Team of trekkers ascend a rocky outcropping

Kilimanjaro Route: The Umbwe Route

Photo Credit: Andy Liu


If you’re ready for an intense physical challenge in an unforgettable setting, choose the Umbwe Route. It’s the best of the short Kilimanjaro routes.


  • Hike in Arusha National Park before the climb
  • Trek through the rainforest
  • Challenging nighttime summit bid
  • Thomson’s top-­quality amenities
  • Rock scramble up the Barranco Wall
  • Rigorous trails
  • 96% summit success with Thomson
  • Personal porters available to all trekkers*
  • 6 days trekking, 8 days in Tanzania
*Personal porter hire available for an additional fee.


Extend your trip with a safari!

Visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on a 5-day or 7-day safari; call us for custom safari options.

Unsure which Kilimanjaro route best fits your needs? See how they stack up on our Route Comparison page.


Arrival Day

Arrive Tanzania

A staff member will greet you at the airport and escort you to your lodge, nestled in the hills outside Arusha.

Overnight: Rivertrees Country Inn

Acclimatization Day

Arusha National Park

Spend a full day exploring Arusha National Park on scenic acclimatization hikes. You'll have a chance to spot unique wildlife.

Overnight: Rivertrees Country Inn

Trek Day 1

Begin Trek to Umbwe Caves Camp

After lunch at the trailhead, you'll begin your climb. Hike steep trails through lush rainforest on your way to your first mountain camp.

Overnight: Umbwe Caves Camp (9,701')

Hours trekking: 6-7

Trek Day 2

Umbwe Caves to Barranco Camp

Trek past waterfalls and giant groundsel trees into the Great Barranco Valley. On clear nights, you may be able to glimpse Uhuru Peak from your camp.

Overnight: Barranco Camp (13,004')

Hours trekking: 6-7

Trek Day 3

Barranco to Karanga Camp

A steep rock scramble up the Barranco Wall brings you to the rolling ridges of Karanga Valley. Kilimanjaro's famous glaciers loom in the distance.

Overnight: Karanga Camp (13,231')

Hours trekking: 4-5

Trek Day 4

Karanga to Barafu Camp

Hike at a steady incline over barren, rocky landscapes reminiscent of the surface of the moon.

Overnight: Barafu Camp (15,331')

Hours trekking: 3-4

Trek Day 5

Barafu to Summit / Mweka Millennium Camp

Wake before midnight to begin your challenging summit bid. Stop on the way to watch the sun rise over Mawenzi. Take time to celebrate your achievement and capture some memorable summit photos before descending to tonight's camp.

Overnight: Mweka Millennium Camp (12,500')

Hours trekking: 8-10

Trek Day 6 / Departure Day

Complete Trek / Return to North America

Hike back through dense rainforest to Mweka Gate where you'll enjoy a farewell lunch with your group. Enjoy a hot shower and rest in a day room in Arusha before your evening flight home.

Overnight: Mount Meru Hotel

Hours trekking: 4-6


Rivertrees Country Inn

Rivertrees Country Inn

This former coffee plantation blends simple elegance and modern convenience. Farmhouse-style rooms overlook the Usa River. Enjoy hearty meals in a beautiful open-air thatched-roof dining area.

Mountain Camps

Mountain Camps

Camp in comfort in customized all-weather tents with upgraded zippers, flysheets, and closed-cell full-ground pads. Private toilet tents and solar-lit dining tents are provided daily. Hot meals are prepared from fresh ingredients by the camp’s chef. In the afternoons, hot drinks and snacks are provided.

Mount Meru Hotel

Mount Meru Hotel

Opened in the 1960’s, this Arusha mainstay was recently renovated top to bottom. Reliable modern conveniences, a variety of dining options, a beautiful pool, and a central location make it one of the best places to start or end your safari or trek.

Dates & Prices

6 days

International airfare not included

Single accommodations: $525
Personal Porter: $330

Can’t find a date that works for you? Call us to set up a private trek!

Please note: We can’t guarantee departures with only one guest. A small group supplement of $500 per person will be applied to departures with two or three participants.

All prices are subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors.

See more of what Tanzania has to offer with a post-trek safari

River crossing on the Crater to Plains safari extension


Crater & Plains Safari

See the Great Migration and hundreds more species in breathtaking locations like the Serengeti and the lush Ngorongoro Crater. It’s the perfect complement to your Kilimanjaro climb!

A pride of lions on the Highlights of Tanzania safari extension


Highlights Safari

Our premiere safari extension features visits to remote Maasai communities, world-class wildlife viewing in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and a stay in an exclusive private nature refuge.