Umbwe Route via Western Breach: 9 Days

Umbwe Route via Western Breach: 9 Days



Look out for Colobus monkeys as you go! The ascent is steady through a magnificent dense rain forest.

Tanzania Holiday Guide

My name is Idda – I’m your Adventure Planner.

Idda Oakes

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If you have any questions or enquiries, please contact me on + 44 1242 906 571 or alternatively you can use the contact form. 

    Day 1: Arrival – Moshi
    Arrive at Kilimanjaro International airport. Meet Massawe Adventures at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi Lodge. Overnight Massawe Adventure Lodge.

    Day 2: Local Tour
    After breakfast, you will be met by Massawe Adventures staff with a private vehicle and taken to the beautiful Materuni waterfalls. You will then explore the indigenous Chagga culture and village. Followed by a coffee production tour. Afterwards, you will be driven back to the Moshi Lodge. Overnight Massawe Adventure Lodge.

    Day 3: Umbwe Gate (1,400m/4,600ft) to Umbwe Cave Camp (3,000m/9,800ft)
    Elevation Gain: 1,600 metres / 5,200 feet
    Your head guide will meet you for the drive from Moshi to the Umbwe Gate where you will need to register for your climb. After entry formalities are complete you then begin climbing the winding trail through the forest, looking out for Colobus monkeys as you go. The ascent is steady through this magnificent dense rain forest. Trekking time is approximately 5-6 hours.

    Day 4: Umbwe Cave Camp (3,000m/9,800ft) to Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,650ft)
    Elevation Gain: 850 metres / 2,850 feet
    Soon after leaving camp, the forest begins to thin as you climb the narrow ridge with deep valleys on either side. The terrain becomes rockier and the surrounding trees are draped with ‘goat’s beard’ moss. You may even have occasional glimpses of Kibo, the imposing summit cone of Kilimanjaro. Closer to camp the trail begins to flatten out finally descending into Barranco Camp where you will spend the night. Trekking time is approximately 4-5 hours.

    Day 5: Barranco Camp (3,850m/12,650ft) to Lava Tower Camp (4,550m/14,900ft)
    Elevation Gain: 700 metres / 2,250 feet
    Barranco Camp is located in a beautiful, sheltered valley below the imposing Barranco Wall. After breakfast, leave the camp and begin climbing the valley, passing giant scenecios and other unusual plant life. The climb becomes gradually steeper ending at the base of Lava Tower. In total this trek should take 2-3 hours. The Lava Tower is a 300-foot-high volcanic plug. If time and energy allow, you can scramble to the top of the tower for fabulous panoramic views.

    Day 6: Lava Tower (4,550m/14,900ft) to Arrow Glacier Camp (4,800m/15,700ft)
    Elevation Gain: 250 metres / 800 feet
    Today you will continue the climb towards the Western Breach ascent route. Rather than traversing farther around the southern slopes of the mountain, you ascend up and slightly westward, climbing easy terrain through scree and rocky ridges. The ascent gives stunning views of the Western Breach Wall and the Breach Icicle. This climb will take between two and three hours. As you near Arrow Glacier and the campsite, the views open towards the west and the entire Shira plateau lies below. This camp is renowned for its spectacular sunsets casting a red glow on the wall above. This afternoon you can rest in camp in preparation for your summit attempt.

    Day 7: Arrow Glacier Camp (4,800m/15,700ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,300ft) then descending to Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft)
    Elevation Gain: 1,895 metres / 3,300 feet
    Elevation Loss: 2,785 metres / 9,100 feet
    Leaving camp in the early hours of the morning you will climb the steep scree and boulders of the Western Breach that leads up past Arrow Glacier to the crater rim. There are several sections of scrambling over the top of incredible lava formations. Following the crater rim, you cross the foot of the tiny Furtwangler Glacier and then make a final steep climb up to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro. The ascent from camp to the summit takes between 6 and 8 hours. Lunch will be eaten near the Crater Camp. After a short celebration on the summit, descend via Stella Point and Barafu Camp to Mweka Camp where you will spend the night (approximately 5-6 hours).

    Day 8: Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft) to Mweka Gate (1,830m/6,000ft)
    Elevation Loss: 1,280 metres / 4,220 feet
    Descend straight to the gate through the lush forest (2-3 hours), looking for monkeys along the way. Return to Moshi from Mweka Village.

    Day 9: Departure – Moshi
    Optional exploration of the town/souvenir shopping trip and other experiences are available depending on the client’s areas of interest.
    Massawe Adventures will ensure the client is transported to Kilimanjaro International airport in time for departure.

    Additional Costs:
    The Hiring of clothing, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, walking poles etc.
    Tipping to your guides, cook and porters

    The standard recommendation for this is USD$20 per day to the head guide, $15 per day to the assistant guide, $15 per day to the cook and $10 per day per porter. These costs are split between everyone doing the climb.


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