• Umbwe Route Kilimanjaro Summit

Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route is the most direct ascent route and the most strenuous of all Kilimanjaro routes. It is one of the least climbed routes on Kilimanjaro, which makes it appealing. The first two days you hardly see any climbers until the trail merges with the Machame Route. The trek starts through  the thick forest on the southern slopes of the mountain. It rapidly gains height and affords you little time to acclimatize properly. That’s why we highly recommend climbing this route in 7 days and allowing enough time to acclimatize before the final push. On this route we start our summit ascent at midnight.

6 Days Climbing

9 days in Tanzania

The price is customized based on final hotel choices and other custom preferences.

When To Climb

December – February  and June – October are the best months to climb and the best months for wildlife viewing.

April – May and November  are the wettest months. The temperatures are colder and the trails turn muddy.


Arrive to Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania

Meet and greet with a Barking Zebra representative at the Kilimanjaro airport. Transfer to your hotel near Arusha for dinner and to your overnight stay. We suggest spending 2 nights here to re-cooperate after the long international flight, especially arriving from North America.

Next day we meet with Barking Zebra guides for a detailed climb orientation and a final gear check. In the afternoon relax and acclimatize.


UMBWE CAVE 9,700 ft 
Umbwe Gate 5,576
Distance: 7.2 miles | Hours of trekking: 6-7

After a hearty breakfast, we depart to Kilimanjaro National Park to Umbwe gate to sign in. Our trek follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. The path offers spectacular views of deep gorges and glimpses of  Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Our scenic camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth


Distance: 4 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5

After leaving the camp this morning the forest starts to thin and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and moss-covered trees. As we approach Barranco, the path flattens out a bit, and then descends into Barranco camp.  Keep your eyes to the sky, where Uhuru Peak can be seen as the clouds part.


KARANGA CAMP 13,200 ft
Distance: 3.6 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5
Today our first challenge is to hike up the Barranco Wall, a 500 ft lava flow. It is a quite spectacular looking obstacle, which in the end usually turns out easier than how it appears. The views of crags and crevasses are stunning from the top of the wall. We continue to walk up and down a greener valley to our camp.


BARAFU CAMP 14,950 ft
Distance: 2.1 miles | Hours of trekking: 3-4
As we begin trekking today the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we work our way to Barafu Camp. Barafu means “ice” in Swahili. The camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our push to the summit.


Summit 19,340 ft | Distance: 3 miles | Hours of trekking: 7-8
Mweka Camp 10,400 ft | Distance: 6.8 miles | Hours of trekking: 7-8

Just as dawn breaks, we set out for the glacier zone atop Kilimanjaro. We’ll walk slowly, drink plenty of water and refuel with small snacks to keep our energy high. Climbing approximately 3,000 feet today we will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the views of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro second volcano cone.

Now the toughest part is over, as we hike along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak – the highest point of Kilimanjaro. We celebrate our achievement with cheers and hugs before descending to Barafu camp. Gaiters and trekking poles come in handy for the loose gravel going down. After a short rest at Barafu we continue to Mweka Camp for dinner and to overnight.


MWEKA GATE  5,360 ft
Distance: 5.3 miles | Hours of trekking: 4-5
Descend back through the rainforest and enjoy a farewell lunch with your group at Mweka Gate before heading back to the hotel for a well-deserved shower!


Depart Tanzania or continue on your wildlife safari or to Zanzibar.

What’s Included
  • Kilimanjaro National Park, Conservation and Rescue Fee
  • Professional guides, medically trained as Wilderness First Responders
  • Accommodations in Arusha
  • 24-hour local support team in Arusha
  • Emergency equipment: oxygen, portable stretcher, oximeter, comprehensive medical kit
  • Guides carry two different types of mobile communications: radios and cellular phones
  • Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport and to/from park entrance/exit gates
  • U.S. Kilimanjaro specialists available throughout your entire preparation
  • All meals and unlimited drinking water on the mountain
  • Camping Equipment – including Mountain Hardware sleeping tents
  • Portable toilets
What’s Not Included
  • Visa to Tanzania
  • Airfare to Tanzania
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Medical & Travel insurance
  • Gratuities to guides, crew
  • Personal expenses such as liquor, soft drinks, laundry, internet…

Umbwe Route Map

Adventure in Pictures

See More of Tanzania

Lion In The Serengeti

Wildlife Safari

Viewing Tanzania at 19,341 feet is absolutely breathtaking and exhilarating. But, so is viewing over one million animals during the great Serengeti migration; observing each of the “Big Five” in their natural and unspoiled habitats; and, personally viewing the abundant, and amazing, wildlife that Tanzania offers.

Beaches in Zanzibar


After your Kilimanjaro triumph, let your body recover amidst Zanzibar’s turquoise-blue waters and picturesque beaches. Lie in the sun, snorkel in pristine waters, enjoy a sailing adventure aboard a dhow, soak in the culture of Stone Town, visit local markets…No matter what you do, the “spice islands” will certainly return that zest in your step.