Tramping Mount Kilimanjaro Via Ubwe Route
Northern Circuit, 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. Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep, and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. The descent is made via the Mweka route.
Day 1: Mount Kilimanjaro – Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp (L, D)
Habitat: Heath The day begins with a 50-minute drive to Machame Gate where registration formalities will be completed. We then transfer through villages and coffee and banana plantations to Umbwe Gate. The trail ascends sharply on a forestry track which winds up the dense rain forest. The path narrows and steepens as we climb the ridge between two rivers surrounded by huge trees. Umbwe Camp is perched between trees and thick undergrowth.
(Overnight at Umbwe Camp)
Day 2: Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp (B, L, D)
Habitat: Heath The second day of the trek follows rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As we gain elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro can be seen. The path flattens as we approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest.
(Overnight at Barranco Camp)
Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (B, L, D)
Habitat: Alpine Desert We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
(Overnight at Karanga Camp)
Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (B, L, D)
Habitat: Alpine Desert We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.
(Overnight at Barafu Camp)
Day 5: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (B, L, D)
Habitat: Arctic Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft Distance: 12 km/7 miles Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Rain Forest Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
(Overnight at Mweka Camp)
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (B)
Habitat: Rain Forest On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.
Specification: Tramping Mount Kilimanjaro Via Ubwe Route
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