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7 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing: The Umbwe Route

Tour Overview

This 7 day version of the Umbwe Route includes an acclimatization day at Barranco where guests can walk up and visit Arrow Glacier before heading back to Barranco Camp. Generally recommended for more fit and adventurous types, this route is very steep in the first 2 days. For those that want more of a challenge with less crowds this is a good choice..

Tour Timeline

Day 01: Umbwe Caves
After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. Your first stop is at Machame Gate to collect your permits before getting back in your vehicle and driving to Umbwe Gate. After checking in you set off up through the forest zone. The first day hiking is not overly difficult but certainly steepens towards the latter end of the day. In the late afternoon you arrive in the first camp in time for dinner.
Day 02: Barranco Camp
The second day ascends from the forest zone into the heath zone and there are some very steep sections here. Taking it easy is essential to allow your body to acclimatise. A picnic lunch is taken on route. Later that afternoon you arrive into Barranco Camp in time to relax for a while before dinner. The views of the Barranco wall and Western breach pertain to events some 60,000 years ago when this whole part of the mountain collapsed.
Day 03: Barranco Camp (Acclimatisation Day)
This day is used as an acclimatization day but has the option to walk up the Barranco Valley, walking against the direction of all the other hikers, to Lava Tower. From here there is a short hike to Arrow Glacier Camp (16,086FT / 4903M) where you can enjoy views overlooking Lava Tower while eating a packed lunch before heading back to Barranco Camp.
Day 04: Karanga Camp
From Barranco Camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga Camp. Today is a relatively short day’s hike and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising. In the evening a practice walk for the summit is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable with the kit you are going to summit in.
Day 05: Barafu Camp
Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp; yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the remainder of the evening.
Day 06: Kilimanjaro Summit / Mweka Camp
Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence are the name of game to reach the summit (Uhuru Peak: 19341ft, 5895m) and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point (Alt: 18,865ft, 5750mtr) affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down, however. The first stage is to get back to our base camp for a quick change of clothes and refuel before the long hike downhill to Mweka Camp. The downhill is hard on the knees and walking poles at this stage are highly recommended. You should reach Mweka Camp before dusk for your final night on the mountain.
Day 07: Arusha
After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well-deserved shower!
Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative of Lemala Adventure to congratulate you and answer any other questions you may have.

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