Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro Climb
Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb takes you to two highest Tanzania Mountains. Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb is a 12 day adventure. The 12 day Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb starts and ends in Nairobi. You will use Machame route on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb. Mount Meru gives you a phenomenal view of Mount Kilimanjaro. This probably defines Mount Meru in the local mountain mythology. It is the misfortune of a geographic feature that by any standards is a big mountain. At 14980 foot it compares neither in stature nor reputation to Kilimanjaro. However, Mount Meru is a unique feature in its own right. It is very much worth the effort to climb. Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb lets you combine trek Africa’s continent’s highest and fifth highest peaks.
Day 1: Nairobi – Arusha
Start your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb adventure with a meet on arrival. You will be briefed on the Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb tour. You will then enjoy a transfer from Nairobi at 0800hrs. Proceed to Namanga Border for formalities. You will continue to Arusha arriving at 1300hrs. Depart for Moshi at 1400hrs to arrive at 1530hrs. Dinner and overnight will be at a hotel in Moshi.
Day 2: Momella Gate – Miriakamba Hut
You will cover 10km in 4-5 hours, 700 meters approximate ascent. Start your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb with a transfer. This is to the Arusha National Park. This consists of two main areas, the Ngurdoto Crater and Momella Lakes on the east side. There is Mount Meru in the west. They are joined by a narrow strip of land. You will start your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb from Momella Gate (2100m). The start of the trek, is in this strip. At the park gate you undergo all the various formalities of signing in. Have your binoculars ready on your walk from Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut. There is potentially a lot of wildlife viewing. They include Buffalo, waterbuck, gazelles, zebra and a few elephant. Bird life is also excellent as you trek. Two routes are available from Momella gate. The first is a track that goes through the forest towards the crater floor. This then goes steeply up to Miriakamba Hut. There is a possible diversion onto the crater floor. The second is a path that climbs gradually through the grassland. It goes along the lower section of the northern spur of the crater. This is direct to the hut. The hut is a basic timber structure in a very picturesque setting. It is set amongst the Hagiena – Rose wood trees. The hut has views heading up Meru. Miriakamba Hut consists of two large bunkhouses each with room for about 40 people. They contain bunk beds and a separate room to be used as a kitchen. There are no cooking equipment provided your cook will bring it in. There are toilets, and a good supply of water.
Day 3: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut
This is a 4 km walk of 2-3 hours and 1050 meters ascent. The Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb path goes steeply up. This is between the trees reaching Topela Mbogo (Buffalo swamp) after 45 minutes. A further half an hour trek gets you to MgongoWaTembo (Elephant ridge). From the top of Elephant ridge there are great views down into the crater. You can also see up to the main cliffs below the summit. Continue up the path to Saddle Hut. This is on a wide col between the slopes of Meru and the smaller peak of Little Meru.
Day 4: Saddle Hut – Meru Summit – Moshi
Your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb covers 5 km in 4-5 hours. You will have 1000 metres ascent. There will also be 5 hours, 2500 meters descent. You will Leave Saddle Hut very early in the morning aiming to reach the summit. This is in time to see the sun rising from behind Kilimanjaro. The walk up to the summit is not for the faint hearted. If the sunrise is your main point of interest, there’s no need to go to the top. It’s just as impressive from Rhino point. This is about an hour’s trek from Saddle Hut. It is more so because you also see the main cliffs of the inner wall of the crater. This is as it is slowly being illuminated by the rising sun. It can be below freezing just before dawn. However as soon as the sun comes up the going becomes hot and hard. During the rainy season, ice and snow can occur on this section of the route. From Rhino Point the path drops slightly. It then rises again to climb steeply round the edge of the rim. You will go over ash scree and bare rock patches. Continue for three to four hours to reach the summit (4566 meters). To the west, if it’s clear, you can see towards the Rift Valley. The volcanoes of Kitumbeini and Lengai can also be seen. Down below you can see the town of Arusha. You can also see plains of the Maasai Steppe beyond. To descend from the summit, we retrace the route round the rim. You will head back to Saddle Hut and then drop down to the Momella gate. Here you will be collected and transferred back to Keys hotel in Moshi.
Day 5: Moshi
Your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb takes a rest day. You will spend the day at Keys hotel. You can opt to relax 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 will be at Keys hotel.
Day 6: Moshi – Machame Hut
Now you have some acclimatization on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb. After breakfast we undertake a 45 min drive through to Machame village. This heads to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. You will have the park formalities dispensed with at this point. You will meet the climbing group that includes the guides and porters. Make sure you have all your day pack items with you. You have about 5 hours walking today. The guides will assist with any additional information that you need. From the park gate there is a wonderful walk up through the rain forest. This is on a winding trail to the first hut which is located at 3048m. You will continue onto the Machame hut. It is from here that we make camp (3100 m).
Day 7: Machame Hut – Shira Hut Campsite
The day on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb starts with breakfast. Leave the last of the Rain Forest behind as you ascend. You will be walking along a steep rocky ridge. They are covered with heather to the ridge end. You will then turn west into a river gorge and onto the Shira Hut camp site. We will set camp and dine here. This is an elevation of 3840m, about 4 hours walking.
Day 8: Shira hut – Barranco Hut
Your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb continues East. You will then change direction South East towards the lava tower. It is also called ‘The Sharks Tooth’. After the tower you will come to junction which brings you up below the arrow glacier. You will be at an altitude of 4876 m. To help in acclimatization you will continue down to the Barranco hut. This takes about 6 hours of walking at an altitude of 3950m.
Day 9: Barranco Hut – Barafu Hut
Start your Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb with breakfast. You will then continue the trek on a steep ridge passing the Barranco wall. Walk through the Karanga valley past the junction which connects with the Mweka trail. You will continue to the Barafu hut to make camp. This is located at an altitude of 4600m about 8 hours walking.
Day 10: Barranco – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Hut
You have about 11 hours walking on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb. This is the hardest day. Start at midnight with a warm cup of tea. Depart making the most of walking steeply over frozen volcanic screes. You will continue your ascent to Stella Point (5745m). This is between the Rebmann and Ratzal glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered. Ski poles or an ice-axe is therefore useful for balance. You’ll then skirt around the broad crater rim on your way to Uhuru Peak 5895 m. Voila! you are on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. This part of the climb takes about 6 hours. You have now reached the highest point in Africa. You are able to view Kilimanjaro’s crater, its stepped glaciers and Mount Meru. Mount Kenya may appear as a black pimple far to the north. Shortly you’ll make a descent continuing straight down to the Mweka hut (3100m). This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. It is here that you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain.
Day 11: Mweka Hut – Moshi
An early breakfast on Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro climb starts the day. Continue the descent down to the Mweka Park gate. You will have a rendezvous with vehicle after collecting your certificate. You will then drive back to Moshi and transfer to the hotel. It will be a celebratory evening meal at the Keys hotel Moshi.
Day 12: Departure
You will have the morning at leisure. Depending on the time of flight departure transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport. This will be in time for your departure flight. You may also board the Riverside shuttle bus to Nairobi.