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Climb Kilimanjaro via the Umbwe route with highlights including....

  • A technical or non-technical high altitude challenge of reaching Africa's highest point, Uhuru peak at 5985m or 19,341ft approaching via Barafu / Stella point or Arrow glacier / Western breach and nights spent in mountain tents.
  • An experienced team of professional and friendly guides, cook, waiter and porters with external monitoring for fair treatment standards.
  • 5 to 7 day trekking options including or excluding a night inside of the Kilimanjaro crater.
  • Spectacular 'equator to arctic' scenery on the southern circuit / Western breach of the mountain through a mountain forest, heather and moorland, alpine desert and snowy summit.
or

Please note

A minimum of a 6 day permit is required for this route and salary payments for the support team. The price for 5 days is the same as 6 days and we only offer this option if absolutely necessary.

Day 1 - Arrival & pre-climb briefing at a Moshi based lodge

Direct arrival at a lodge in Moshi at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. This evening you will have a pre-climb briefing with your guide and a consultant.

  • Check in time: 12:00pm
  • Expected briefing time: 17:00pm
  • Meals included: none

Day 2 - Moshi based lodge to Umbwe gate to Umbwe cave camp

Depart Moshi to Umbwe gate, upon arrival complete your registration. During the steep trek today you will encounter rain and will animals before winding up your day at the camp.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approximate trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 8km
  • Start Altitude: 1640m
  • End Altitude: 2930m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2930m
  • Altitude loss: 1290m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Umbwe cave camp to Barranco camp

Start your ascent to heather and moorland where you will encounter different plant species with spectacular view of Kibo peak. This trail leads to Barranco valley and later to Barranco Camp with the spectacular view of Great Barranco Wall in the East.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 6km
  • Start Altitude: 2930m
  • End Altitude: 3960m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3960m
  • Altitude gain: 1030m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Barranco camp to Barafu camp

Today your trek involves a steep climb up the eastern wall where you may have a spectacular view of Kilimanjaro. You then proceed with a steep exit to Barranco wall. This trail continues down to Karanga Valley. You will then proceed with your trek on empty and dry landscape to Barafu Camp.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 7-8 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 8km
  • Start Altitude: 3960m
  • End Altitude: 4640m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4640m
  • Altitude gain: 680m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Barafu camp to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Around mid-night begins a steep climb over loose volcanic scree. Slow and steady pace will take you towards Stella point. Take a short rest at Stella point (5685m), proceed with your ascent to Uhuru peak (5895m). You will normally encounter snow on your way to the peak. Spend few minutes on the top of the mountain and then descend back to Barafu camp for a short rest before you proceed to Mweka Camp to wind up your day

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 14-18 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 19km
  • Start Altitude: 4650m
  • End Altitude: 3080m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 5895m
  • Altitude gain / loss: +1245m / -2815m
  • Meals included: Pre-climb snack, brunch and dinner

Day 6 - Mweka camp to Mweka gate to a Moshi based lodge

Today is the final day on the mountain; enjoy your breakfast before descending to Mweka gate passing through forest zone. Upon arrival at the gate complete park formalities and tipping ceremony with your support team. Our driver will then transfer you to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 0.5-1 hours
  • Approximate trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 10km
  • Start Altitude: 3080m
  • End Altitude: 1680m (park gates)
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3080m
  • Altitude loss: 1400m
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7 - End of our services after check-out.

After check-out our services end or you can include extra activities, a safari, beach extension or a airport transfer.

  • Check out time: 12:00pm
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 1 - Arrival & pre-climb briefing at a Moshi based lodge

Direct arrival at a lodge in Moshi at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. This evening you will have a pre-climb briefing with your guide and a consultant.

  • Check in time: 12:00pm
  • Expected briefing time: 17:00pm
  • Meals included: none

Day 2 - Moshi based lodge to Umbwe gate to Umbwe cave camp

Depart Moshi to Umbwe gate, upon arrival complete your registration. During the steep trek today you will encounter rain and will animals before winding up your day at the camp.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approximate trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 8km
  • Start Altitude: 1640m
  • End Altitude: 2930m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2930m
  • Altitude loss: 1290m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Umbwe cave camp to Barranco camp

Start your ascent to heather and moorland where you will encounter different plant species with spectacular view of Kibo peak. This trail leads to Barranco valley and later to Barranco Camp with the spectacular view of Great Barranco Wall in the East.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 6km
  • Start Altitude: 2930m
  • End Altitude: 3960m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3960m
  • Altitude gain: 1030m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Barranco camp to Karanga camp

This day is designed for acclimatization. Today you will conquer the Great Barranco Wall with the view of Heim glacier on the top. The trail winds down to Karanga Valley. You will then proceed with a steep climb to Karanga Camp.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 6km
  • Start Altitude: 3960m
  • End Altitude: 4035m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4217m
  • Altitude gain: 257m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Karanga camp to Barafu camp

Today you cross the alpine desert and continue with your trek on empty and dry landscape to Barafu Camp. This trail intersects with Mweka Route, the trail used to descend for the final two days. The word “Barafu” means Ice, this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 4km
  • Start Altitude: 4035m
  • End Altitude: 4650m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4650m
  • Altitude gain: 615m
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 - Barafu camp to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Around mid-night begins a steep climb over loose volcanic scree. Slow and steady pace will take you towards Stella point. Take a short rest at Stella point (5685m), proceed with your ascent to Uhuru peak (5895m). You will normally encounter snow on your way to the peak. Spend few minutes on the top of the mountain and then descend back to Barafu camp for a short rest before you proceed to Mweka Camp to wind up your day

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approximate trekking time: 14-18 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 19km
  • Start Altitude: 4650m
  • End Altitude: 3080m
  • Highest Altitude reached: 5895m
  • Altitude gain / loss: +1245m / -2815m
  • Meals included: Pre-climb snack, brunch and dinner

Day 7 - Mweka camp to Mweka gate to a Moshi based lodge

Today is the final day on the mountain; enjoy your breakfast before descending to Mweka gate passing through forest zone. Upon arrival at the gate complete park formalities and tipping ceremony with your support team. Our driver will then transfer you to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 0.5-1 hours
  • Approximate trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approximate trekking distance: 10km
  • Start Altitude: 3080m
  • End Altitude: 1680m (park gates)
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3080m
  • Altitude loss: 1400m
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 - End of our services after check-out.

After check-out our services end or you can include extra activities, a safari, beach extension or a airport transfer.

  • Check out time: 12:00pm
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Advanced trekking! This option involves a technical approach

This route has a technical approach on the western breach and high altitude camping inside of the Kilimanjaro crater that is only recommended for advanced trekkers. Most do not choose this option as it is extremely difficuly and involves risk. You can contact us for a custom quote for this.

Shira route

Minimum days: 5 days on trek
Maximum days: 7 days on trek
We recommend: 7 days on trek, 1 night in the crater camp & 2 nights at a lodge
Level: Advanced
Overnights: Tents
Price range: Medium to high
Ascent / Descent: Umbwe / Mweka
Acclimatisation & success: Low
Circuit: Southern circuit or Western breach
Traffic: Low

The Umbwe route is usually used by those seasoned mountaineers and especially those who approach the summit via the technical Western breach. This is 'real mountain climbing' only a handful of clients and guides can safely pass and summit.

This route offers two options. A short hike onto the southern circuit starting via the South and a steep climb into the Barranco wall acting as a 'short cut' into the southern circuit. This is a great choice for climbers who want to complete the hike quickly with a large physical demand and low acclimatisation.

The second option and one usually chosen on Umbwe is an approach is to summit via the Western breach. The western breach litterally means the gap in the western side of the Kibo cone (likely blown off on a historic erruption) and allows technical mountaineers the challenge of a steep and dangeroud summit attempt. There are many variations of this route and we can customise the experience to be as difficult / achievable as you want to allow.

Whichever way you approach Africa's highest peak, you can end with a night in the crater on Kilimanjaro and complete your high altitude challenge.

For non experienced or intermediate climbers we do not recommend this route however if preferred, a minimum of 6 days is generally recommended.

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Standard packages usually include:

  • 1 Night accommodation at a base lodge on BB basis before trek
  • 1 Night accommodation at a base lodge on BB basis after trek
  • All National Park conservation, park entry, hut, ranger and rescue fees for itinerary
  • Trained, certified and experienced English speaking mountain guide/s
  • Mountain porters (1 x porter carrying personal mountain luggage of 12kg for Meru per 1 person)
  • Chef/cook, waiter porter and eating utensils
  • Meals indicated on the itineraries [B = breakfast, L = Hot lunch or packed lunch, D = dinner]
  • 1 x transfer from a Moshi or Arusha based lodge to park gates; per group
  • 1 x transfer back to a Moshi or Arusha based lodge to park gates; per group
  • Boiled drinking water on trek (from 1st hut on-wards)
  • Basic first aid kit per group
  • 1 pulse oximeter per group for twice daily health checks with guide

Optional extras and comfort upgrades:

  • Supplemental oxygen or emergency oxygen cylinders
  • Comfort upgrades such as a personal porters for extra luggage, summit porters etc.
  • Airport or other transfers
  • Additional transfers from park gates to lodges
  • Domestic flights
  • Extra nights’ accommodation at a lodge
  • Personal mountain equipment such as sleeping bags, walking poles, duffel bags etc.

Our standard packaged usually exclude:

  • Tips / gratuities
  • Beverages such as soft drinks, alcohol etc.
  • International flights
  • High altitude trekking insurance (visit recommended provider)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Water on first day of trek
  • Metal & hard plastic water bottles, water bladders etc. (note: soft plastics are not permitted on the mountain)
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When to visit


These recommendations are based on weather predictions and trends.

Excellent time

January, February, July to October, December

Good time

March, June, November

Mixed time

April, May

Why choose us?

Here are some of the top reasons thousands have chosen Shah Tours.

35+ years experience

We are not just saying it, we have decades of experience with many guides having worked with us for years and years creating memories since 1984.

Family owned

Currently on the third generation of the 'Shah' in Shah Tours, we have always been family owned bringing the experience and passion of many generations.

Responsible

We are part of multiple organisations to ensure our standards are high. Some of our tours are also externally monitored to ensure fair and independent monitoring.

Superior guides

Most of our guides have worked with us for many years and have plenty of training, skill and real world experience to offer a superb and friendly experience in multiple languages.

Safe and Reliable

Policies for safety and operations ensure our tours are enjoyable and safe. Some companies still operate without licenses and cut corners, we are not one of them!

Happy clients

Although we have never counted exactly, we can safely say that many tens of 1000's have travelled with us and left happy. We continually improve based on feedback.

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