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Luxury Kilimanjaro: Umbwe Route View Full Screen Itinerary

8 NIGHTS TOTAL, 5 KILIMANJARO NIGHTS, THE SHORTEST ASCENT TO THE 'ROOF OF AFRICA', LUXURY LODGE ARUSHA, PROFESSIONAL GUIDES AND PORTERS THROUGHOUT, LUXURY SAFARI 

Luxury, private Kilimanjaro trek - you and your own team of guides and porters. Luxury safari in the incredible Chem Chem Lodge within the Lake Manyara National Park.

This is a great route for those who know that they deal well with altitude and will not have too many acclimatisation problems. 'Umbwe' is renowned for being a tough route due in part to the limited time for acclimatisation but also due to its steep trails. Umbwe is despite its still trails, still a non-tenhnical climb and can be completed by fit, expereinced hill-walkers and trekkers.

Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions' Luxury Kilimanjaro treks offer you the chance to scale this world famous giant in total comfort. All you need to carry on this luxury trek is a small day sack which offers you the best chance to reach the summit. Each day you will benefit from camps that have been professionally set up prior to your arrival by your private team of local porters. All amenities from dining tents, mess tents, to your own private tents will be at your disposal. Our luxury camps also feature a chemical 'toilet' tent unlike many other operators on the mountain. 

THE SCENERY ON 'THE UMBWE ROUTE' IS SECOND TO NONE

SAVOUR SPECTACULAR VIEWS EARLY ON, DUE TO THE RAPID HEIGHT GAIN IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS

The Umbwe Route offers dramatic views, wonderful solitude and terrific, exhilarating walking. All without the hustle and bustle of other trekkers. Those who really know Kilimanjaro, consider Umbwe Route to be one of the best kept secrets and it is tough to contradict this opionion. 

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Considered one of Kilimanjaro's best kept secrets
  • One of the shortest routes up Kilimanjaro
  • Benefitting from being one of the least trodden routes to the summit
  • Spectacular views of Tanzania from day one
  • Professional team of guides and porters taking care of all your needs
  • Luxury accommodation both before and after your climb
  • Complete privacy with you and your guides and porters. This is your mountain, this is not a group climb
Day 1

Day 1: ARRIVE IN ARUSHA

On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative will be waiting for you with a paging board which has your name on it. 

They will make sure you have everything before setting off in your private transfer vehicle to your local Arusha accommodation where you will be...

On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative will be waiting for you with a paging board which has your name on it. 

They will make sure you have everything before setting off in your private transfer vehicle to your local Arusha accommodation where you will be spending the night in luxury. A welcome chance to rest and recover prior to departing on your exciting luxury climb of Kilimanjaro. 

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Day 2

Day 2: DRIVE TO UMBWE GATE

This morning after breakfast you will be collected by your guide who will drive you to the start of the Kilimanjaro Trailhead. 

Today, you will start your trekking through Umbwe gate. At the gate you will have a chance to meet with your guides, porters and all crew who will be...

This morning after breakfast you will be collected by your guide who will drive you to the start of the Kilimanjaro Trailhead. 

Today, you will start your trekking through Umbwe gate. At the gate you will have a chance to meet with your guides, porters and all crew who will be with you on the trek.

You’ll be walking along the Rain forest until Umbwe cave where you will spend a night. Dinner and over night will be at Umbwe cave 9300ft.

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Day 3

Day 3: UMBWE CAVES TO BARRANCO CAMP 13000FT

Early in morning start your hike through the rain forest to moorland zone, it will be a steep up to Barranco Camp where you are going to spend a night.

Early in morning start your hike through the rain forest to moorland zone, it will be a steep up to Barranco Camp where you are going to spend a night.

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Day 4

Day 4: BARRANCO TO KARANGA CAMP, 13100ft

In the morning to start with the Barranco Wall, a little bit challenging and scrambling with very spectacular views. Then cross the rolling ridges of Karanga Valley to your next camp where you will have lunch, dinner and over night there.

In the morning to start with the Barranco Wall, a little bit challenging and scrambling with very spectacular views. Then cross the rolling ridges of Karanga Valley to your next camp where you will have lunch, dinner and over night there.

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Day 5

Day 5: KARANGA TO BARAFU CAMP 15200FT

In the morning, start up to Barafu camp where you will have a plenty of time to be well prepared for the early morning summit.

In the morning, start up to Barafu camp where you will have a plenty of time to be well prepared for the early morning summit.

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Day 6

Day 6: BARAFU TO THE SUMMIT.

Wake up before 5:00am for the Summit ascent. You will start a few hours before sunrise which means you will be on top of Kili at Mid-day. You will have lunch before summit or crater rim. After summit you will descend all the way back to Barafu camp for an...

Wake up before 5:00am for the Summit ascent. You will start a few hours before sunrise which means you will be on top of Kili at Mid-day. You will have lunch before summit or crater rim. After summit you will descend all the way back to Barafu camp for an hour rest then continue going down to Millenium camp

 

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Day 7

Day 7: MILLENIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE 6500FT

Start early in the morning back to the gate. At the gate you will have some time to celebrate with the crew and guides, your guide will give you Kilimanjaro certificate, have lunch then drive to the hotel for the day room or direct to the airport. Transfer to your...

Start early in the morning back to the gate. At the gate you will have some time to celebrate with the crew and guides, your guide will give you Kilimanjaro certificate, have lunch then drive to the hotel for the day room or direct to the airport. Transfer to your safari lodge for the next adventure.

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Day 8

Day 8: ON SAFARI AT CHEM CHEM LODGE

Today you are waking up in the incredible Lake Manyara National Park and able to enjoy a full day on safari. Enjoy a wonderful breakfast before heading out on safari with your guide in a private Land Rover. 

Today you are waking up in the incredible Lake Manyara National Park and able to enjoy a full day on safari. Enjoy a wonderful breakfast before heading out on safari with your guide in a private Land Rover. 

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Day 9

Day 9: FINAL DAY IN AFRICA

This morning is your final breakfast in Africa. Today you will be leaving the magical Chem Chem Lodge and heading back with your driver guide to Arusha. From Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will collect your return international flight home. 

This morning is your final breakfast in Africa. Today you will be leaving the magical Chem Chem Lodge and heading back with your driver guide to Arusha. From Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will collect your return international flight home. 

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Trail Overview

The Umbwe Route is a very direct, beautiful way of scaling Kilimanjaro by the western flank. It is so beautiful it was said to be, 'one of the finest non-technical mountianeering expditions in East Africa' by the mountaineer Iain Allen. The route lies between and parallel to the more popular Machame and Mweka routes. Umbwe itself is very steep and wild, offering an exhilarating climb. This means it is rarely used, coupled with the rapid rate of altitude gain this route should really be attemped only by those with previous mountaineering expereince. 

The climb showecases some of Kilimanjaro's most impressive features and the views one can savour from the Barranco Hut on trail are spectacular. The main lure to this route is the sense of isolation and remoteness offered as there simply are not the crowds that can be encountered on the more popular trails. 

The trailhead (start of the trek) to Umbwe Route begins at Umbwe Gate. The gate is set in the western lower foothills at an altitude of around 1650 metres. 

Fully Licensed Kilimanjaro Guides

In 1991, the park authorities at Kilimanjaro made it compulsory for all trekkers to arrange their walk through a licensed agency. Furthermore, they insist that all trekkers must be accompanied throughout their walk by a guide supplied by the agency. Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions are partnered with a fully licenced agency and guiding service company regarded as one of the most respected guiding companies on the mountain. Your team of 30 or more guides and porters will be at your disposal no matter what size of group you climb in.

 

DIFFICULTIES TO OVERCOME:

The obvious: a general good level of fitness. It’s hard to quantify someone’s level of fitness, and each sport is very different. The best form of training and gauging weather you’re capable of this is to actually walk/trek. A few weekends training with walking in the hills trekking would be suitable. This will also serve people very well trying out their kit prior to the expedition a few times. No doubt many people will be popping out and accruing new items, perhaps new boots even. It is important to have well worn in boots for this trip.

Keeping a Positive Mental Attitude. Hugely important on any challenge, especially physical challenges. If you have the general level of fitness mentioned above, coupled with the mental grit and determination you will likely succeed in this sort of event – especially taking a well thought and planned out route I’ve suggested earlier. A good sense of humour will help too.

The main difficulty is the altitude. The walking is not hugely strenuous, with an average of about 3 to 4 maybe 5 hours a day (not including the Summit Day which is a BIG day at nearly 13 to 16 hours). It’s recommended that clients take Diamox a prescription based drug that helps the body realise it’s at altitude and start acclimatizing soon. 

Keeping yourself together on the mountain. It may sound silly, but as you start to physically and mentally crack around the edges it’s easy to let things slip a little. You have to remember to keep drinking, keep washing your hands, applying your lip balm, suncreams etc. As you go on throughout the trek these things play a vital role in wheather you’re successful or not. It would be a great shame to be beaten by sunstroke or dehydration. However, your Guides are pretty good at reminding you of these things. 

Top Tips:

Buy a good Kilimanjaro Guide Book or go to the library and rent one – read it thoroughly if you can many weeks before your trip. The extra knowledge on flora and fauna on the mountain will be enjoyable and add to your experience whilst there. Finding out the geological history and human interaction and connection with the mountain also will add depth to your overall experience.

Remember lip balm. The air is thin and very dry and your lips will start to crack in this desert environment. Breathe through your nose so as to conserve body moisture and keep lips from drying out for longer.

If you have flexibility, September and October are great months to trek – crowds have desperate somewhat from the busier summer months. February is also great however, after the shorter rains, the mountain is snow covered and looks utterly beautiful.

Speak to your Sandgrouse Travel consultant, we will try to coincide your trek with a full moon, if you have flexibility with when you can go it is worth it.

Pack a wide brimmed sun hat. Bring a buff or Arabic head scarf. Sun cream on your ears. Drinking lots of water. Taking enough clean socks – this is an amazing moral boost whilst on the mountain. Well-worn in boots. Tried and tested kit before leaving for trip. Good organization – planning and preparation well before departure date. Pack tissues or a roll of loo roll. Try and learn a few Swahili phrases before you go – it helps break down barriers with your guides and porters and is fun. Personal medical kit including Imodium pills, pain killers, aspirin. Diamox for altitude. Alcohol based anti-bacterial hand wash. Good packing – familiarise yourself with packing your bag, good organization. A quality head torch is essential. Walking poles/sticks. These act as third and fourth legs and as you tire are a real Godsend. It is a good idea to lay out all your kit before travel and make sure you tick off the items you think you will need.

Sample Food Menu:

BREAKFAST: Eggs made to order, sausages, toast, hash browned potatoes, banana bread / muffins, granola with cold milk, fresh fruits, fruit juice, hot coffee, lemongrass tea, cocoa.

LUNCH: Chicken breast sandwiches, pasta salad, crudites, salami, fresh fruits.

AFTERNOON TEA: Hot coffee, Lemongrass tea, cocoa, cookies with cheese, popcorn, roasted nuts.

DINNER: Different soups, Chinese rice / Italian-style lasagna, green bean salad, fresh fruit salad served in a watermelon.

TRAIL SNACKS: Mixed nuts or fresh-roasted peanuts, mixed dried organic fruits, fresh locally grown fruit, home-made cookies, candy bars, popcorn. We advise bringing a small selection of your favourite snack bars from home too. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten –free and other special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. 

For further information on Mount Kilimanjaro nutrition, search our articles within our magazine and blog: Sandgrouse Traveller

On Day two at camp, in the evening you will have a full safety briefing with your head guide and also the medic who is with you almost like your silent shadow the whole trek. The medic is also a trained first aid responder. The head guide is also a trained first aid responder. The medic is trained to a very high standard and carries all the medical gear you will need in the event of an emergency. The briefing consists of a gear demonstration. The safety briefing is hugely important and puts your mind at rest.

Oxygen for emergency use - For groups of 6+, 2 kits (2 x 100L medical oxygen bottle, regulators & masks) are provided.

* Pulse-oximeter - The head guide checks and charts these numbers daily at dinner time, for each climber.

* Hyperbolic Chamber  - a portable altitude chamber, for emergency use

* Automated External Defibrillator (optional) - Included on treks with a night in the Crater Camp

* Stretcher - Converts into a rigid steel-framed litter

* First-aid & medicine kit, comprehensively stocked and kept as per WFR guidelines

* VHF handheld radios - Carried for quick communication between head and assistant guides. An extra battery accompanies each radio.

* Mobile phones - carried by all guides, for daily communications with our base in Arusha.

* Satellite phone - carried by the head guide for emergencies (in areas with no mobile network)

* Medical equipment porter – to stay with the group at all times, to ensure that the safety gear is always nearby and ready to employ.

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