ROUTE CLIMBING KILIMANJARO
Kilimanjaro stands on the East African plateau, on the Tanzanian side of the
Kenya border, overshadowing its smaller sister volcano, Mount Meru. Mount
Kilimanjaro is deemed to be a dormant volcano, created during the formation of
the Great Rift Valley in the Pleistocene era.
Kilimanjaro National Park comprises all of the mountain above the tree line. The
name 'Kilimanjaro' has varying interpretations, from "Mountain of Greatness",
Mountain of Whiteness", "Mountain of Caravans", and "Small Mountain of Caravans"
which are all names derived from the Swahili, or Chagga dialects. In addition,
there is a word in Swahili, “kilima” which means top of the hill. An additional
claim is that it comes from the word "kilemakyaro" in the Chagga language,
meaning "impossible journey".
The Umbwe route is one of the shortest but steepest routes to the
Southern Glaciers, affording one views of the forests, valleys,
magnificent vegetation and glaciers. However, it is only recommended
for very fitclimbers as you gain altitude very quickly over a
shorter distance. Unfortunately, while the traditional route
followed up through arrow glacier, this route is now closed.
Umbwe Route itinerary
Day 1: Arrive
Arrive Kilimanjaro International
Airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight hotel.
DAY 2: Umbwe Gate (1800m) - Bivouac (first) camp (2940m):
After breakfast you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate at
1800m, passing through villages with banana and coffee plantations.
On arrival at the Parks Gate your guide and porters will meet you.
You will have to sign the register before you enter the park. As you
head into the forest, temperature scan rise to about 35 degrees C,
but as you quickly rise in altitude, they will progressively drop,
by about 1 degree for each 200m climbed. The paths can also be quite
muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up
through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and becomes steeper
as you climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge
trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views of
deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering
above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees
and thick undergrowth.
DAY 3: Bivouac (first) camp (2940m) - Barranco camp
(3950m): Shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts
thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and
straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but
spectacular ridge and as it ascends through the heath, the ridge
narrows and sharpens quite quickly. As you gain higher altitude, you
will note how quickly the various vegetation zones change. Sighting
of Lammergeyer are quite common. The path flattens as you approach
Barranco Valley . From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly
to the Barranco camp.
The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great
Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset.
DAY 4: Acclimatisation Day: This day will be
spent at Barranco camp to aid with acclimatisation. You can spend
the day walking around to explore the surrounding areas such as up
to the Barranco wall, take in sights of the magnificent Scenecio's, or just rest.
Day 5: Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu Camp (4600m): After
breakfast you will begin the scramble up the Great Baranco Wall and
then begin the traverse over the scree towards the Karanga Valley at
4000m. It is here that you will get the incredible views of the
Heim, Kersten and Decken glaciers. After leaving the Karanga Valley
, you will continue along the trail to Barafu Hut. You will now find
yourself completely in the alpine desert of crushed stone and scree.
The campsite is very cold and gets buffeted by the wind.
Day 6: Barafu - Summit (5895m) to Mweka: You
will wake around 23h00 and after a cup of tea and a biscuit, shuffle
off into the night for the summit of Kilimanjaro. The route heads up
between between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers towards Stella Point
and then on to Uhuru Peak where you will enjoy the magnificent views
and a well deserve photo opportunity.
You will then descend back down to Barafu camp from the summit,
which takes about 3 hours. The route is not difficult and will take
you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually
into the forest. Mweka camp is situated in the upper forest and mist
or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing
water will be provided as well as drinking water.
DAY 7: Mweka camp (3100m)- Mweka Gate (1980m): After
an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a 2-3 hour, scenic hike
back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and
details in a register. This is also where successful climbers
receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who were too tired
to continue from the crater floor and diverted back down via Stella
Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who
reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka
Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy
3 km (50min) hike. You will then drive back to Moshi for a long
overdue hot shower and celebrations!! Overnight in the hotel
Day 8: Depart
After breakfast, transfer to
Kilimanjaro airport for your departure flight home.
End of services
FOR A MAP OF THE DIFFERENT ROUTES GO HERE:
KILIMANJARO ROUTE MAP
For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the
e-mail link telephone and email link on the right
Total Tour Duration: 8 Days
Accommodation: Hotel, Tents
Group Size: 1
Best : Dec – March, June to October
Distance: approx 100km
Group size: minimum of 1 person
Altitude : High - risk of altitude sickness
Non technical trek
Fully guided by registered mountain guide
Porter climber ratio: approx 4 to 1
For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the
e-mail link below:
Mt Kilimanjaro Difficulty
with some climbing required over rock, or
snow. High altitude trekking but not technical expertise required. Altitude
climbed per day is 1000m
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