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 Marangu route
Kilimanjaro Marangu Route
The Marangu Route is the easiest and shortest route to Kilimanjaro’s summit and is known as the “Coca Cola” or “tourist” route. This is the only route on Kilimanjaro with the comforts of solar-powered sleeping huts and comfortable beds at every camp. The huts are communal, and each bunk has a sponge mattress and pillow. There are 60 beds at both Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 beds at Horombo Hut. Bathrooms and running water are available at the two lower huts. Basic men’s and ladies’ latrines are available at the last camp.
All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer may be for sale at the huts. Bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items (prices increase with elevation). This route is usually done in 5 days, but you can do it in 6 days for better acclimatization. You can spend your extra day resting at Horombo or climbing to a basecamp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
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 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.
Duration: 5 days trekking; 3 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending
Length: 32 km/20 mi ascent; 64 km/40 mi round trip
Elevation: 4,065 m/13,340 ft gain; 4,065 m/13,340 ft descent
Marangu Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) and return
Day 1: Arusha/Moshi to Marangu Gate to Mandara Huts
Elevation: (915 m/3,000 ft) to (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to (2,740 m/9,000 ft)
Distance: 7 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
After breakfast and a briefing from your guide, leave Moshi at 9 AM, drive for 45 minutes (or if driving from Arusha leave the town at 7 AM, drive for one and half hours) to the Marangu Gate on the eastern side of Kilimanjaro, register with the national park, and begin hiking at 10:30 AM. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colubus monkeys. At these lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts should be sufficient, but keep your rain gear and warmer clothing handy. Stop halfway for lunch, and reach the Mandara Huts at 2 or 3 PM. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. A 15 minute side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. Dinner is served during the early evening at 7 PM. Bathrooms with running water are available.
Day 2: Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts
Elevation: (2,740 m/9,000 ft) to (3,690 m/12,100 ft)
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Wake to a 7:30 AM breakfast, and pack for your next trek. Break camp by 8:30 AM, hike for an hour through rainforest glades, then follow an ascending path through heathland where you can look for giant lobelias and groundsels. Continue up into open moorlands where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Stop halfway for lunch, where you can enjoy amazing views of Mawenzi. Arrive at the Horombo Huts by 3 PM, where you can see Kibo’s summit. Rest, unpack, and prepare for dinner. Bathrooms with running water are available.
You may start to feel the effects of altitude here, and to aid your acclimatization, you can choose to spend an extra day resting at Horombo or climbing to a basecamp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
Day 3: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts
Elevation: (3,690 m/12,100 ft) to (4,695 m/15,400 ft)
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Wake to breakfast as usual, but if you wake early you can get some great photos of the sunrise. The first part of the day’s hike climbs through the dwindling heathland that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. When you stop for lunch, and later when you cross this surprisingly large saddle, you can examine the summit climb up Kibo that you will be starting in just a few hours. Be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. There is no running water at the Kibo Huts.
Day 4: Summit Day! "Kibo Huts to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Huts
Elevation: (4,695 m/15,400 ft) to (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to (3,690 m/12,100 ft)
Distance: 4 km up, 14 km down
Hiking Time: 10-15 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast, then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. Leave at 1 AM, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 5 and 7 AM. Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak, by 9 AM. This is Africa’s highest point, and you would have to travel more than 3,000 miles toward the Himalayas to find a higher
peak! Be sure to have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends. After your summit stay, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your things, and re cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts. Eat dinner and get some well-deserved sleep!
You do the beginning of this climb in the dark with headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is, by far, the most difficult part of the trek. Slowly slowly, or, “pole pole,” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Day 5: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Moshi/Arusha
Elevation: (3,690 m/12,100 ft) to (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to (890 m/2,920 ft)
Distance: 18 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Wake as usual, pack, and descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts. Have lunch there then continue your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to the park gate, which you should reach around 2 or 3 PM. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here. A vehicle will take you back to the Hotel in Moshi/Arusha, where it is definitely time for celebration!
Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris to the Tanzania Nothern Parks such as trips to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park,
Tarangire National Park and to Arusha National Park. Also we can arrange trips to Southern Circuit such as trips to Selous game reserve, Mikumi National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Extra Day for Acclimatization:
You can add an extra day at the Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft). You can spend a full day and a second night at Horombo. On this day, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi basecamp then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your
understanding of the mountain’s weather and altitude. After your pause, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts on your fourth day for your midnight start to the summit.
- 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)
- Tips, drinks and all items of personal nature
- Hard and soft drinks and tips
- Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request.
- All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)