Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro
You will enjoy 7 day of trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. It goes through Umbwe Route. This is without question the steepest approach route when trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. It is for that reason that is seldom used. It stems from Umbwe village on the south side of the mountain. The path leads through thick forest onto a steeply climbing ridge. There are alpine terrain and a mix of hiking and scrambling. Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is only suitable for those in excellent physical condition. Do not dare this route if you are not an experienced hiker. The first night will be spent in the forest. You will have the second day with stunning views of the glaciers. The summit will make its appearance “overhead”. There are no huts on this route. You will be accommodated in tents when trekking Mount Kilimanjaro here.
Day 1: UMBWE GATE – UMBWE FOREST CAMP (9,500 ft)
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro commences at the small gate above Umbwe Village. You will have an hour winding along a gentle 4×4 track. This is until a signboard announces the small steeply rising trail called “Umbwe”. You will have 6 hours trekking Mount Kilimanjaro through the dense forest of rubber trees. There are also giant fig trees. You will scramble up steep sections of roots and rock. This will bring you to a forested campsite, with some caves nearby. There is no water available at this campsite. You must carry from the gate.
Day 2: UMBWE FOREST – BARRANCO CAMP (12,950 ft)
You will be woken with a steaming cup of tea or coffee at around 0600hrs. You will continue trekking Mount Kilimanjaro steeply through the forest. Soon the taller trees will give way to Giant Erica and Giant Heather. Here the air will become drier. The ridge line forms steeply on this day. On either side of the trail, the ground drops away steeply. At some point the forest and the clouds will part. This will give you a fabulous view of Uhuru Peak. After lunch, you will proceed as you encounter giant groundsels. They seem like guardians of untouched treasures. After 5 to 7 hours of trekking and scrambling, you reach camp. There are numerous tiny waterfalls around camp. They are fed by streams coming down the Great Barranco Valley. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above. This is amidst an eerie landscape of groundsels. There is the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia.
Day 3: BARRANCO – LAVA TOWER (15,000 ft) – BARRANCO CAMP
You begin the day from your camp in the morning. This will be following the rivers of the great valley. The rivers emanate from the great glaciers above. The trail winds through a forest of towering senecio kilimanjari. You will be trekking Mount Kilimanjaro steeply up the valley walls. You will pass through Lava Tower. It is a 300 foot tall lava plug standing at a pass at 15,100 ft. (4,600 m). Test your ardor by scrambling to the top of the Lava Tower. Here you will enjoy a panoramic view of the Western Breach. There is also the broken ridge of Shira below. Trek to Lava Tower takes 3-4 hours. Here you’ll enjoy lunch, then return to camp (about 2 hours).
Day 4: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP (13,100 ft)
Today you will trek to Karanga Valley Camp, at 13,000 feet (3,950 m). This is between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This is a day meant for acclimatization. The day begins with trekking Mount Kilimanjaro up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’. You will then traverse up and down the slopes of valleys. These have carved their way into the mountain’s southern face. Kibo’s glaciers loom above to your left. There are also the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. They tend to jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 feet straight ahead. You will reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking. It is here that you will break for hot lunch. Afternoon is left for relaxation or to take excursions from camp.
Day 5: KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP (15,200 ft)
From here the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder as you near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge. The camp acts as a base camp for your summit attempt. Total trekking time is 4-5 hours. You will enjoy a hot lunch upon reaching camp. The afternoon is yours to rest and prepare for the long night ahead. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring early to your tent for rest and sleep.
Day 6: BARAFU – UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft) – MWEKA CAMP (10,200 ft)
The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day. A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut. You begin your trekking Mount Kilimanjaro at 0100hrs. The winding path takes form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers. This is at early dawn. Behind you the spires of Mawenzi will be silouhetted. This is against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater. This is Stella Point at 19,000 feet 5,790 mt. It marks the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short time at the summit, it will be descent tim. Descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest. After lunch proceed further down to Mweka Camp for the night.
Day 7: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE (6,000 ft)
You will descend straight to the gate for 2-3 hours. Enjoy lunch upon arrival. It is here that you receive your Kilimanjaro climbing certificates. Transfer to Arusha will mark the end of your expedition.