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The Umbwe - Machame route


Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok

Umbwe - Machame route

The Umbwe Route is slightly steeper than the Machame Route. Once at the Barranco Hut, you can continue up towards the Western Breach variation or join the Machame hikers on the South Circuit on this Umbwe Machame variation. 

With the Machame/South Circuit route, you will circle halfway around the mountain with great views from all angles.


Most people descend down the Mweka trail and stay at the Mweka camp the final night on the mountain. An alternative is to descend the Marangu route if you like crowds, but availability may be limited in the Horombo Hut.   This route is usually done in 5 or 6 days but 7 or 8 is recommended. The extra day(s) can be spent resting at Barranco or to cut up the Barranco- Barafu part up into 2 easier days (recommended).

Umbwe - Machame Route Itinerary

6 to 7 days, 60 km


Moshi Booked into accommodation in Moshi for overnight
Day 1
To Umbwe Cave
1800m to 2800 m
About 5 hours
Drive from Moshi to the Umbwe Gate. Commence the climb through the rain forest with packed lunch on route. Dinner and overnight at the first encampment at 2,800 meters. 
Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery and even steep, but not technical.
Day 2
To Barranco Hut
2800m to 3900m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the forest and follow an ascending path on the open moorland to the Barranco Hut located at 3,900 meters. Dinner and overnight at the campsite. 
Day 3
Acclimatization Day
Variable walking time 
This is an acclimatization day at Barranco, walking around the greater Barranco and up to the Breach Wall. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.

Alternatively, you can hike up and down to the Lava Tower Camp at 3400m. 
Day 4 To Barafu Hut
3900m to 4600m
About 8 hours
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley (4200m), and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue to the Barafu Hut, which is located ant an altitude of 4,600 meters. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position. This section can also be divided into 2 separate days, where camp will be made in or near the Karanga valley. This makes the summit day a lot easier...
Day 5 To Summit and Mweka Hut
4600m to 5895m
(and down to 3100m)
About 11 hours
Early morning, we continue our way to the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5,985 meters. This part of the climb takes about 6 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. At Uhuru Peak, we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site at 3,100 meters. This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep. Beer and soda may be available for purchase at the Mweka Hut -- the only place on this route.
Day 6 To Moshi
3100m to 1830m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep raingear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi. Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!

Check out the trips page for the current 7summits Kilimanjaro trips prices

Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok