Many customers use this route to descend instead of ascend. Either way it is after Mweka the next steepest route. It is also quite scenic and relatively infrequently used.
Day 1 – After an early morning pickup at your hotel in Arusha or Moshi we will drive along the main Moshi-Arusha road north, past Weru Weru for 15 kms along the Lyamungu road. We will then turn right at the T-junction towards Mango, across the Sere River and after 150 m turn left to the Umbwe Mission. Here we will organize the last packing and porters. Then we will continue along former forestry track to 2100 m and up the path along the narrow ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe Rivers. Depending on when we left Umbwe, we will choose Bivouac I or II for our camp.
Day 2- From the bivouac or camp, the trail will continue up the ridge to the end of the beeline, and follow the cairned path to the Barranco Hut/Camp.
Day 3 -From Barranco Hut we can go west to Shira Plateau and the Northern Circuit or up to Lava Tower Hut and the summit via the Great Western Breach and Arrow Glacier camp. Or if the altitude is too intense and/or you don’t wish to do a summit ascent, you can also go eastwards on to the Southern Circuit.
Day 4 – From Barranco Camp we make an early morning rise to Kibo Crater and on to Uhuru Peak. From there we can descend the same trail or Mweka to camp.
Day 5 – Depending on the decent we leave the Bivouacs or Mweka Camp for the trail head where you will be picked up for transfer back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha before dinner.
Umbwe (about 1400 m) to Bivouac l: 4-6 hrs
Bivouac I to Bivouac II: about 3 hrs
Bivouac II to Barranco Hut: about 2 hrs
Barranco Hut to Lava Tower Hut: allow 3 hrs
Barranco Hut to Shira Hut: 5-6 hrs
Bivouac I: 2800 m. This is an all-weather rock shelter with water 15 m below.
Bivouac II: 3780 m. This shelter is a rock overhang. Water is from a spring 15 minutes down the ravine to the west or on the east side of the ridge, 300 m down.
Barranco or Umbwe Hut: 3900 m. Here an unfurnished uniport with a wooden floor, sleeps 5-6. Water is from streams nearby and there is a platform toilet. A 1/2 hour walk from Barranco Hut brings you to some caves at the foot of the Barranco Wall, which are used as they are more spacious than the hut.
The uniports are old and not been maintained well by the park service. They are primitive metal structures and are used by the porters/guides for accommodations. They also serve as the cooking area.
Guests sleep in tents which we provide. The only equipment you will need is your own sleeping bag. We normally use 2-person tents, but please let us know if other arrangements are needed.
All prices include all park fees, salaries of guides/porters/cook, all meals on the mountain, equipment and transfer to/from Arusha or Moshi. Discounts can also be arranged for larger groups.
Not included: tips and items of a personal nature.