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Trekking to the highest peaks of Tanzania – Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro- Machame

Tanzania Tanzania

Trekking Map

Mt. Meru as the most exciting peak in Tanzania and Kilimanjaro as the highest single peak on earth await you on this varied and challenging trekking tour.

To prepare for the heights of Kilimanjaro, we start our trip with the ascent of Mt. Meru (4,566 m). The second highest peak in Tanzania dominates the Arusha National Park with its huge cliffs and amazes its visitors. However, the technical requirements are higher on Mt. Meru than on the Machame Route on Kilimanjaro. The way to the summit leads through an enchanting rainforest, a huge heather zone and a constantly changing volcanic landscape. The summit is reached via a narrow, barren ridge that offers a breathtaking view of the Ash Cone and Kilimanjaro. After a day of rest in Arusha, we continue our trekking tour with the Machame route on Kilimanjaro. The six-day camping route, which offers a particularly varied landscape, will make our hearts beat faster every day. We move through grasslands, tropical rainforests, alpine meadows, moorland and an alpine desert to snow and ice until we have reached the highest point in Africa at 5,985 m.

This trekking tour is suitable for high mountain hikers who are experienced in high altitude, sure-footed and fit.

We only run tours with good acclimatization on Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. This is the minimum number of days recommended by all international mountain associations, as well as our own assessment of mountain safety. You could climb Kilimanjaro in a few days, but experience shows that this leads to an increased risk of altitude sickness and a much lower success rate to the summit.

Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport – Arusha – Briefing and welcome dinner
You will be met by our driver at Kilimanjaro Airport and then driven to your reserved hotel in Arusha. The drive takes about an hour and with a little luck you will get a glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. After checking in, your guide will give you a brief briefing about your booked trip and then look through your equipment. You have the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening you will be invited by your guide to the welcome dinner. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category (D).

Day 2: Sightseeing tour in Arusha and preparation for the tour in the afternoon
On the second day in Arusha (1,400m) you will be able to relax a little from the long journey, prepare for the upcoming trekking tour and get a little insight into the exciting and rich culture of Tanzania. You will be picked up after breakfast for a half-day sightseeing tour. First experience the hustle and bustle of the local market in Arusha, and then be driven to the Art Gallery (Cultural Heritage Gallery), a unique cultural center on the outskirts of Arusha. Here you have enough time to look at handicrafts from all over Africa. If you are interested, there is also the opportunity to purchase handicrafts. In the afternoon you will be driven back to the hotel after an extensive exploration of the gallery and can relax for the rest of the day and prepare for the trek. Overnight at Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category (B).

Day 3: Arusha to Miriakamba Hut (2,514m) – 1 hr. drive and 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 (Fig 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 in the Miriakamba Hut (B|L|D).

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m) to Saddle 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 giant heathers and other fascinating moor vegetation to Saddle-Hut (3,570 m), where lunch will be served. Because of the ascent, we’re going to bed early today. Overnight in the Saddle Hut (B|L|D).

Day 5: Saddle Hut (3,570 m), ascent to Socialist Peak (4,566 m) and back to Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m) – 10 to 12 hours
We start early at around 2 a.m. and climb steeply to Rhino Point (3,800 m). From here the path becomes demanding and requires full concentration and sure-footedness. At sunrise we reach a wavy ridge of ash and rocks and reach Cobra Point (4,350 m). The view is breathtaking: the cliffs of the crater rim, the ash cone protruding from the crater floor, Mount Kilimanjaro seems to float on the morning clouds, and when the weather is clear you can see to the west as far as the Rift Valley. The summit of ‘Socialist Peak’ (4,566 m) is an hour further on a good but steep path that can be slippery at times. After a few nice photos at the summit, we head back to Saddle Hut. The descent to Rhino Point in the morning light on a narrow ridge will have a different charm than on the way there. After a tasty breakfast we hike back to the Miriakamba Hut. Overnight in the Miriakamba Hut (B|L|D

Day 6: Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m) – Hotel in Arusha – approx. 3 hrs. hike and 1 hour drive
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 get to Momella Gate in the late morning. 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).

Day 7: Free day in Arusha – relaxation before the next summit
Today is a day 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 adventure of the trip. Overnight at Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar category (B).

Day 8: Arusha – Machame Gate (1,790 m) – Machame Camp (3,010 m) 2 hours drive and 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 9: Machame Camp (3,010 m) to New Shira Camp (3,845 m) – approx. 6 hour hike
We continue our hike in the early morning, the path becomes steeper and the landscape turns into moorland and heatherland. The open landscape allows us to see the impressive mountain ridge of Kilimanjaro. Today’s hike 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 sunset the evening sun illuminates the rock face and the glacier of the Kibo. Kilimanjaro was formed as a result of the active continental rifts 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 10: 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 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 takes us 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 down into the plains and up to the summit of Kibo (5,895 m). Overnight at Barranco Camp (B|L|D).

Day 11: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) – Barafu Camp (4,640 m) – 6 hrs 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. We will have lunch in the Karanga Valley, followed by a 2 to 3 hour climb to Barafu Camp (4,640m). Here we can relax and have dinner very early, at 5:00 p.m., and go to sleep around 7:00 p.m. The ascent to the summit starts at midnight, so it is important that we recover well beforehand. Overnight at Barafu Camp (B|L|D).

Day 12: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Millenium Camp (3,820 m) – approx. 12 to 14 hours
After a hot tea and a light snack, the ascent begins around midnight. Warmly dressed and with the light of our headlamps, we climb the scree slopes of the Kibo. It’s steep and uphill in serpentines. After a 5 to 7 hour ascent in the dark we reach Stella Point (5,756 m), the crater rim of Kilimanjaro. From here strong wind and cold can be expected. Another 1 to 2 hours ascent along the crater ridge leads us to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Here we see Kilimanjaro in all its glory and enjoy the 360 ° view over the landscape at sunrise. You are now on the “roof of Africa”. The comparatively easy but long descent is almost on the same route. The temperatures now change from minus degrees to high plus degrees. Shortly before noon we should arrive at the Barafu Camp, where the cook is waiting for us with tasty dishes. After a warm meal and a well-deserved break of about 1 to 2 hours, we make our way to Millenium Camp (3,820 m), where dinner await us. Overnight at Millenium Camp (B|L|D).

Day 13: Millenium Camp (3,820 m) – Mweka Gate (1,630 m) – Arusha – approx. 3 hours hike and 2 hours drive
The last stage of our impressive adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from our mountain team. 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 the Hotel Ilboru Safari Lodge (B).

Day 14: Departure Drive to Arusha-Kilimanjaro International Aiprort or connecting module 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: € 2.990 per person
Group size: min. 2 Persons (all the tour dates are guaranteed with a minimum group size of only two persons)
€ 80 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)
  • Accommodation, three meals and drinking water on the trekking tour
  • 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 Game Lodge, Karama Lodge
Moshi / Kilimanjaro: Chanya Lodge, Weru Weru, Kaliwa Lodge, Salinero

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: Hut & Camping
  • Best trekking period: Jun/Jul/Aug/Sep/Dec/Jan/Feb
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Max Altitude: 5.895 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: 2.990,00 
  • Single room supplement: 80,00 €
    (only for hotel accommodation, for lodge overnight stays during the trek single accommodation is not available)