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Umbwe Route

Umbwe Route has a notorious reputation for being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is considered the shortest, steepest, and most direct approach to Uhuru Peak.

The Umbwe Route guarantees an epic, thrilling adventure. It is perhaps the most challenging Kilimanjaro Route. Though it’s a steep uphill climb, the Umbwe route promises some breathtaking views of the ridges.

After the first two days, the hiking trails will merge with the Machame Route and Lemosho Route, leading to the Great Barranco Wall, Karanga Valley, Barafu Camp, and finally, the summit point of Uhuru Peak.


Travel Tips
  • Choose longer days of the trek as your body needs time to adjust with the high-altitude acclimatization.
  • Trekking poles will become your best friend on the harsh trails.
  • Take it easy and don’t try to rush to the top and always listen to your guide.
  • Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
  • The amount of Oxygen on the top is only 50% as compared to the amount of Oxygen you are used to have. So, pay attention to your body signals and inform your guide as soon as possible.
  • Choose the dry season to experience your trek the most.
  • If possible, avoid taking pills like Diamox. It may show harmful side effects.
  • Pack the necessary gears and double-check the complete list.
  • Prepare a ‘Kilimanjaro playlist’ to listen to during your hike which helps to break your mental stress and physical exhaustion.
  • Umbwe route is steep, constant and straight route to the top.
  • The route is the most difficult route to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro.
  • Umbwe is mostly avoided by trekkers due to poor ascent profile.
  • The route takes minimum 6days to complete but 7 days is mostly recommended.
  • Umbwe is not scenically varied as other routes.
  • The route is ideal for those who want a challenging climb.

The Umbwe route is a direct climb that approaches Kilimanjaro from the south. It is a steep and short route that takes a direct path to the summit. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses beneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. The descent is made via the Mweka route.

  • The weather of Kilimanjaro is unpredictable throughout the year. The temperature on the mountain varies widely depending upon the altitude.
  • June to October to the beginning of March offers the best time to climb the mountain.
  • Different climatic zones offer different atmosphere. The temperatures and precipitation levels and vegetation drop as hikers move to a high altitude.
  • As the weather varies, so the hikers should be ready to experience the hot, wet or cold conditions at any time while on the mountain.
What is the success rate for climbing Kilimanjaro via the Umbwe Route?

The success rate of climbing the mountain depends on the duration of your climb. When considering all operators, it is estimated that 6-day Umbwe climbs have a success rate of approximately 60%, while 7-day Umbwe climbs have a success rate of around 90%. However, our 6-day Umbwe route has a higher success rate of approximately 75% to 80%, and our 7-day Umbwe route has an even higher success rate of approximately 90-95%.

Pro & Cons
  • A challenge for seasoned climbers
  • Shorter acclimatization period
  • Stunning views and less crowded
  • Lower summit success rate.
  • Harder climb due to steepness
  • Less scenic

Umbwe Route Packages