Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking: Umbwe and Machame Routes

9 Days


Kilimanjaro At 5895m the highest peak in Africa, “Kili” is capped by splendid summit ice fields and, on its south-western flank, dramatic icy precipices are best viewed from the less-used and spectacular Umbwe or Machame routes (not the normal Marangu route). The summit plateau with its maze of ice pinnacles, ice caves, sulfur fumaroles, and the central ash pit is best explored from a camp in the caldera.


Arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your hotel for a restful evening.
Overnight stay at the hotel in preparation for the upcoming adventure.

After breakfast, drive to Machame village, the starting point of your trek.
Embark on the trek through lush forests, passing through shambas (cultivated fields).
Ascend along a steep ridge and continue through rock ridges and heather.
Reach Machame Hut (3000m) after approximately 6 hours of trekking.
Overnight stay in mountain tents at Machame Hut.

Resume the trek, following the steep ridge and traversing into a river gorge.
Enjoy panoramic views as you ascend towards Shira Hut (3800m).
Witness the stunning icefalls of the Heim, Kersten, and Decken Glaciers.
Trekking time is approximately 5 hours.
Overnight stay in mountain tents at Shira Hut.

Continue east towards Kibo, the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Pass by the Lava Tower and descend to Barranco Hut (3940m).
Traverse scree and ridges, crossing the Great Barranco.
Admire the magnificent icefalls of the Heim, Kersten, and Decken Glaciers.
Trekking time is approximately 4 hours.
Overnight stay in mountain tents at Barranco Hut.

Embark on a short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco.
Traverse through scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m).
Ascend a ridge to reach Barafu Hut (4600m) after approximately 3 hours.
Take a rest and have lunch at Barafu Hut.
Prepare for the final ascent to the summit.
Overnight stay in mountain tents at Barafu Hut.

Start the ascent to the rim of Kibo Crater before dawn (around 1-2 a.m.).
Trek through the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers towards Uhuru Peak (5895m).
Reach the summit at sunrise and enjoy breathtaking views.
Descend to Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch.
Continue descending to Mweka Hut (3100m) through the giant heather zone.
Trekking time is approximately 10-14 hours.
Overnight stay in mountain tents at Mweka Hut.

Descend through beautiful forests to Mweka Gate.
Enjoy the scenic trail and take in the natural surroundings.
Reach the park gate and receive your well-deserved summit certificates.
Transfer back to the hotel for a celebration and relaxation.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, check out from the hotel.
Transfer to the airport for your departure or continue with an extension to explore more of Tanzania.

What makes the Umbwe and Machame routes special for trekking Mount Kilimanjaro?

The Umbwe and Machame routes are renowned for their scenic beauty and diverse landscapes. Umbwe offers a challenging, direct ascent, while Machame provides a more gradual climb. Both routes showcase breathtaking views and a unique trekking experience.

How difficult are the Umbwe and Machame routes compared to other routes on Kilimanjaro?

The Umbwe route is considered more challenging due to its steep ascent and demanding terrain. The Machame route is slightly less strenuous and allows for better acclimatization. Both routes, however, require a good level of physical fitness.

What is the recommended gear for the Kilimanjaro trek?

Essential gear includes sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, a waterproof jacket, a comfortable backpack, a sleeping bag suitable for low temperatures, and trekking poles. A detailed packing list will be provided by your tour guide.

What kind of support can I expect from guides and support staff during the trek?

Experienced guides, porters, and support staff will accompany you throughout the trek. They provide assistance, ensure safety, and share valuable insights about the region. Porters handle the logistics, carrying equipment and setting up camps, allowing trekkers to focus on the climb.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking: Umbwe and Machame Routes
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