This trek is a once in a lifetime challenge as we summit Africa’s highest mountain – Mt Kilimanjaro. We use the Umbwe route which is probably the most beautiful route by which to ascend the mountain.
Situated south of the equator – in Tanzania – at 19 340 feet, (5895m) this is Africa’s highest mountain and the highest “free standing ” mountain in the world. Huge permanent glaciers flow down from the summit, and spectacular views and beautiful ice formations are the reward for the successful trekker, as well as the satisfaction of conquering this mighty peak.
The main problems encountered can be altitude sickness, which can be countered by use of medicines and good basic acclimatisation. The standard route is a hike – no climbing as such.
This trek is a “once in a lifetime ” challenge and must not be taken lightly. We ensure that all our climbers have all the facts – medical list, equipment list, etc, long before they travel – possibly the reason for our success rate.
On this route we utilise tents, which we supply, as well as lightweight camping mattresses etc.
The amount of guides, their knowledge, the porters all were of a high standard.
– Z. Hopkins
The Umbwe route is probably the most beautiful route by which to ascend the mountain. All your supplies and camping equipment are portered up for you (tents, 25 mm mattresses, awnings, stools, lights, etc), and your meals are prepared. Your personal baggage limit is 12 kg for the climb. Tents and sleeping mattresses are supplied on this trip.
The guides employed are excellent (some have climbed Kili over 120 times!) and look after all our clients who attempt the climb. Each trip is led by a senior guide, with other guides in a ratio of approximately one guide per 2 or 3 climbers – if you are a bit slower than the rest, a guide will always be with you.
Reasons to travel with Pioneer Expeditions
- Our itineraries have given us over 95% success rate (the average is 60%)
- Maximum group size of 12 trekkers.
- Additional rest day and longer time on mountain to acclimatise vastly increases your chance of reaching the summit.
- Price includes compulsory tips
- Camping rather than sharing huts provides extra flexibility
- Dedicated cook team ensures high level of hygiene
- Shorter distances between overnights at altitude
- Less utilised, more scenic route dubbed ‘the best kept secret of Kilimanjaro’
Summit Kilimanjaro on your own private adventure – this trip can be tailormade for 2 or more people. Other routes and timescales available.
Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Itinerary
Day 1: Kilimanjaro Arrival
Meet on arrival in Kilimanjaro and transfer to the hotel. Your climb briefing will take place today, or tomorrow. NB: If you need to hire any extra gear, advise the hotel shortly after your arrival. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel – they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb – remember the weight limit of 12kg. Leave some ‘bin bags’ in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag. Keep one out for your personal daypack too! Liaise with staff at reception, and leave them your air tickets to be reconfirmed during your climb. It is your responsibility to ensure that flights are reconfirmed, as any schedule changes will be advised at that time.
Day 2: Rest Day (B)
Rest day to rehydrate from your long haul flight and adjust to the African pace of life. You will also have the opportunity to take a complimentary guided tour of Moshi and the surrounding area.
Day 3: Walking to Umbwe Caves (B,L,D)
Drive to park gate. A seven-hour walk through the spectacular forest will bring you to a camping area – Umbwe Caves Campsite – with access to water at 2 900m. Take your time walking through this section – it will help towards acclimatisation. It can often be muddy or wet as well.
Day 4: Barranco Hut (B,L,D)
Barranco Hut, 3 900 meters. Some fairly steep walking through the forest, and along a sharp ridge, before the path flattens as you approach Barranco Hut, in the moorland zone. A fairly long and strenuous day, as the altitude is now beginning to be felt.
Day 5: Lava Tower (B,L,D)
Today we will do an acclimatization walk to Lava Tower at 4600m. This will take around 7 hours (5 hours up, 2 hours down) and we will have a packed lunch as opposed to a hot lunch.
Day 6: Barranco Wall and Karanga Valley (B,L,D)
Morning at leisure, before ascending the Barranco Wall and dropping into Karanga Valley at 4200 m.
Day 7: Barafu Hut (B,L,D)
Continue across to Barafu Hut, now a fairly short day. This is an acclimatisation day, as you ascend up sections of scree and rock, then down into valleys – a hard day of walking at relatively high altitude. You will be able to rest up at Barafu for the whole afternoon, acclimatising and gathering strength for the summit.
Day 8: Rest Day (B,L,D)
Rest day. Read and enjoy the scenery. A short acclimatisation trek is recommended.
Day 9: Stella Point and top to Uhuru Peak (B,L,D)
Early attempt on summit. You will be woken at approx. midnight for your final ascent. Dress warmly, and your guide will lead you to Stella Point on the crater ridge, and then along the top to Uhuru Peak. It’s a very long day – reaching the peak in the early morning light, and then descending during the day, arriving at a camp an hour out of Mweka in the late afternoon.
Day 10: Descent to Park Gate (B)
Descend to park gate, approx. 5 hours steady downhill walk. On completion, transfer to hotel.
Day 11: Transfer to Airport (B)
Transfer to the airport for onward travel or other activities.
Submit your review
I was extremely pleased with Umbwe route and trekking team. The amount of guides, their knowledge, the porters all were of a high standard. Water was given to wash with twice a day, The food was excellent, medical equipment excellent and they were well organized.