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The beginner’s trek with safari – to Little Meru and Machame Route on Kilimanjaro

Tanzania Tanzania

Trekking Map

A trek without the high peaks – On this beginner’s tour you will be guided up close to two of the highest mountains in Tanzania, Mt. Meru (4,566 m) and Kilimanjaro (5,895 m).

The trekking tour starts with Mount Meru, which is about 70 kilometers west of Kilimanjaro in the Arusha National Park. The ascent to Little Meru (3,820 m) is relatively easy. The way to the summit of Little Meru leads over streams, through a beautiful jungle and a huge heather zone, with a fantastic view of the rocky volcanic landscape.
Next up is Kilimanjaro National Park. The six-day camping tour will give you a particularly varied landscape as well as fantastic views of the Kibo summit (5,895m). You move through grasslands, tropical rainforests, alpine meadows, moorlands and high alpine deserts until you reach an altitude of 4,600 m. On this tour you will enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the highest peak in Africa and the entire area.

As last you will spend two days in two of the most beautiful national parks in Tanzania; the Tarangire National Park, which is famous for its fantastic elephant walks and its unique flora, and the Lake Manyara National Park, which impresses with its great bird life.

After these colourful and varied nature experiences, you will be enchanted by Tanzania and its uniqueness. Sure-footedness and fitness are prerequisites for this tour.

Day 1: Arrival in Arusha – Briefing and visit to the art gallery
Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport. There you will be picked up and driven by private transfer to Arusha, to your booked hotel. Your guide will come and give you an introduction to the entire tour. At noon you drive to the unique cultural center, ‘Cultural Heritage Gallery’ on the outskirts of Arusha. The variety of sculptures, masks, furniture, drawings and photos from all parts of Africa on display here is extremely impressive and worth visiting. Overnight at Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge, (B|L|D).

Day 2: Arusha to Miriakamba Hut (2,514m) – 4 to 6 hours hike
Early morning departure to Momella Gate of Arusha National Park (1,500 m). After the formalities for entering the park, we begin our hike, led by a park ranger, who will accompany us for our safety. The route runs through open grasslands and offers the chance to see buffalo, warthogs and other wildlife. The path continues as a steady ascent through a dense jungle. We have lunch near a giant fig tree arch (Bid Tree Arch). Our hike continues through less dense forests, in which there are many birds and black and white colobus monkeys. In the late afternoon, weather permitting, we can see towering cliffs and the Ash Cone. We reach the Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m) in time, which is located in an idyllic grass clearing, to enjoy the last afternoon sun and a wonderful view over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro. Overnight at Miriakamba Hut, (B|L|D).

Day 3: Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m) to Sattel Hut (3,570 m) – 4 to 5 hours hike
The walk from the Miriakamba hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep climb. We slowly ascend through lush mountain forests and reach the “Elephant Ridge” halfway through the hike. From here we enjoy an excellent view of the summit ridge and the crater floor. The path continues through Riesenheide and other fascinating moor vegetation to the Sattelhütte (3,570 m), where lunch will be served. Overnight at Saddle hut, (B|L|D).

Day 4: Saddle Hut (3,570 m) to Little Meru (3,820 m) and back to Momella Gate – drive to Arusha – approx. 8 hours hike and 1 hour drive
At sunrise we climb up to Little Meru (3,820 m) in order to have a breathtaking view of Kilimanjaro and the lakes in the valley from there. We come back to the hut for breakfast and then start the way back to the Momella Gate. We take the direct route through open grassland and mixed forest with a good chance of spotting wild animals. This trail offers excellent views back to the crater and across the plains of the national park. We should reach Momella Gate in the afternoon. At the gate we will say goodbye to our great crew and will be driven back to Arusha. Overnight at Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category, (B|L).

Day 5: Free day in Arusha – relaxation before the next trek on Kilimanjaro
Today is divided up for relaxation before the second part of the trekking tour continues to Kilimanjaro. You can relax by the swimming pool, do your laundry and prepare for the next trek. Overnight at Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category, (B).

Day 6: Arusha – Machame Gate (1,790 m) – Machame Camp (3,010 m) approx. 6 hours hike
After breakfast we will be driven together with the crew to the entrance gate of Kilimanjaro National Park, to the Machame Gate. While our guide is busy with the registration forms, we can watch our mountain team / crew prepare for the ascent and pack their bags. As soon as the registration is done and the team is prepared, our Kilimanjaro adventure begins. In a very short time we are deep in the beautiful rainforest with old trees, ancient ferns, lianas, lichens and mosses that gently cover the ground and hang down from the trees. With a bit of luck you will even be able to admire the beautiful black and white Colobus monkeys in the treetops. After 5 to 6 hours we reach today’s destination – the Machame Camp, which is located just above the tree line at 3,010 m. Here, at the foot of Kilimanjaro, we have our first dinner, followed by an overnight stay in tents. Overnight at Machame Camp, (B|L| D).

Day 7: Machame Camp (3,010 m) to New Shira Camp (3,845 m) – approx. 6 hours hike
We continue our hike in the early morning, the path becomes steeper and the landscape turns into moorland and heathland. The open landscape allows us to see the impressive mountain ridge of Kilimanjaro. Today’s stage is shorter than the day before and we will arrive at New Shira Camp in the late afternoon. The camp offers a breathtaking view of the mountains and during the sunset the evening sun illuminates the rock face and the glacier of the Kibo. Kilimanjaro was formed as a result of the active continental fissures and consists of three volcanic cones, the Shira / Shira Ridge (3,962 m), the Mawenzi (5,148 m) and the Kibo (5,895 m). It is believed that the first volcanic activity began around 1 million years ago. Overnight at Shira Camp, (B|L|D).

Day 8: New Shira Camp (3.845 m) – Lava Tower (4.640 m) – Barranco Camp (3.960 m) – approx. 7 hours
Today we will ascend about 800 meters, but will camp at an altitude that is only slightly higher than last night. This allows the body to acclimate better. The hike begins with a long ascent over the Shira plateau towards the lava tower (4,640 m). The vegetation becomes sparse; the landscape turns into an Afro-Alpine desert. The route leads through the extensive Barranco Valley with its enchanting lobelia and huge Senecio plants. After 6 to 7 hours we reach the most beautiful camp on the mountain – the Barranco Camp with its dreamy backdrop of the valley and the summit of Kibo (5,895 m). Overnight at Barranco Camp, (B|L|D).

Day 9: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) to Karanga Camp (4,035 m) – approx. 4 hours hike
Today’s route begins with the ascent to the “Barranco Wall”. Mindfulness and sure-footedness are paramount and your guides will help you if necessary. We follow the ridge with several ascents and descents, and can enjoy the wonderful view of the south glacier of the Kibo. As we walk along the ridge, we can admire the beautiful landscape with its breathtaking contrasts of desert and vegetation before we finally reach the cloudy Karanga Camp. Overnight at Karanga Camp, (B|L|D).

Day 10: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) to Mweka Camp (3,080 m) – approx. 5 hours
We make our way to the Millennium (High) Camp at approx. 3,790 m, which we can reach in approx. 2 – 3 hours. The landscape is very dry and the ground breaks like glass under our boots. On our way through the afro-alpine dessert to the Montane forestry on the Mweka route, we hike further down to the Mweka camp (3,080 m), which we will reach in another 2 hours. A delicious dinner and a peaceful night’s sleep await us in the lush mountain forest of Mweka. Overnight at Barranco Camp, (B|L|D).

Day 11: Mweka Camp (3,080 m) to Mweka Gate and drive to Arusha – approx. 3 hours hike and 2 hours drive
The final stage of our amazing adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from our mountain crew. Then it goes gently downhill for 2 to 3 hours through the rainforest to Mweka Gate, where our driver is waiting for us. He brings us back to our hotel in Arusha. After a wonderfully warm shower, you can relax by the hotel pool for the rest of the day. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category (B).

Day 12: Arusha to Tarangire National Park – In the elephant paradise
In the early morning after breakfast you will be picked up by your private safari guide and drive directly to Tarangire National Park. Tarangire is a bit off the main safari route and is a beautiful, quiet park in northern Tanzania, which extends over an area of approx. 2,600 km². It is famous for its elephant walks, bird watching and pristine safari atmosphere. With the exception of the endangered black rhinoceros, Tarangire National Park is home to all of Tanzania’s major animals – from the tiny dik-dik to the towering African elephants and giraffes that attract visitors from all over the world. In addition to these popular animal species, the park is home to three endangered animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the country: the fringed oryx with its graceful horns, the towering greater kudu and the tiny Ashy starling. Overnight at Eileen’s Trees Inn or similar category, (B|L|D).

Day 13: Drive to Lake Manyara and game viewing – For bird lovers and back to Arusha
On this day we will drive to Lake Manyara National Park and enjoy a full day game drive. Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smaller national parks in Tanzania, but it still offers beautiful landscapes and is home to an interesting number of wildlife. The lake itself is an alkaline lake and reaches a maximum depth of 3.7 m. This park is a real highlight for bird lovers, as over 400 species of birds live here. Other residents of the park include elephants, buffalo, hippos, baboons, waterbuck, impalas, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests. The park has large numbers of leopards, but sightings are rare due to the thick vegetation. With a bit of luck you can catch a glimpse of the well-known “tree lions” that climb trees. Drive back to Arusha and overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar, (B|L|D).

Day 14: Departure Drive to Arusha-Kilimanjaro International Aiprort or connecting module additional days of Safari / Zanzibar
Free time until departure. Our driver will pick you up from the hotel according to your flight details and drive you to the airport (B).

We reserve the right to make changes to the program due to special events, force majeure or weather reasons.

Legends: B = breakfast | L = lunch | D = dinner

Our trips start every Saturday:

German guided tour
English guided tour

This trekking tour can also be booked for individual travelers at an additional cost or for your group at dates other than shown here.

Duration: 14 days
Costs: € 3.190 per person
Group size: min. 2 Persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only two persons)
€ 150 for single room supplement (only for hotel accommodation, for hut and camping overnight stays during the trek single accommodation is not available).

What’s included:

  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • All transfers in Tanzania by private vehicle
  • Accommodation and breakfast in Arusha
  • Professional, English speaking local mountain guide
  • Camping team (cook & porter)
  • Camping equipment (tents, mattress , kitchen utensils)
  • Three meals and drinking water on the trekking tour
  • Transport in a 4 × 4 safari vehicle (guaranteed window seat)
  • Professional, English-speaking safari guide
  • Mineral water on safari
  • All national park fees
  • Welcome dinner

Not included

  • Sleeping bag
  • All flights
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks other than water
  • Visa fees (US $ 50)
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

Visa
To enter Tanzania, a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and a tourist visa are required. The visa for German citizens can be applied for three to four weeks before departure at the Tanzanian embassy (approx. 50 EUR plus postage). Alternatively, the visa is also available when entering Tanzania (50 USD, to be paid in cash on site). We recommend this option; it is less complicated and cheaper. An exit tax of USD 30 is required for international flights from Zanzibar (payable locally in cash).
These visa and passport regulations are valid for the EU countries and Switzerland. Other citizens would like to inquire at the respective country consulate.

Vaccinations
No compulsory vaccinations, in particular no yellow fever vaccination, are required for direct entry from Germany / Switzerland, Austria to the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar. This also applies when entering a yellow fever endemic area in transit; as long as the airport is not left during the stopover and the stay is less than 12 hours. However, you should be vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis A, diphtheria and polio. Hepatitis B and typhoid vaccinations are recommended for long stays.
We recommend that you consult your doctor in good time. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Insurance
A travel health insurance (with rescue costs) is essential for your own safety and a prerequisite for booking our trips. In the event of an accident in the mountains or on safari that requires a helicopter, the helicopter will not take off until full coverage of the costs has been clarified.
We strongly recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance. Flights at bargain prices in particular cannot usually be rebooked or cancelled free of charge. In Tanzania there could also be complications with the weather, your health, etc., which would force you to abandon your trip.
We asked ERGO Reiseversicherung to put together different service packages for you. You can book the right travel health insurance for you at https://www.reiseversicherung.de.

It should be noted that geoDiscovery Tours only recommends that its guests book travel insurance through ERGO and assumes no responsibility for the contractual content between the travel guest and the insurance provider. It is up to each guest to book their travel insurance through ERGO or another provider.

Standard of hotels and accommodations
In Tanzania, the hotels we have booked are good and correspond to mid-western standards. The sanitary facilities are clean and functional. The hotel kitchen is adapted to Western eating habits and the food is safe to enjoy. Sometimes there can be power cuts or sometimes no hot water is available. The hotel staff is generally very friendly and makes every effort to ensure the well-being of each guest. The hotels we have booked are as follows:

Arusha: Ilboru Safari Lodge, Mount Meru Hotel, Mount Meru Game Lodge, Rivertrees Country Inn, Arumeru River Lodge
Moshi/Kilimanjaro: Chanya Lodge, Weru Weru, Kaliwa Lodge, Salinero
Karatu: Eileen’s Trees Inn, Bougainvillea Safari Lodge, Endoro Lodge
Manyara: Lake Manyara Serena Hotel, Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Luxury Lodge
Ngorongoro: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Rhino Lodge
Serengeti: Embalakai Camps, Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge, Serengeti Serena Hotel, Lahia Tented Lodge, Serengeti Heritage Tented Camp, Four Seasons Serengeti, Melia Serengeti
Tarangire: Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire Balloon Camp, Tarangire Simba Lodge, Maramboi Tented Lodge
Zanzibar: Maru Maru Hotel, Nungwi Dreams, MMelia Zanzibar, the Z hotel, Kendwa Rocks, Zanzibar Serena Hotel, Zanzibar Magic Boutique Hotel, Kholle House

Tour program
The travel program is optimally coordinated for all of the trips we recommend. However, it can happen that roads are closed or impassable without prior notice, that waiting times of several hours arise due to traffic jams or fuel shortages, that access to sites can be closed for various reasons, or other restrictions such as flight delays or even cancellations due to bad weather, strikes, Health of the participants, a pandemic or unfavourable conditions during trekking make the implementation of the travel program difficult or, in the worst case, impossible. However, our local guides are prepared for such situations and will endeavour to carry out all program points to your satisfaction. The inconvenience is usually limited. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out at this point that, for the reasons mentioned, program changes are possible at any time and are not the responsibility of the organizer. Any resulting costs are borne by the traveller. We ask for your understanding.

Flying in Tanzania
Domestic flights in Tanzania may be postponed for days due to limited airspace or weather conditions, or for technical or other reasons. Under these exceptional circumstances, our team will try – in cooperation with you – to relocate the tour to other regions or to organize road transport. The risk of delay and cancellation of these flights is borne by all participants.
In the event of a delay of several days, all participants are personally responsible for changing their flight home at least 48 hours in advance. We are of course happy to help you.

The domestic flights booked by us are:

  • Air Tanzania
  • Precision Air
  • Flightlink
  • Coastal Aviation
  • Auric air

Please note that our trips are not suitable for people with limited mobility.


Trip Details

  • Duration: 14 days
  • Holiday Type: Camping
  • Best trekking period: Jun/Jul/Aug/Sep/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mär
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Max Altitude: 4,600 m
  • Group size: Min. 2 persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of onl two persons)
  • Tour guide: English speaking, trained Tanzanian mountain guide
  • Difficulty:
  • Fitness:
  • Price: 3.190,00 
  • Single room supplement: 150,00 €
    (only for hotel accommodation, for lodge overnight stays during the trek single accommodation is not available).