General information about Kilimanjaro Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro is the top of Africa. The mountain is located in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. Raised as the result of volcano action, the mountain has the height of about 5,895 meters. Its crown is capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds. Mt Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s classic structures which attract number of tourists across nations globally.

At the height of 19,344 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro it is the highest mountains in Africa and the highest summit in the world that can be reached by walking and overhand climbing. This gives travellers the mind-blowing experience. Deciding to trek Mount Kilimanjaro, you will make your travel to Tanzania a pleasing experience ever expect to see it again in life.

GVTS guides and porters will lead amazing high-quality service as you will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Apart from just climbing the mountain, with us expect to go on a wildlife safari and enjoy a beach vacation on the paradise island Zanzibar. GVTS operations office is located at Arusha and Kilimanjaro, so we will be always in full command for your hiking and safari adventures.

Mountain Kilimanjaro is a free standing mountain in the world. The mount is a dormant volcano mountain but not an extinct one. Ominous grumbles can sometimes be heard – and volcanic gases emerge from fume holes at the crater. Although just three degrees south of the Equator, the temperature being higher because of the geographical location,  the peaks of the mountain have caps of snow and ice coverage all the year round. As Kilimanjaro Mountain possesses different environmental zone, climbers will normally pass from a tropical to an attic environment in just a few days. Being among climbers, you will pass through lush rain-forest before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus – like plants grow. The two peaks of the mountain, KIBO and Mawenzi are separated by lunar landscape, the saddle that stretches between the two ends. The highest point on Kibo, and indeed the whole of Africa, is Uhuru Peak, with spectacular glaciers and stupendous views of the plains, five kilometers below. One of the main reasons people travel to Tanzania just to experience these unique features. The pinnacle – shaped peak of Mawenzi are for mountaineers only.

With the help of porters and a guide, it is possible to walk all the way to the summit of Kibo without holding specialized mountaineering equipment – or experience – and Kilimanjaro can be captured by any reasonably fit person. The whole climb normally takes five or six days depending on the route chosen and involves four or five overnights stays in mountain huts or tents.

Umbwe Route 8 Days / 7 Nights

Snapshot of the Route

    1. Arrival                                                                       –           Day 1
    2. Umbwe Gate / Umbwe Camp                              –           Day 2
    3. Umbwe Camp / Barranco Camp                         –           Day 3
    4. Barranco Camp / Karanga Camp                        –           Day 4
    5. Karanga Camp / Barafu Camp                             –           Day 5
    6. Uhuru Peak / Millennium Camp                         –           Day 6
    7. Millennium Camp / Mweka Gate                        –           Day 7
    8. Departure                                                                 –           Day 8

Umbwe path is mostly avoided route because of its ascent profile. Its features do not give climbers much time to adjust themselves as the altitude changes abruptly. The success rate is very low to most climbers. Courageous experienced climbers who seek adventure through challenges will find just what they want on Umbwe. A short steep climb traversing all the climate zones – from tropical rainforest to eternal ice will put your strength and endurance to the test feeling of difficult trekking. Like no other route on Kilimanjaro Mountain trekking, the Umbwe route gives a sense of achievement to those who reach the summit. As a daring trekker, kindly choose GVTS to lead your climbing to Kilimanjaro Mountain through this route.

Upon your Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you will meet GVTS Travel representative who will take you to the hotel in Moshi town – Kilimanjaro Region. The hotel will provide you all the essentials for a comfortable accommodation (rooms with hot water, well-mannered staff, a swimming pool as well as Internet access among others). In the evening before supper, you will receive your tour briefing from our managers who will also make sure you are ready to begin your climb on the other day.

A guide and mountain support crews / porters will arrive at your hotel in the morning of day 2 in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing about your trekking safari before starting trekking. After the briefing, you will be picked by GVTS’s vehicle and travel to Kilimanjaro National Park’s through Umbwe Gate. This entrance is located at 1,640 m above sea level where your trek will start. The head-guide will finalize the permits and registration for search and rescue services.

Remember climbing up to 2,930 m will be a long haul with a significant increase in altitude, so GVTS guider will find the right pace for you to stick on. Be informed that, this part of Umbwe route will as well go through rainforest so there will be a higher probability of rain showers, do not forget to carry your raincoat with you. Your second day on the mountain will start from Umbwe Gate and continue with a lengthy trek to the first camp on your way up Umbwe camp. In spite of the challenge that Umbwe poses to hikers, well thought-out location of camps will contribute to proper acclimatization.

Your support crew will have prepared the camp and dinner by the time you get there. The Umbwe route is ideal for those who want a challenging climb as well as who are very confident in their ability trek over consistently steep slopes. Umbwe route is for those who are experienced at rapidly altitude changes and thus are confident that the punishing schedule of Umbwe will not impede their ability to adjust to altitude. Umbwe is also for those who want a secluded hike.

For those who will be the first time being at such altitude, GVTS is intensely recommended you to adhere to the following instructions:

  • Refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine at all.
  • Compel to drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily little by little frequently
  • Take a Diamox pill such as Acetazolamide in the morning before start ascending in order to help you alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.

NOTE:           Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness or any kind of discomfort. Nightly discomfort often accompanies acclimatization. However symptoms such as headaches and nausea are common, once filling abnormal make sure you inform your guide immediately.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             1,640 m to 2,930 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           5 -7 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 11 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              High
      • HABITAT:                                                     Rainforest

From early wakeup and breakfast on second day of the tour, you will start you trekking to Barranco Camp. This trekking will pass you through rockier terrain with sparse undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. As you will be gaining elevation, glimpses of Kilimanjaro will be start be seen. The path will be flattened as you will approach Barranco Valley. From Umbwe ridge, the route descends to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful senecio forest.

The rainforest along the path will quickly give way to brush, and if will not be too cloudy you will be able to see Meru Volcano for the first time. Trekking on Umbwe route for this day will be of a moderate length, and around noon you will reach Barranco Camp situated at the altitude 3,960 m above sea level. Barranco Camp is nestled inside a huge volcanic fault. Lunch will be provided there and then you will be having the opportunity to relax for the rest of the day while taking photos. Resting at this point will be made significantly in order to facilitate the acclimatization process.

Acclimatization hiking will take place as the change in elevation will be from Umbwe Camp at the height of 2,930 m to Barranco Camp at the height of 3,960 m. The hiking distance will be 6 km while the hiking time will be from 4 to 5 hours.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             2,930 m to 3,960 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4 -5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 6 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                    Moorland

After Early wakeup and breakfast services you will start summiting Barranco Wall. GVTS is recommending you to leave the camp as early as possible in order to avoid crowds of the other groups. Hiking up the gorge wall will not be difficult as it will take you around an hour.

You will begin your trekking by descending into a ravine at the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then you will climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall you will cross a series of hills and valleys until you will descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steeper climb up will leads you to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization

After the climb you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano. After enough resting you will then start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp. This path has numerous features as you will be ascents and descents during the route. Worry note, GVTS guides who are experts at choosing an optimal pace will help you fulfill your dream. After reaching the camp you will be served with warm lunch. After a couple of hours resting while completing acclimatization hike you will take a direction of Barafu Camp with a 200-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.

Kindly note that, acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude executed in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. This will help you to increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness and discomforts.

At this level, the acclimatization hiking will take place as the change in elevation will be from Karanga Camp at the height of 4,035 m to Barafu Camp at the height of 4,270 m. The hiking distance will be 2.5 km while the hiking time will be from 1 to 2 hours.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,960 m to 4,035 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4 -5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                  5 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                     Moorland

In the morning of a day 5, just after your breakfast, you will begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m). Barafu Camp is the starting point of a night summiting to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Our team will be available to set up a camp for you ahead of time. This will include setting of tents and sleeping bags, so you will be relaxing waiting for a time of summiting. After regaining strength, you will be required to complete your acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp. You will be served a hot dinner once arrived at Barafu Camp. It is better to spend the remaining times of your day resting and sleeping before night summiting.

While continuing ascending, you will leave Karanga camp and hit junctions that connect Mweka Trail. You will then continue up to the rocky sections which proceed up to Barafu Hut which is referred as Southern Circuit. Being at this place you will views of the summit from many different angles. Once reached that point, you will make a camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner in order to prepare yourself for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo will be quite viewable from that position.

At this level, the acclimatization hiking will take place as the change in elevation will be from Barafu Camp at the height of 4,640 m to Kosovo Camp at the height of 4,800 m. The hiking distance will be 2 km while the hiking time will be from 1 to 2 hours.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             4,035 m to 4,640 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4 -5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 6 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                     Alpine desert

Day 6 will be a very special day for you because this will be summiting day for you to achieve your dream. As such, you will leave Barafu Camp at the altitude of 4,640 m around midnight and climb Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. The wind and cold at that elevation and time of day can be extreme bad. You will be ascending in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

The altitude poses a challenge on this trek, despite the relative ease of the walk. Every two climbers in will be accompanied by a guide whose responsibility is the constant monitoring of their fitness for the climbers. Upon reaching Uhuru Peak you may choose to walk on one of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers. The group will then returns to Barafu Camp for a 2-hour rest before the descent to 3,820 m at Millennium Camp.

As you will be descending, don’t forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION   :         4,640 m to 5,895 m and then 5,895 m to 3,820 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                            8 -12 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                  15 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              High
      • HABITAT:                                                    Arctic

From the summit, you will be then required to make your descent continuingly straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site. You will stop at Barafu Camp for lunch. The trail as you will be descending will be very rocky and will possibly be quite hard on your knees; Worry not, trekking poles are helpful moving aling the trail. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Millennium Camp sits among a rain forest. Lower altitude and the associated relief from any effects of altitude sickness, as well as the realization of having reached you goal make for a good night’s sleep. You will set out on the last leg of the journey towards Mweka Gate Park exit (1,640 m) upon finishing breakfast. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, you will take another hour to Mweka Village. A GVTS vehicle will meet you at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha depend on your itinerary.

Meeting at Mweka Gate will be your last opportunity to share memories of the climb with your guides and supporting team. You will receive your certificates of accomplishment before being driven back to your hotel.



      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION   :         3,820 m to 1,640m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4 – 5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 12 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Low
      • HABITAT:                                                    Rainforest
  1. All Park fees, Rescue fees, Camping fees and Picnic lunches.
  2. All transfers as Indicated in the itinerary for this package,
  3. Hotel overnight after trek in Arusha.
  4. Accommodations based on double occupancy – Sleeping in the dome tents.
  5. Meals as per the above itinerary – 3 Meals a day for both Vegetarians and Non vegetarians.
  6. Services of GVTS staff throughout. The cook will be responsible for your 3 delicious meals a day.
  7. Services of a Senior GVTS Trekking Guides and assistance guide.
  8. All baggage handling – Recommended weight for clients’ backpack to be carried up the mountain is 15kgs. Kindly allow 5 kg for personal daypacks including Cameras.
  9. We will provide you 1 licensed guide and 1 assistant guides who have received training from Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park Instructors for this trekking.
  10. Transfers to the gate before and After Trek to Arusha.
  11. Services of Nature Safaris Camping equipment. These are Tents, Sleeping mattress, camping table and chairs etc.
    1. Soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits (as well as gifts like local crafts etc)
    2. Any local and international flights tickets (airline).
    3. Tips for staff such as guides, porters and the cook staff
    4. Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
    5. Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania
    6. Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
    7. We advices our clients to bring their own first Aid Kit.

For Budget Camping Safari:      food supplied (Menu)

Breakfast package will include: 

Fruit, Fruit juice, eggs, bread/French toast/plain toast/pancakes.margarine/jam/honey/peanut-butter,cereals/porridge,Milo Pancakes, Oats, Omelette’s, tea/coffee

Picnic lunches:  

Sliced carrot & cucumber strips, seasonal fruits, boiled eggs, vegetable/meat cutlets, sandwiches (egg/cheese/tuna/tomato)


Soup (Mushroom/cucumber soup, Pumpkin soup/chicken/vegetable) bread, a meat dish, rice/pasta/potatoes, Fish curry/Noodles, vegetable dishes(Vegetable Kish etc, fruit, some local dishes which we are sure they will be more interested to you.


Bush made cake accompanied with local Brewed Tanzanian coffee, Tea, Cup of hot Chocolate, Milo’s etc.



Below is the list of the gears that you should bring with you for trekking.


Mt. Boots, Socks – at least 4/5 pairs (This must be thin and thick ones) 1 pair of gaiters, Sandal/open shoes,(optional)


1 thermal (warm) trousers, 1 thermal (warm) long underwear, 1 wind/water proof trousers.


2 or 1 long sleeved thermal shirts, 1 thermal T-shits, 1 thermal jacket or sweater, 1 down jacket, preferable wool attached one.


1 pc of roll foam or air mattress and 1 warm sleeping bag.


1 head lump and spare batteries, 1 pair or 1 pc of walking sticks, 1 pair of sunglasses or ice goggles, Sun block cream or Lotion, Lipstick cream, First Aid Kit, Camera + films with its spare batteries, passport book, a day pack, a rucksack or safari bag.


Drinking water bottle (NALGEN) or any other brand like SIGG or optional, camel pack.

Note: These Items can be also hired here in Arusha or Kilimanjaro before your Trek,