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*
*Personal porter hire available for an additional fee.


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

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  • Days 1-2 | Depart North America / Arrive Arusha, 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

  • Day 3 | Acclimatization & Hiking Day in 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

  • Day 4 | 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

  • Day 5 | 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

  • Day 6 | 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

  • Day 7 | 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

  • Day 8 | 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

  • Days 9-10 | 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.


10 days door-to-door

International airfare not included
Ask us about our competitive Business Class fares

Single accommodations: $410
Personal Porter: $330

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

Please note: 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.


Everyone planning to climb Kilimanjaro needs to know about Thomson

Wonderful trip! What an adventure and experience! The crew in Arusha provided an A+, world class experience that exceeded my expectations. I now know why, through experience, Thomson is one of the World’s Best safari outfitter. From accommodations pre/post trip and the mini-safari, to gear and delicious food on the mountain, it was the perfect…

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actual image

The trip was unforgettable and it was all because of the Thomson staff in Boston and on the mountain.

Thank you for all your help in planning our Kilimanjaro trip. James, Calvin and George were beyond amazing throughout the trip. My dad and I would not have made it to the summit without their help. They taught about the history of the mountain, immersed us into the Tanzania culture and their individual tribal culture.…

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Larson W. on her hike to the summit

I spent spring break climbing Kilimanjaro with my father. I could have stayed in Tanzania forever!

I spent my high school spring break climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with my father. I was given the incredible opportunity to travel to Africa, and I wanted to do something special.

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Trekkers pose near unique African wildlife

Thanks for helping us achieve our dream!

We just got back from our trip and wanted to say “Asante!” as the trip was AMAZING!!! We cannot thank you enough for taking the time to walk us through the trip planning process, information on required gear, and what to expect on Kilimanjaro. It certainly was appreciated when we hit the summit with negative

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David C. with guides at Uhuru peak

An extremely challenging and amazing adventure

It was an extremely challenging and amazing adventure. I was quite pleased that I was able to summit. My trek mate and I both had a little bit of altitude sickness but we powered through it and were both ecstatic to have made it to the top. First, my expectations were exceeded in all facets

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Bernie G. poses with a rock formation on Kilimanjaro

I had dreamed about this for over 20 years.

I have to say I was really pleased to have chosen Thomson Safaris for my Kilimanjaro trek. All three of us were successful in reaching the summit, and the complete arrangements were near perfect.

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  • Interested in a The Umbwe trek? Let us know, and one of our trekking experts will contact you shortly!

    Start planning your Umbwe Route trek

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

Gibbs Farm on the R&R safari extension


R&R Safari

This short extension offers a glimpse of the landscapes and wildlife Tanzania is known for. Experience the famed Ngorongoro Crater. See Lake Manyara National Park’s tree-climbing lions. Relax at a luxury eco-resort.

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.