Minimum Days: 6
Recommended Days: 7 or more
Difficulty (1-10): Mount Kilimanjaro Routes ranks the Umbwe Route at an 8/10. Umbwe is very difficult because of how short and steep it is. Suitable for strong hikers who have experience with altitude and know their bodies acclimatize well.
Scenery: Scenery is very good on the Umbwe route and is varied since it uses different ascend and descent trails.
Success Rate: The success rate of Umbwe is very low because there is not the appropriate time to acclimatize in the minimum duration of 6 days.
Traffic: Traffic on the Umbwe route is very low due to its level of difficulty and lower success rate.
Comfort: You will sleep in tents on the Umbwe route. Your comfort is really determined by your level of tolerance for camping.
The Umbwe Route is the most challenging and strenuous route up Kilimanjaro due to the steepness of ascent through the rainforest and the rapid altitude gain over the first two days. Both these factors lead to the Umbwe route having the highest incidence of altitude sickness and therefore the lowest summit success rate
After day 2 the Umbwe route joins up with the Machame route at Barranco Camp, continuing over the Great Barranco Wall and over into the Karanga Valley. It is possible to climb the Umbwe route over 5 days, however, this is far too short for acclimatisation and as such we only offer the Umbwe route over 6 days as a private climb.
Although the Umbwe route is very steep and arduous, it is not a technical climb. It does not offer the opportunity to acclimatise well as you cannot “walk high, sleep low” – it is all uphill all the way to the summit. For those who have been to altitude before and know that they acclimatise well then they can benefit from the first two days being very quiet and also enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Private climbs only on this route.