Mt Meru is a real gem of a mountain and is often ignored by trekkers who only seem intent on climbing Kili. Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4,565 m. There are great views down to the subsidiary cinder cone on the crater floor and of course across to Kilimanjaro for the next climb.
Combining trekking to the summits of the Africa's continent's highest and fifth highest peaks. Starting with the beautiful ascent of Mt. Meru - an exceptional crater rim roller - coaster warm up and acclimatization trek for the big one - Mount Kilimanjaro on Machame route
The Machame Route is a beautiful route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down another. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Machame you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on blanket outside. This makes the machame, which is referred to as the "Whiskey Route", better suited to more adventurous hikers, and it is also rewards you with better views than the Marangu Route. From Late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo's great Barrance Wall, the Machame Route offers the spunky hiker a continous scenic slide show. The Machame route is normally completed in 6 days, and this greatly helps your acclimatization.
We recommend you to bring gears like; smaller personal backpack, thick hiking socks, windproof/waterproof pants and jacket, heavy gloves, heavy winter jacket, water bottles, gaiters (covers top of boots and bottom of pants), hiking boots, larger backpack for clothes, cold weather sleeping bags, safari style hat protecting face and neck from sun, headlamp style flashlight, camera of course, dried fruit and energy bars, sun block, malaria pills, water purification tablets, inflatable pillows, your regular clothes.
We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the climb on the day you prefer
Mount Meru Itinerary:
Duration: 3, 4, or 5 days trekking from Arusha
Length: 46 km/29 mi round trip
Elevation: 3,065 m/10,056 ft gai Momella Gate (1,500 m/4,921 ft) to Mount Meru (4,565 m/14,977 ft) and return
Day 1: Arrival Day:
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel in Arusha for your overnight and briefing by our mountain guide
Day 2: Arusha to Momalla Gate
Elevation(m): (1,387 m to (1,500 m)
Elevation(ft): 4,921 ft) to 3,000 ft )
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest.
Transfer from Arusha town to Arusha National Park, check in with park personnel, and in the late morning, walk under the Momella Gate to begin your trek. You soon pass some open grassland where you can view buffalo, warthogs, and elephants. Then, you continue a steady climb through montane forest. You can pause for your lunch at the famous Fig Tree. After lunch you, continue through less dense forest, where you can see birds and monkeys, including the black and white Colobus. By mid afternoon, you have closer views of Meru’s towering cliffs and Ash Cone. The Miriakamba Huts are situated in anidyllic grassy glade, and you will reach it in time to enjoy the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains between Meru and Kilimanjaro. If you are lucky, a giraffe may walk through camp.
Day 3: Miriakamba Huts to Saddle Huts
Elevation(m): 2,514 m to 3,570 m
Elevation(ft): 8,250 ft to 11,712 ft
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
Habitat: Forest and Moorland.
It is often clear in the morning, so if you want a view of Kilimanjaro, get up early. From the Miriakamba Huts, you climb steeply to the crater rim, which is called Elephant Ridge at this point. Then, you follow a steep path through attractive open lush Montane Forest to reach the giant heather in the Moorland near the saddle between Little Meru and Meru. A hot lunch will be ready for you when you arrive at the Saddle Huts. Your afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views, but energetic trekkers can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820 m/12,533 ft) or superb views just before sunset.
Day 4: Summit Day! Saddle Huts to Mount Meru Summit to Miriakamba Huts
Elevation(m): 3,570 m to 4,565m to 2,514m
Elevation(ft): 14,977ft to 11,712 ft to 8,250ft
Distance: 5 km up 13 km down
Hiking Time: 10 - 12 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert Moorland and Montane forest.
Start early at 2 AM and climb steeply for an hour to Phino Point (3,800m/ 12,467ft). In icy conditions or in strong winds it may be unreasonable to progress beyond Rhino Point but sunrise from hereis equally as spectacular as from Cobra Point. If the weather is fine, descend slightly and continue along or near a rough undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m/14,271 ft) near sunrise. The stunning views include the cliffs of the crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds, and the Rift Valley. Hike for another hour on a superb but often steep path into the unfolding day to reach the summit of Meru. The view rom the top of this steep-sided peak can make you feel quite unique and suspended. Your hike back to Rhino Point in the still sharp morning light between the crater’s sloping outer wall and sheer cliffs of the inner wall is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. Enjoy brunch and a well-earned rest at the Saddle Huts before continuing your descent to the Miriakamba Huts where you will spend the night if you are on the 4-day itinerary. If you are on a 3-day itinerary, you will descend all the way to Momella Gate on Day 3.
Day 5: Miriakamba Huts to Momella Gate to Arusha
Elevation (m): 2,514 m to 1,500 m to 1,387 m
Elevation (ft): 4,921 ft to 8,250 ft to 4,921ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking time: 2-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Taking a slightly different route, make a fast descent through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back toward the crater and over the plains of the national park. You will reach Momella Gate by late morning. Remember to tip your guides and porters, since you will be leaving them here. A vehicle will take you back to the Hotel in arusha where it is definitely time for celebration
Day 6: Rest Day
spend a relaxing day by the pool or have a stroll around. A walk to this small town with view of the mountain is as good as it reveals. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Kilimanjaro - Machame Itinerary:
Duration: 6 Days trekking; 4 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending.
Lenght: 100 km/62 mi total; 62 km/38 mi to summit; 38 km/24 mi descend from summit
Elevation: 4,405 m/14,450 ft net gain; 3,915 m/12,845 ft descend
Machame Gate (1,490 m/4890 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) and descend to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)
Day 7: Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation (m): 1,490m to 2,980m
Elevation (ft): 4,890ft to 9,780ft
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 50-minute drive from Moshi or a one and half hours drive from Arusha to the Machame Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters prepare and pack your equipment and supplies. You will receive a lunch pack, and you can also buy mineral water in the village. If the road is very muddy, it may be impossible to drive from the village to the Machame Gate, and in this case, it will take you an hour to complete the muddy 3 km walk to the gate. After registering at the park office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. Heavy rains on this side of the mointain often trasform the trail into a soggy, slippery experience, so good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters are useful. Yo will enjoy a welcome lunch stop halfway up and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters will arrive at camp before you and will erect your tent before you arrive. In the evening, the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook poepares your dinner. Night temperaturs can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp.
Day 8: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation (m): 2,980m to 3,840m
Elevation (ft): 9,780ft to 12,600ft
Walking Time: 4-6 hours
You rise early at Machame camp, and after breakfast, climb for an hour to the top of the forest, then for 2 hours through a gentle moorland. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau where you will be able to see Kilimanjaro's great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. Sometimes, the walls of the Western Breach are draped with extensive ice curtains. You are now west of Kibo on the opposite side of the mountain from the Marangu Route. After a short hike west, you reach the shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing.
Day 9: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m to 3,950m
Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft to 12,960ft
Distance: 15 km
Walking Time: 5-7 hours
After breakfast, you will walk up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro's looming mass. After several hours, you walk thorough a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the "Shark's Tooth." at 4,630 m/15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro's earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours belowthe lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
OPTIONAL DAY (7-day trek): Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation (m): 3950m to 4200m
Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 13,800ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. There is water at this camp. Then, on Day 5 you will hike from the Karanga Valley Camp to the Barafu Camp, summit on Day 6, and finish your descent on Day 7.
Day 10: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (m): 3,950m to 4,550m
Elevation (ft): 12,960ft to 14,930ft
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After spending a night under the imposing Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep.
Day 11: Summit Day! "Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp"
Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m (and down to 3,100m)
Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft (and down to 10,170ft)
Distance: 7km up / 23km down
Hiking Time: 6 - 8 hours up / 7 - 8 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree, seasonal snow and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) "You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down". This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
Day 12: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha
Elevation (m): 3,100m to 1,980m to 890m
Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 6500ft to 2,920ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 3 - 4 hours
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a hotel.
- Transport to and from mountain gates.
- All parks entry fees.
- All camping fees.
- Rescue fees.
- Guide and porters fees.
- Guide and porters salaries.
- All accommodations on the mountain based on three meals a day.
- Cook and all kitchen utensils.
- International and domestic flights (we can arrange on request)
- Accommodation on the first night upon your arrival before climb and on the last day after climb (book with us)
- Airport transfers (book with us)
- all items of personal nature
- Mineral water, drinks (soft or hard)
- Laundry and extras in the lodges
- Tips and gratuities
- Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request.
- All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)