Project Description

The Full Circuit Umbwe Route

I’ve heard that Umbwe is really dangerous! Why are you arranging treks on it?

People who say that Umbwe Route is dangerous either a) don’t know any better, or b) want to frighten you away from taking that route, or c) probably a bit of both. If you don’t believe us, then we have written a defence of the Umbwe Route that maybe will help to change your mind.

In the article we try to be as balanced as possible and to point out the route’s faults. But the bottom line is, we think it’s a fantastic and much maligned trail.

Nevertheless, why should we take the Umbwe Route, which some people say is dangerous, rather than one of the other, more popular routes?

It’s precisely because those other routes are so popular that we want you to consider Umbwe Route. Because, in all probability, climbing Kilimanjaro is something you are only going to do once. And we would really like you to enjoy it as much as possible, and to appreciate just how beautiful the mountain really is.

We know that the Full Circuit Umbwe isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who truly want to get away from the crowds. Who want to see as much of the mountain as possible, and fully appreciate just what a beautiful mountain it is.  And who are happy to work a little harder, and challenge themselves a little more, than on any other route.

Multi-coloured map of the paths up Kilimanjaro

Click on the icon above for an overview map of Full Circuit Umbwe. It follows the light blue path before following the orange (briefly) and grey lines to Moir Huts, and from there keeps to the grey trail to Outward Bound or School Hut. It then travels via Gillman’s Point to the summit (green line), then down the slopes on Mweka (purple line).

We think that every route on Kilimanjaro has its charms. But on some of the more popular routes it can be difficult to appreciate them, simply because, at certain times of year on the Machame Route, for example, it can feel like you’re just part of one endless queue of people snaking its way up the southern side of Kilimanjaro.

And yes, Machame has a pretty good success rate for getting people to the top; and if you want to climb on the Machame Route then of course we are happy to arrange this for you. But we will also warn you that you won’t find much peace on your walk, and you won’t have much of a wilderness experience. What’s more, the local wildlife tends to avoid those parts of the mountain where tens of thousands of people are marching up and down it every year too, so you really won’t see much in the way of the local fauna on this trail.

Which is one of the reasons why we urge you to at least consider the Full Circuit Umbwe Route. Because we have designed it deliberately so that it takes you away from the crowds, and gives you a better chance of seeing some of Kili’s wildlife.

It’s true, the Umbwe trail is the most challenging route. But it’s still just a walking route. And we won’t compromise our high standards of safety on it. And by designing a trail that takes eight days, we’ve once again given you as much chance as possible of getting to the top – and having the best possible experience on the mountain too.

Follow this link for the Full Circuit Umbwe Route itinerary >>

Or follow this link for details on all the Routes up Kilimanjaro >>

Our Kilimanjaro climbs: Contents