Do you have hiking experience? Are you looking for the most challenging Mt. Kilimanjaro route? Then Umbwe Route is the best option. It’s a very steep route.

The journey begins as it approaches the Western Breach Wall and Southern Glacier from the south. We take a great deal of precautions while we pass the western breach trail hedging to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is the most difficult and challenging route to the peak due to rock sliding. To travel along this route, you need a special permit from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority.

It’s a special package for exploring the mountain. It connects with other routes after the second day at Barranco Camp and continues from there, and the descent is made through Mweka Route.

There are three ways to try to reach the summit:

  • Take the trail that goes round the mountain from Moir Hut, via Lava Tower at 4,600 meters/15,092 feet, to Kibo Hut to the summit from the east at 4,750 meters/15,583
  • Take the southern circuit attempting the summit from Barafu Camp at 4,600 meters/15,092 feet 
  • Attempt the summit from Arrow Glacier Camp through the Western Breach wall at 4,800 meters/15,15,748 feet (which requires a special permit from the Kilimanjaro National Park management).
The most challenging side of Mount Kilimanjaro, known as the Western Breach.

Sample Itinerary For a 6-day Trek

Day 1: After a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive from Arusha, you’ll come to the starting point at Umbwe Gate. We’ll walk from Umbwe Gate following the rainforest. It’s the longest day.

  • Destination: Umbwe gate to Umbwe Cave
  • Elevation: 1,800 meters/5,906 feet to 3,200 meters/10,499 feet
  • Distance: 11 km (6.84 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 2: This is a short but steep day. After breakfast, we’ll start our walk via a very steep ridge. There is a nice view of the southern glaciers and the western breach.

  • Destination: Umbwe Cave to Barranco Camp
  • Elevation: 3,200 meters/10,499 feet to 3,950 meters/12959 feet
  • Distance: 6 km (3.73 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest, heath, moorland
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3. The Barranco Wall is what will make your day so beautiful and enjoyable. It’s somehow hard but the slow (pole pole) walk will make you climb the wall to the top. Where you need to be more careful, your guide will tell you and, if possible, assist. The top of the wall is also very beautiful with glacier views. 

  • Destination: Barranco to Karanga Camp
  • Elevation: 3,950 meters/12959 feet to 3,930 meters/12,894 feet
  • Distance: 5 km/3.11 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland, alpine desert
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: This is a short day with the view of Kibo peak before Mawenzi peak appears at Barafu Camp. From the night before through this day, you’ll get nice views of Deken, Kersten, and Rebmann Glacier. You’ll acclimatize a little after a short break at Barafu Camp. You’ll rest after dinner and be prepared for the summit hike at midnight. The average walk to the top will depend on your strength. It’s a tough night.

  • Destination: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
  • Elevation: 3,930 meters/12,894 feet to 4,600 meters/15,092 feet to 5,895 meters/19,341 feet
  • Distance: 4 km/2.49 miles
  • Hiking Time: 2-1/2 to 3 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland, alpine desert
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: After the peak, your guide will provide you with time to rest at Barafu before your descent to Mweka for the last night. 

  • Elevation: TOP to 4,600 meters/15,092 feet to 3,100 meters/10,171 feet
  • Distance: 6 km/3.73 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours to Barafu and 6-7 hours to Uhuru peak
  • Habitat: Heath 
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6: The last day’s walk is through the rainforest. It’s at this gate you will collect your certificate and have a little celebration with your team. A bottle of champagne will be waiting for you. After the celebration, we’ll drive back to Arusha. 

  • Elevation: 3,100 meters/10,171 feet to 1,800 meters/5,906 feet
  • Distance: (10 km/6.21 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3 to 3-1/2 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland 
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

We can also provide another option via this route, either 7, 8, or more days. Take the Western Breach trail to the top via Lava Tower (4,600 meters/15,092 feet) and Arrow Camp (4,800 meters 15,748 feet), or circuit to Moir Hut, Pofu, Third Cave, and Kibo Hut (4,750 meters/15,584 feet) to the summit then to Mweka. We can tailor it to meet your needs.