|from $964* per person||8 Days||Year-round
Exertion level: 7
|Operator: The Safari Partners
12 people max
The Umbwe Route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach of Kibo. An ascent to Kibo via the Umbwe Route is probably one of the most scenic "non-technical" mountaineering expeditions in East Africa. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitudes, but the rewards are plentiful. Fewer people, pristine forest, greater chance of seeing wildlife and birdlife in the lower level, and shorter walking distances make it a great experience for fit hikers. The nights are spent camping, and we provide top mountain guides, porters and safari chefs to look after you. Camping equipment is provided and it is carried by the porters. There are no shower / bath facilities while doing the climb, and toilets will be long drops. You will be provided with a bowl of warm water each morning, on request, to wash with. It is advisable to "walk high, sleep low" - so after a short rest at the camps, walk up another few hundred metres and then return to camp for the evening. This will help you with acclimatisation to the altitude and assist with a successful summit.
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- This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
Day 1: Moshi
Tonight is spent at Marangu Hotel on a bed and continental breakfast basis.
Day 2: Umbwe Gate - Forest Camp
Vehicles take climbers from Marangu to Umbwe Gate. This is a drive of around 2 hours. The gate is at 1800 metres at the entrance to the forest. From here, a 5 to 6 hour walk, ascending steeply through the lush forest to a clearing where camp is made. Although water is sometimes to be found at this camp, it is frequently not of good quality, so water for this camp is carried up from the entrance gate.
Day 3: Forest Camp - Barranco Camp
The trail ascends steeply up the side of the Umbwe Valley. When it emerges from the forest, there are stunning views to be had both of the peak of Kibo, and down into the depths of the Umbwe Valley, the largest valley on the slopes of Kibo. The path now continues up the western flank of the valley to Barranco Camp at 3,950 metres. This is a steep and tiring day, and it can take 6 to 7 hours.
Day 4: Barranco Camp - Karangu Valley
The path climbs out of the Barranco Valley via the Barranco wall. This is a steep 1 to 2 hour climb, ascending about 300 metres. The path then follows the gently undulating Kibo South Circuit. Wonderful views are to be had of Kibo's southern glaciers if the weather is clear. After about 3 hours the Karanga valley is reached. There is a short but steep descent into the valley, which has a small stream running through it, and then a short climb up the eastern valley wall. At the top of the wall, at 4000 metres, is the Karanga Valley camp.
Day 5: Karangu Valley - Barafu Camp
As this is a short day, climbers often do not set off until mid morning. The path climbs for about 3 hours to Barafu camp at 4600 metres.
Day 6: Uhuru Peak
Climbers are woken at about 11pm. After dressing in all their warm clothing, they have a hot drink and then set off at midnight. The first part of the ascent is on a rocky ridge. This then turns into scree. The surface is loose and can be hard going. On its steepest sections, the path zig zags up the scree. It takes an average of 7 hours to reach Stella Point on the crater rim. On a fine morning, the views of the sun rising from behind Mawenzi are spectacular. Stella Point is at 5,750 metres. From here, the path goes around the crater rim for a further hour to the summit at Uhuru Peak, 5896 metres. The descent back to Barafu Camp can take a further 3 or 4 hours. After a rest and a meal, the descent continues to Mweka Camp at 3100 metres, a further trek of around 4 hours. If climbers are very tired, or if it is late, camp can be made at Millennium Camp at 3800 metres – this simply increases the length of the following walking day by around an hour.
Day 7: Return to Moshi
The path descends for around 3 hours through the forest to Mweka gate. Vehicles will be waiting to transport climbers and crew back to Marangu Hotel. Spend an overnight back at the Marangu Hotel.
Day 8: Moshi
Your tour ends today after breakfast.
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