Umbwe Route Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. Taxing, primarily due to a relatively fast ascent to higher altitudes. Rewards in scenic beauty, superb forest, short walking distances – a great option for fit hikers. Even more rewarding – a night at the crater!! Spend a night in Africa’s largest volcano. An opportunity to get close the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Nairobi Arusha transfers and half day set free for preparation, overnight at Arusha resort Hotel. In Moshi at Zebra Hotel. (BB)
Transfer Arusha – After breakfast, you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m. Follow a winding natural rain forest track as you ascend. It narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers. The route offers spectacular views, with glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. Arrive at camp, perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
Shortly after leaving the camp the forest thins, and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth, and straggly, moss-covered trees. The route continues along a narrow ridge. Gain altitude catching glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising ahead of you against the blue sky. The route flattens as you approach Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe Ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp situated in the valley below the Western Breach and Great Barranco Wall, if lucky, experience a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.
Start your hike towards Lava Tower after breakfast, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro. The route becomes steep and rocky. Steal views of Mt. Meru – Kilimanjaro’s little sister, peeping through the clouds. From Lava Tower turn towards the Western Breach, trek steeply to Arrow Glacier camp (4800m). Symptoms of altitude sickness might become noticeable. The campsite is spectacular. Vegetation has now all but disappeared, leaving only rock and scree in varying shades of brown and black. The campsite is very cold and you need to be prepared.
After breakfast, a trek from the Arrow Glacier camp, through steep screes and rocky outcrops, a scramble lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor about 5700m. A really tough challenge. If snow falls, the route becomes icy and in these conditions, an ice axe or ski stick may be required. When you reach the crater rim, you will have views of snow and glaciers. Visible are the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro, as well as the Furtwangler Glacier. Walk past this to the Crater Camp, situated at the crater’s rim. If time permits, you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples in the world. The campsite is very cold as snow might fall. Overnight at Crater Camp.
You will rise around midnight, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the early morning darkness. From the crater floor, you will probably encounter snow all the way on your trek ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time taken on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Trek to Barafu camp from the summit. Here you will have a short rest, before heading down to Millennium camp (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. Overnight at Mweka Camp.
Descend to Mweka Gate and transfer to Arusha. (4 hours) or one can transfer to Nairobi. Over Night at Impala Hotel Arusha or Boulevard Hotel Nairobi or Similar. (BB) (NB: Extra US $ 180 P.P for overnight at The New Arusha Hotel in Arusha or 270 p.p overnight at The Norfolk in Nairobi)
The above programme costs US $ 1500. P.P