Challenge and Awe your Spirit
A private 6 to 10-day high-altitude guided endurance trek to the Roof of Africa at 19,340 ft.
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the 7 highest summits on the 7 continents and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. There are 6 routes up the mountain face, two crater rim summit points named Gillman’s Point and Stella Point and one peak named Uhuru which means freedom in the Swahili language.
Following is a day-by-day accounting of our recommended hike via the Umbwe Route. We love this route as it takes 6 days rather than 7, is highly scenic, and our groups are virtually “alone” on the mountain for the first 2 days. We do not summit via the difficult Western Breach but merge with the Machame, Shira and Lemosho routes mid-mountain and summit via Stella point.
Our very own mountain company Exceptional Mountain Tours will drive our group to the Umbwe Gate. Here we will meet the rest of our climbing crew. We will ascend for about 5-7 hours to Umbwe Camp (9,350 feet) through the lush, tropical rainforest full of magniﬁcent birdlife, and many unique ﬂowers and plant species. We will likely see the Blue or Black & White Colobus Monkeys that populate the forest zone. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe Rivers. This path offers spectacular views of deep gorges and glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering over you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees with thick undergrowth.
Shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. This steep all day climb continues along a narrow but spectacular ridge featuring the peak of Kilimanjaro etched against the bright blue sky. The path ﬂattens as you descend slightly to Barranco Camp (13,074 feet). 6-7 hours. Barranco Camp has an incredible view of Kibo peak.
Lots of fun scrambling up the 800-foot Great Barranco Wall. This wall is imposing at ﬁrst but is generally easier than anticipated and a favorite climb amongst hikers. Rest and snacks at the top with beautiful views of the Heim Glacier. Descend into the Karanga (peanut) Valley (13,254 feet) over alternating ridge and sand valleys. 5-6 hours. Not much gain in altitude this day.
Short but steep climb to our ﬁnal camp before summit, Barafu (ice) Camp (15,357 feet) or Kosovo at 1,000 feet higher. 4-6 hours. Early dinner, brieﬁng, gear preparation followed by an early night to sleep. We will wake around 11pm, dress for the summit, have a light meal and hike 5-7 hours to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!
The ﬁnal portion of the climb includes steep rocks, and a snow-covered area to Stella Point (18,850 ft). The hike from Stella point is slow (pole pole) with frequent breaks. Our goal is to reach the summit of Uhuru Peak (19,340 feet) as the sun rises which offers incredible views in all directions from the highest point in Africa. We will then descend via Stella Point to Kosovo Camp, rest for 1 hour then descend further to Millennium Camp (12,500 feet). Total hiking time is 11 to 15 hours. This is your final exam!
Hiking back down through the Moorland and rain forest to the Mweka gate. (5-6 hours of hiking). Back to our hotel for a much-welcomed hot shower. We will drive through lush coffee and banana plantations and small villages on our return trip to Moshi where we will be staying. Then we will have dinner with our guides who will present us with our summit certiﬁcates.
To ensure comfort in our trek, Exceptional Mountain Tours provides the best mountain equipment and group cooking experiences for our clients. Specially prepared menus will include fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. Our cooks can customize our menus to meet any health restrictions or requests. Additionally, it is a good idea to bring your favorite snacks for your backpack during the climb (hard candy, energy bars etc.). Porters will carry all group gear as well as your personal gear. Trekkers will be responsible only to carry their small day packs which will include a rain jacket, ﬂeece, personal items and 2 liters of water. The mountain crew will break camp after we depart in the morning, then race ahead of climbers to set up the next camp for arrival. A welcoming cup of tea, coffee or cocoa together with freshly popped pop-corn will be waiting as you enter camp!
Your safety and wellbeing are of utmost importance.
- Our mountain guides are well-experienced – most with a decade or more of on the job training.
- You are provided with safety and preparedness information and a detailed list of appropriate clothing and essentials to bring with you.
- For Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru we recommend that you consult with your physician regarding medical concerns and appropriateness for you to partake in a high-altitude endurance event. We also provide you with information regarding high-altitude risks and physical/psychological preparedness.
- Each trekking group is equipped with a pulse oximeter, first aid kit, and emergency oxygen.
- We provide Flying Doctors Insurance for every trekker which will evacuate you from the mountain via helicopter should there be an unexpected medical emergency.
Exceptional Mountain Tours will provide:
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping tents with pads and pillows
- Dining tent with camping tables and chairs
- Mobile toilets and tents (yeah!)
- 3 meals each day (2-3 will be hot) – plus afternoon tea/soft drinks/hot chocolate/coffee
- Bottled, boiled and/or filtered water
- All National Park daily fees for trekking clients and crew
- Crew salary for your guides, assistant guides, cooks/waiters and porters.
- 3.5 to 6 crew per client.
Trekkers Must Provide:
- Personal hiking gear including warm clothes, warm sleeping bag, hiking boots, etc. A detailed list will be provided to you.
- Mountain Crew Tip (as desired, suggested range is $100 to $400 per person depending on size of group)
Contact Us Today!
We are available to answer any further questions you may have