4 days trekking on the second highest mountain in Tanzania; Mt Meru and after that two days of relaxation before you continue with 6 days trekking on Machame Route. 4 days accommodation before, after and in between the trekking of the two mountains. Full board all days. The program can be extended with safari days and beach relaxation.
DAY 1 – Arrival Kilimanjaro
Pick up from the airport. Depending on the time of arrival you can have a relaxing afternoon/evening at Karama Lodge in Arusha. During the day you will have a walkthrough of the coming days’ program and we will also go through your equipment for the trekking. You can rent sleeping bags, mattress and walking sticks from us for 35 USD/person.
DAY 2 – Arusha – > Park Gate -> Mariakamba Hut
Transport to Mt Meru Park Gate after breakfast where you will meet your guide, porters and ranger. You will hike for approximately four hours until you reach Mariakamba Hut on 2,591 metres. From here you may wish to take an evening walk on the slopes to view wildlife at one of the watering holes in the crater. Dinner and accomodation at Mariakamba Hut.
After breakfast, hike up to 3,505 metres. It is normally a hike which takes between three and four hours. It is recommended to rest at Saddle Hut but then go for about an hour to Little Meru Peak which is also improving the acclimatization and it will also give a scenic view of Mount Kilimanjaro. Dinner and accommodation at Saddle Hut. You will go to bed early to get some hours rest before you start around midnight for the hike to the summit.
DAY 4 – Saddle Hut –> Socialist Peak -> Mariakamba Hut
Early rise around midnight for some refreshments before you start the hike around 2 AM at the latest. You will then reach the summit in time for dawn and get some spectacular view of the surroundings and also of Mount Kilimanjaro. It will take around four to six hours to reach the summit; Socialist Peak at 4,566 metres. You will walk some hours in the dark so you need a head torch. The last part of the hike is rocky and some parts require hands-and-feet climbing and you need to be a bit careful. Your guide is always there to assist you if you need help. From the summit, descend back to Saddle Hut in time for lunch. After lunch, hike down to Mariakamba Hut for dinner and accomodation.
DAY 5 – Mariakamba Hut -> Marangu
Breakfast at the camp and a leisurely morning. Descend to the park gate where your driver will wait for you. Transport to Marangu Hotel where you will stay two nights with full board before you continue with the trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro.
DAY 6 – Relaxation at Marangu Hotel
Full board at Marangu Hotel. A relaxing day. If you still have the energy you can go for a sightseeing in the area or have a one day safari in Arusha National Park or Tarangire.
You leave the hotel after breakfast and it takes approximately 30 minutes to Machame Park Gate which is on 1 800 metres. After registration at the park gate, which can take some time, you will have a quite comfortable trek through the rain forest. Mist and cloud are commin in the late morning to mid-afternoon and when you arrive at the Machame Camp you may not see so much. Early mornings are better for views at this height. Always locate your torch before darkness falls. The first day’s trek takes on average 5 to 7 hours and you will gain an altitude of 1 200 metres. The path is a bit rough with many tree roots and can be slippery and muddy when wet.
DAY 8 – Shira Cave (3 840 m)
An early breakfast before you continue toward Shira Plateau. The past is mostly good but with one scramble, the rocky ridge leading to shira plateau. Once you have passed the rocky ridge you continue north, away from Kibo. Shira plateau has many interesting features and minerals. Continuing north you are soon reaching the first of the three campsites. From here you may have splendid views of the Shira ridge to the west and far away, to the south west, you might even see Mount Meru. Today’s trek will normally take between 5 and 7 hours and altitude gained is 850 metres. It is recommended to have an extra 30 minute walk from the campsite for better acclimatisation since it is easier to acclimatise if you camp at a lower altitude. Night-temperatures usually stay a few degrees above freezing, but the wind makes it feel much colder. The first symptoms of altitude sickness begin to appear here.
DAY 9 – Barranco Camp (3 950 m)
This day it will be some steep sections and a quite rough path. You climb steadily to a high point of 4 530 metres which is close to the Lava Tower. There are impressive cliffs and rock formations all the way. Today’s trek takes between 5 and 6 hours and you will gain 680 metres before you descend to the camp which is 100 metres higher compared to the previous day. The last few hours of the day are spent descending steeply into Barranco valley.
DAY 10 – Barafu Hut (4 600 m)
Although steep, only a few stretches of Barranco wall require hands-and-feet climbing. At the top, there is a great view of the Heim, Kersten and Decken glaciers. If you have an extra acclimatization day this day is split in two with an overnight halfway in the Karanga valley camp. However, you should have enough acclimatization with the Mount Meru hike. Karanga Valley (4 000 m) is the last water point. The campsite is rocky so it is important to familiarize with the terrain before dark falls. There have been a number of accidents at Barafu over the years and it is therefore recommended to go to sleep no later than sunset. Today’s trek is between 7 and 8 hours and altitude gained is 380 metres at Barranco Wall before falls a bit before rises again to Barafu which is 650 metres gained compared to the day before. There is a great view of Mawenzi Peak from the campsite.
DAY 11 – Uhuru Peak (5 895 m)
You will be woken around midnight to walk through the night. You need the early start to try to reach the summit and still have time to descend in daylight. The summit day is also the most exhausting. The terrain is a steep, rough ascent to the crater rim and more gradual thereafter. The climb to Stella Point is a bit difficult due to the altitude and darkness but there are no technical difficulties. As you reach Stella Point the sun rises. From Stella Point it takes another hour to Uhuru Peak along an ice covered trail. Heading back down, most people reach Barafu Camp around 9-11 AM, where an hour’s rest is followed by a long hike down along Mweka route. The average time to the summit is 6 to 10 hours and then approximately another 7 hours for descending to Mweka Hut on 3 100 metres.
DAY 12 – Park Gate -> Kia Lodge
After breakfast you continue some few hours of relatively easy downhill walking. When you reach Mweka Gate you will get your certificates of your achievement. You will be picked up at Mweka Gate and then go to Kia Lodge which is near Kilimanjaro International Airport. Here you will find friendly service, Zanzibar style at the reception, Makonde woodcarvings in the rooms and the famous Tinga Tinga paintings in our tropical restaurant. The open bar gives you the opportunity to drink a cold Kilimanjaro Beer while looking at the Kilimanjaro. You can also choose to relax at our hilltop swimming pool with view of Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru, the Blue Mountains and the Masaai plains.
DAY 13 – Flight
Transport to the airport.
It is possible to combine the trek with safari and/or Zanzibar or Bagamoyo.