The Umbwe route is steeper and shorter than the Machame route. Once at the Barranco Hut you continue on with other Machame hikers. The descent is down the Mweka trail.
DAY 1. Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Camp.
Walking Time, 5-6hours.
Vegetation;- Montane Forest.
Drive from your Hotel to Umbwe Gate. Commence the climb through the rainforest with packed lunch on route. Dinner and overnight at Umbwe Camp.
DAY 2. Umbwe Camp to Barranco Camp.
Walking Time 4-5hours.
After breakfast leave the glades of the forest and follow an ascending path on the Moorland to the Barranco Hut. Dinner and overnight at the Camp.
DAY 3. Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp.
Distance;-7km, Walking Time;-4hours.
Vegetation;- Alpine Desert.
After breakfast leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing Barranco wall to the Karanga valley Campsite.
DAY 4. Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp.
Distance;- 13km, Walking Time 8hours.
Vegetation;- Alpine Desert.
After breakfast leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco wall through the Karanga valley and the junction that connects with Mweka trail. Continue to the Barafu Hut. You have completed the south Circuit which offers views of the summit from different angles. Here you camp enjoy dinner and prepare for the Summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
DAY 5. Barafu Camp-Summit to Mweka Hut.
4600m-5895m(and down to 3100m)
15,100ft-19340ft(and down to 10,200ft)
Distance;-7km ascent/23km desend.
Vegetation;- Stone scree and Ice capped Summit.
Very early in the morning(mid night to 2am)you continue to the Summit. You head in a northwest direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At the Stella point(5685m/18,652ft)you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see(weather permitting)
From Stella point you will encounter snow all the way on your 2hours ascent to the Summit. At the Summit(Uhuru Peak)you have reached the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro and the African Continent. Faster hikers will the sunrise from the Summit.
It can be very cold at night at these elevations but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day, you will need clothing for both extremes with you.
From the Summit you now make descend, continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will need gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is located in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the later afternoon.
Later in the evening, enjoy your last dinner on the Mountain and well earned sleep. Beers and Soda may be available for purchase at the Mweka Camp.
DAY 6.Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate.
Distance;-15km, Walking Time 3-4hours
After breakfast you continue descending down to Mweka Gate to receive your Summit certificate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and T-shirts will probably be plenty to wear(keep rain gears and warmer clothing handy)
A vehicle meets you at the Mweka Gate if the weather permitting otherwise you will need another hour to Mweka village to meet the vehicle to drive back to your hotel.