As long as I can remember, Africa has been a mystical destination for me. Among the most fascinating places have been the Sahara desert, Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. As I learned in the recent years the more beautiful mountain is Kilimanjaros closest neighbor the Mt Meru which offers a nicer ascent and an astonishing view on Mt Kilimanjaro at sunrise. Still the Kili remains the bigger one and the tallest mountain in Africa.
Therefor we combine the beauty and the amazement and will summit both in 14 days.
ARRIVAL IN KILIMANJARO AIRPORT
You will be met at Kilimanjaro Airport driven to The Hotel in Arusha. That evening you will meet your local team. We will stay 2 nights the hotel. After everybody arrived we will have a full pre-climb briefing and gear checking.
MOMELLA GATE TO MIRIAKAMA HUT
Elevation (m): 1500m to 2500m
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Arusha National Park to check all your permits are in order at the Park Headquarters. You then proceed on by vehicle until you reach Momella Park Gate where you start your trek. It is mandatory on this route that an armed Park Ranger accompanies you to ensure that you are safe against any wild animal threats. The trail leads you through montane forest, past waterfalls and oddly formed trees until you reach Miriakamba Hut.
MIRIAKAMA HUT TO SADDLE HUT
Elevation (m): 2500m to 3550m
Time: 3 – 4 hours
As you climb higher up Mount Meru you will feel the air begin to cool and get slightly thinner. Today you will ascend over 1000 meters up to Saddle Hut at 3550m. This afternoon there is time to go for an acclimatization hike a further 300 meters up to Little Meru at 3820m. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the views of Mount Kilimanjaro over 80 kilometers away.
SADDLE HUT TO SOCIALIST PEAK TO MIRIAKAMBA HUT
Elevation (m): 3550m to 4565m to 2500m
Time: 8 – 10 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert, Alpine Desert, Montane Forest
Your summit ascent starts in the dark at 2 a.m., after a quick hot drink and a biscuit, you will climb up to Rhino Point at 3820 meters. You continue climbing for a further 4-5 hours, finally traversing the narrow ridge of Meru’s crater, until you reach its’ summit, Socialist Peak at 4565m. From here you will be rewarded with views of the sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro, over 80 km away. Before you start your descent back down to Miriakamba Hut you will have time to explore Meru’s ash cone inside the crater.
MIRIAKAMBA HUT TO MOMELLA GATE
Elevation (m): 2500m to 1500m
Time: 2 – 3 hours
With only 2 – 3 hours descent to do today, you will be able to enjoy the surrounding views and try to catch a glimpse of grazing wildlife whilst heading back to Momella Gate.
Transfer to your hotel in Moshi, rest days and pre-climb briefing for Kilimanjaro.
MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP
Elevation (m): 1800m to 3000m
Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Transfer from your hotel to Machame Gate for registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent along the forest trail to Machame Camp.
MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
Elevation (m): 3000m to 3850m
Time: 4-6 hours
After breakfast, we start walking, leaving the rain forest behind, and continue our ascent, crossing a small valley and up to a steep rocky ridge, covered with heath. Our route now turns west onto a river gorge until we reach Shira 1.
SHIRA CAMP VIA LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
Elevation (m): 3850m to 4600m to 3950m
Distance: 12 km
Time: 6-7 hours
Today we will climb up to 4600m to the base of the Lava Tower for lunch and acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may, for the first time, feel the altitude. After lunch we will descend again by almost 650m to Barranco camp, following “walk high, sleep low” golden rule of acclimatization. Our descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall.
BARRANCO CAMP TO BARRANCO CAMP
Elevation (m): 3950m to 4600m
Distance: 13 km
Time: 7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
A short, but fun day, starting with a scramble, to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the ice falls of the Heim, Kerstin and Decken Glaciers. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.
BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA HUT
Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m to 3100m)
Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent
Time: 6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent
Habitat: Stone screed and ice-capped summit
You will be woken at 23:30 with tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers through heavy scree up to Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop to witness the magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). We are now only an hour away from the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro. From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose scree going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE
Elevation (m): 3100m to 1800m
Distance: 10 km
Time: 3-4 hours
Your final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. Transfer to your hotel.
Final days and individual departure from Kilimajaro Airport!