This route is the hardest but most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. It follows a forested ridge to the moorlands, then traverses below the Southern Icefields to reach the Barafu Route which is followed to the summit. An early start is made on the summit day to reach Stella Point, on the Crater Rim at down. Uhuru Peak lies a further 40 min. along the rim.
Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which the porters will pitch for you; you will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough and in places slightly exposed trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. An extra day can be added to our itinerary to explore or relax along the route, (best taken at the Barranco Hut).
Arrive at the Keys Hotel, (B&B)
Drive to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m from where a forestry track leads through natural rain forest to a narrow and steep forested ridge and the first campsite by some rock overhangs at 2940m, (5-6h).
Continue till the forest ends and the path continues along a spectacular ridge with superb views of the icy Breach Wall above and the Great Barranco gorge below. The campsite is not far from the Barranco Hut. (5-6h, 3940m.).
Scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley camsite (3h, 4000m.), beneath the icefalls of the Southern Glaciers.
The trail ascends a ridge to a campsite by the Barafu Hut, an airy location with little vegetation (3h, 4600m.) D6. Start just after midnight for the ascent of the screes leading to Stella Point (6h, 5725m.). From here a further 40mins. leads to Uhuru Peak. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and brunch before continuing down to camp at Mweka Hut at 3100m, (11-14h total walking time). Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.
A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park Gate. Drive back to the Keys Hotel (B&B)