Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route is a challenging and spectacular path to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. While it is the shortest and most direct route to the summit, it requires excellent preparation, physical stamina, and a confident ability to acclimatize to high altitudes. This route is known for its breathtaking scenery and is considered one of the most scenic and non-technical routes on Kilimanjaro. However, it is important to note that the Umbwe Route does not provide adequate stages for altitude acclimatization due to its quick ascent. Therefore, climbers attempting this route should be well-prepared and experienced in dealing with the challenges of high-altitude hiking. It is recommended to allocate at least 5 to 7 days for the ascent, with 6 or 7 days being the preferred duration.

Approaching from the south, the Umbwe Route offers a direct and steep climb to the summit, providing access to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is renowned for its scenic beauty and offers a unique perspective of the mountain. However, due to the fast ascent to high altitude, the Umbwe Route is known to have a low success rate.

The number of climbers on this trail is relatively low, reflecting the difficulty and demanding nature of the route. Therefore, only experienced and physically fit hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly should attempt the Umbwe Route.

In summary, the Umbwe Route is a challenging and demanding way to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. It offers a direct and scenic path, but the lack of proper acclimatization stages and the fast ascent make it a difficult endeavor. Proper preparation, physical fitness, and experience in high-altitude hiking are essential for those who choose to undertake this route.


Starting Point Umbwe Gate
Ending Point Maweka Gate
Distance 96 Km
Height 5,685metres

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Frequently Asked

Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round. The best months to climb are December-march, and September October, which are the warmest and driest months. The next best is June to august, but they are colder. July, august, and September are the busiest months. Summiting on or soon after a full moon is very beautiful and helps illuminate the landscape without using headlamps. However, it is also very bright for sleeping and stars are not as visible.

Malaria is a serious problem in east Africa so you must consult your doctor about getting effective malaria prophylaxis for your visit. Many people are avoiding lariam nowadays and using malarone. You cannot catch malaria above 3000 meters on Kilimanjaro, but you must be careful below that altitude, particularly if you visit the coast where the strains of malaria tend to be especially virulent.

Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees celsius at the foot of the mountain and -15 to -20 degrees celsius on top plus wind chill. Lower down, it can be wet and humid, but higher up, there can be snow. Rain and snow may be encountered any time of the year!

It requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain.

Your decision will depend on where you want to sleep and the hiking distance each day and number of days of each route. On the Marangu route, you sleep in huts with simple beds, while on all the other routes, you sleep in tents. There are two main routes on the mountain: the Marangu and Machame. You may also want to consider the Rongai route as it is far less traveled. The Lemosho route is a good choice if you want a longer route (8+ days). Kindly visit our kili routes page.


Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, is a challenging and rewarding adventure. It's important to note that this guide provides general information, and for a successful Kilimanjaro climb, it's recommended to consult with a professional guide or tour operator who can provide specific guidance based on your individual circumstances.

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