Kilimanjaro by Umbwe, Mt Meru & Ngorongoro
Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, comprises two main summits, the 'flat-topped', glaciated Kibo, 5896m. (19,340ft) and to its east the craggy Mawenzi, 5149m. The saddle, a 5km wide, high-altitude, semi-desert separates the two. Below, the cliffs, screes and glaciers, afro-alpine moorlands then forests lead down to the cultivated foothills at an altitude of about 2000m.
The south side of Kibo presents a much more rugged appearance. Deep gorges (barrancos) cut the forested slopes and spectacular ridges lead up to the screes below the 6000 foot southern precipices of glaciers, icefalls and cliffs.
The most magnificent route to the southern side is the Umbwe. It follows a ridge up through natural forest, with dramatic views of the Great Barranco and Breach Wall, to the Barranco Hut.
From Barranco we traverse around the southern circuit to the Barafu Hut and the final ascent up scree to the summit. It is a strenuous route but worth the effort to be free of the possible crowds on the Normal route and to enjoy the beauty of the forest, moorland, and glaciers of the mountain.
Our programme starts with an ascent of Mt Meru, one of Africa's highest and most beautiful volcanoes, 4600m. This is a good way to acclimatise before an ascent of Kilimanjaro. The route to the summit passes through parkland, montane forest, a giant heather zone and moorland. Finally, the summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge which provides stunning views of both the Ash Cone lying in the crater several thousand feet below and Kilimanjaro in the background. There is a large variety of bird and animal life in the park; it is possible to see bushbuck, colobus monkeys, buffalo and giraffe.
This is a tough walking trip, with some steep terrain, but within the limits of a fit individual used to hill walking. A guide accompanies you on both ascents; porters carry your luggage and all communal food, camping and cooking equipment; you carry your day sack with the day's needs such as waterbottle, waterproofs, spare jumper, camera. On Meru, a Park Ranger also accompanies you. Your guide will be responsible for the pace, food and well-being of the group: all important aspects in enjoying your treks and climbs.
The trip finishes with a camping safari to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater which probably provides the world's premier game viewing experience; an excellent way to relax before returning home.
|Mt Meru, Kili by the Umbwe Route, Manyara and Ngorongoro Grade C |
Enquire or Book | Trip Summary
Fly Ethiopian to Kilimanjaro Airport. Ascend the little visited Mt Meru, 4600m, then climb Kilimanjaro, 5896m, by the remote and beautiful Umbwe Route. A tough trek, day packs only need be carried. After the trek there is a four day camping safari to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Springlands Hotel is on a bed & breakfast basis.