Often touted as the hardest trekking route due to its unrelenting steep ascent, the Umbwe route offers dramatic views, blessed solitude and some terrific, calf burning, invigorating trekking – and all without the clutter and chatter of other trekkers. Those who know the mountain consider it Kili’s best-kept secret. Read the full itinerary here or add this item to your cart to book.
Machame is a challenging and at times steep trek with stunning scenery as it traverses through Kilimanjaros 5 diverse climatic zones. This route provides the opportunity to “trek high and sleep low” which is considered important in minimizing the potential for altitude sickness.
The climb starts above the picturesque mountain village of Machame to the south of Kilimanjaro. After passing through the Machame forest and into the moorland zone, we scramble up and over some rocks and eventually emerge onto the Shira Plateau. We then advance counter-clockwise traversing below the southern face of Kibo, climb Lava Tower for magnificent 360 degree panoramas, ascend the Great Barranco Wall, a challenging and exhilarating rock scramble, and approach Uhuru Summit from Barafu or Kossovo Camp and the ridge that abuts the Southeast Valley. The climb from Barafu offers incredible views of Mawenzi Peak and Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.
Day 1: Arrive Tanzania
Trekkers arrive from their respective countries at Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha if transferring by bus from Nairobi. A member of our staff will be at Kilimanjaro airport arrivals or the Arusha shuttle bus terminus holding a Trekili Eco Expeditions placard.
Day 2: Arusha 1400m (4593’)
At a mutually convenient time, your guide will provide a pre-trek briefing, carry out a gear check, review the route with you and answer any questions you may have.
Day 3: Umbwe Gate to Umbwe Cave Camp
After breakfast and a comprehensive trek briefing, we take a 2 hour drive to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m (5905ft) where you will meet your guides and mountain crew as we take care of all National Park formalities, registering all climbers and the weighing of all duffle bags to ensure the load carried by each porter does not exceed the mandatory 20kgs limit.
Our trek begins following a forestry track winding through natural rain forest under the canopy of moss-coated vines where you will hear the calls of many exotic birds and if we are lucky we may see blue monkeys and hear the grunting calls of the magnificent black colobus monkeyswith their long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail.
Proceeding ever upwards, the path narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you.
Day 4: Umbwe Cave Camp to Barranco Camp
Shortly after leaving camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees and Giant Heather and Erica.
The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge.
Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp
Today we undertake the Great Barranco Wall – an imposing face above Barranco camp.
Day 6: Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp
We begin the day trekking through the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley.
Day 7: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Millennium Camp
We will rise early to leave camp at around 12am and after a warm drink and a light snack, you will begin the most difficult though most rewarding day of the trek – your hike to the roof of Africa.
Day 8: Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate
Today your legs will be further tested as the trail descends steeply through the lush Mweka rain forest.
Day 9: Depart Tanzania
Depart Tanzania or continue your dream with an amazing safari extension.
For trekkers not continuing with a safari we provide transfers to Kilimanjaro International Airport or bus station for your onward journey.
Included in tour
Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha shuttle bus terminus and to/from park entrance/exit gates for your selected route
All accommodation in Tanzania (double occupancy 3* Hotel) including breakfast (1 night before and one night after your climb-two nights total)
Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees
Services of trip leader, climbing guides, and mountain crew
All dining and camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag unless rented)
All meals on the mountain
Filtered water (we use the Katadyn KFT Expedition filtration system) during the climb; tea, coffee, cocoa, milk and juices as required.
Portable private toilet with biodegradable waste system at all camps . Clean Mountain Can used to remove all waste from high camps for correct disposal.
Pressure Altitude Chamber (portable hyperbaric chamber) and oxygen on all climbs (for use in the event of an emergency)
Petzl Elios helmets ‐ required on the Western Breach ascent
First aid kit
Medsled Rescue stretcher
Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park for successful trekkers
Excluded in tour
Costs of visas
International airfare, excess baggage charges, airport departure taxes
Travel insurance, medical insurance
Personal expenses such as beverages (other than those included with meals, as listed in each itinerary), room service, souvenirs, laundry, communication charges, medical or extra evacuation fees, staff gratuities and any meals not listed in the itinerary.
Additional transportation, accommodation, and meals incurred by a client unable to continue a planned itinerary due to illness, health, medical conditions or due to airline schedule changes.
Single supplement +US$250.00, Double occupancy (no additional charge)