Start & End

Moshi - Kilimanjaro

Trek Duration

6 Days, 5 Nights

Trafic

Very Low

Difficulty

Very High

Trek Summary

This route is the steepest with the shortest and most direct routes to the Southern Glaciers, Western Breach and Uhuru Peak. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. However it is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.

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Trekking Itinerary

Day 1:

Umbwe Gate (5,280ft/1,600m) – Umbwe Cave Camp (9,405/ft/2,850m)

  • Distance: 10.5km/6 miles
  • Environment: Montane forest
  • Time: 5 to 7 hours

In the morning pick up from the hotel in Moshi and drive to Umbwe Gate where the trek begins, to the rainforest, the route follows a forestry track and then steepens between the rivers of Lonzo and Umbwe. Subject to the condition that the weather remains clear, with a good view of the Kibo in the distance.
Arrive Umbwe Cave Camp located at 2850 meters, which is 10.5 km from the starting point. The camp is situated in between large evergreen trees and undergrowth. Followed by dinner and overnight.

Day 2:

Umbwe Cave Camp (9,405ft/2,850m) – Barranco Camp (12,705 ft/3,850m)

  • Distance: 6.5km/4 miles
  • Environment: Rainforest/Lowe alpine zone
  • Time: 4 to 6 hours

The landscape gradually changes to moorland from rainforest, and consequently vegetation becomes sparse and rocky outcrops dominate. Following the Umbwe Route ridge until it begins to flatten as it reaches the Barranco Valley. The Barranco Camp located at an altitude of 3950 meters sits under the shadow of Great Barranco Wall from where trekkers can clearly see Kibo in a distance.
The Umbwe camp is pretty busy, this is because it joining hikers from the Machame Lemosho and Shira route here.

Day 3:

Barranco Camp (13,044 ft/3,953) to Karanga Camp (13,106 ft/3,972m)

  • Distance: 6 km/3.7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

The day starts by descending to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then, from the base, started to climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, the trail crosses hills and valleys until it descends sharply into Karanga Valley (Karanga River), the last water point. Then started climbing up to Karanga Camp, arriving there for lunch. Later in the afternoon, followed by a shorter acclimatization walk, then dinner and overnight.

Day 4:

Karanga Camp (13,106 ft/3,972m) to Barafu Camp (4,646m/15,331 ft)

  • Distance: 4 km/2.4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

From Karanga Camp, the route continues up to the rocky section until Barafu Camp. At this point, the Southern Circuit is completed, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Arrive at the camp, rest, followed by an early dinner, and prepare for the summit. When the weather gets clear, the view of the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen.

Day 5:

Barafu Camp (15,331 ft/4,646m) to Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft/5,895m)

  • Distance: 6 km/3.7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft/5,895m) to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,065 ft)

  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest

Starting at midnight begins the push to the summit, the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The journey will be spent in the wind and cold weather. Ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking some short breaks. Arrive at Stella Point (18,900 ft/5,730m) at sunrise. Then it continued for about an hour from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak, Africa’s highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Spend a short time on the summit taking photographs before starting the descent back to Barafu Camp, which takes about 3 hours. Arrive at Barafu Camp, take a short rest (1-2 hours), then continue descending to Mweka Camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 6:

Mweka Camp (10,065 ft/3,100m) to Mweka Gate (5,380 ft/1,630m)

  • Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest

On the final day, after breakfast and celebrations at the camp, then continue the three-hour descent to Mweka Gate, arrive at the gate and sign out to the national park authority and collect the summit certificates. A vehicle will be waiting at Mweka Gate and will be transferred back to the hotel in Moshi.