The Umbwe route approaches Kilimanjaro from the south. The route is a short, steep and direct one, and considered to be very difficult. Due to the fast ascension, this route does not provide the necessary stages for altitude acclimatization. Although the traffic on this route is very low, the chances of success are also very low.
The route is offered at a minimum of six days, and seven days is preferred when attempting to climb using Umbwe. However, overall, the Umbwe route is not recommended.
Drive to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m. From where a forestry track leads through natural rain forest to a narrow and steep forested ridge and the first campsite by some rock overhangs at 2940m, (5-6h).
Continue till the forest ends and the path continues along a spectacular ridge with superb views of the icy Breach Wall above and the Great Barranco gorge below. The campsite is not far from the Barranco Hut. (5-6h, 3940m.).
Scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley campsite (3h, 4000m.), beneath the icefalls of the Southern Glaciers.
The trail ascends a ridge to a campsite by the Barafu Hut, an airy location with little vegetation (3h, 4600m.),
Start just after midnight for the ascent of the screes leading to Stella Point (6h, 5725m.). From here a further 40mins. Leads to Uhuru Peak. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and brunch before continuing down to camp at Mweka Hut at 3100m, (11-14h total walking time). Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Ice fields.
A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park Gate. Drive back to local accommodation for overnight.