Duration: 6 days | Best time to travel: June - October
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 challege with less crowds this is a good choice.
This is a 6 day Kilimanjaro hike starting at Umbwe gate and ascending via Stella Point. Note that it joins the Machame route at Barranco valley, and hence has similar levels of people on trail as the Machame route thereon. There is a night time ascent to the summit and descent is via Mweka camp.
Kilimanjaro: afromontane forest, glacial valleys and alpine dersert, views of Mawenzi, ascent of Kibo and possible views of Kibo caldera and ash pit. Glaciers and the roof of Africa!
Day 1: KILIMANJARO – UMBWE CAVES
In the morning you are picked up at 8am from your hotel and drive to Machame gate to collect your permits. There is then an hour drive to the Umbwe gate where 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 for dinner and overnight (full board).
Day 2: KILIMANJARO – BARRANCO
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 and then in the 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. Dinner and overnight Barranco Camp (full board).
Day 3: KILIMANJARO – KARANGA
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 hiking and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. In the afternoon a walk can be taken with your guides for great views of the Southern walls of Kibo and deep glacial valleys. Overnight Karanga Camp (full board).
Day 4: KILIMANJARO- BARAFU
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 apline desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening slendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening. Overnight Barafu Camp (full board).
Day 5: KILIMANJARO – SUMMIT / MWEKA
Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a realtively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down and your goal today is to reach Mweka camp. Overnight Mweka Camp (full board).
Day 6: ARUSHA
After breakfast you decend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to your hotel for a well deserved shower!
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