you will have a great Kilimanjaro climb in good weather and without any complications. But if things turn pear shaped, the one thing you want to be sure of is that your Kilimanjaro guide is one of the best!

A trick of the trade to make Kilimanjaro climbs LOOK cheap is to not include all costs up front. I already mentioned porter wages and tips on the Kilimanjaro porters page, but there are other costs and fees that can be dropped. You will still have to pay the money when you get there! Read carefully about what is included in a climb when comparing prices and be wary of those hidden costs.

Another place where money can be saved is equipment and food. Neither is a luxury!

This is not about comfort for softies and weaklings. This is about making it to the summit or not. If you can't sleep at night because you are cold and miserable, then you won't be making it to the summit.

Quality equipment that keeps you warm and dry even in the worst weather costs money. And there is so much other equipment, for the kitchen, the mess tent and more, that budget operators can leave behind to cut costs. It makes the trek physically harder on you and decreases your chances to reach the summit.

The cost of food on a Kilimanjaro climb is not a major factor. Food can be bought cheaply in Tanzania. But carrying food up the mountain costs money. So the quality fresh stuff, the fruit and vegetables, are the first to get cut from the shopping list of a budget operator.

You need quality food to sustain you for the rigour of the six or more days ahead of you. It should be high in fluids and high in carbohydrates. (Important at altitude!)

And it should taste good! You will have no appetite. Loss of appetite is one of the symptoms of being at altitude. But you have to eat. Your body needs the fuel! So the food better be nice. You want your operator to pay attention to this.

How well is the cook trained? And the rest of the staff? What about food hygiene? Training costs money.

Don't be surprised if you end up with a bad case of traveller's diarrhea if climbing with a budget operator. It happens very easily and it doesn't exactly increase your summit chances.

And what about the rubbish? Do you think a budget operator will spend money on making sure it is all carried back down the mountain again? Or voluntarily spend money on clean up crews? Just wait till you see the busier trails and campsites on the mountain.

Environmentally responsible behavior also costs money.

There are a thousand little things where a budget operator can cut corners and save money. I haven't mentioned a fraction of them and most of them you will never notice or be aware of. The things I can make you aware of may seem like little things to you, something you'll cope with, something you can do without. But it adds up!

What it comes down to is that your chances of reaching the summit and your chances of coming back down alive increase and decrease with the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb.

You want to book a climb that is run by mountaineers, people who understand mountains, who understand the risks and know how to manage them. People who care about you, about how much you'll enjoy the trek, about their staff and about the mountain.

You will not find those people for $1200. In fact, you won't find them for under $1700. For a six day Kilimanjaro climb, booked in advance, that is the absolute minimum cost that you should budget for, and you will be sacrificing quality of experience at that level (e.g. you will be climbing on a more crowded or less scenic Kilimanjaro route).

Kilimanjaro climbs that cost less are guaranteed to cut corners. But not every climb above $1700 is guaranteed to be a quality, safe one! Not by a long shot. You better do some thorough research if you want to book in that range!

There are other factors that determine the final cost of your Kilimanjaro climb and that allow you to save some money.

The larger the climb group, the lower the price per person. There are operators who put over 20 people in one group. Add to that at least two porters per person, cooks, assistant guides and guides... And you have a whole army trekking up that mountain! I think I'd rather spend a few dollars extra...

A private climb with two people is very expensive, but a group of up to twelve people is bearable and affordable. At least that's how I experienced it.

What will also determine the overall cost is the route you'll be taking.The more scenic and less crowded routes are more expensive. That's discussed in the section about Kilimanjaro climb routes. So $1700 might be a half decent climb up the Marangu route, but you won't be finding that on the Lemosho route.

And last but not least, booking from overseas is more expensive than booking when you get there. BUT, you have the piece of mind of knowing when your trek will depart, that it will indeed depart, and you have the time to do research and ensure you are with a responsible operator. (About 90% of Kilimanjaro climbers book from overseas.

More about Mt Kilimanjaro

MT KILIMANJARO

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don’t even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, and the summit of Africa.   Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).   Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. And their memories.   But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.   Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.

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Kilimanjaro Climb 6 Days Umbwe Route

Duration
6 Days
Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro
Travellers
50+

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