13 Days Mt Meru & Mt Kilimanjaro trekking – Rongai Route
Climb the highest peak of Africa and one of the 7 summits – Mt Kilimanjaro. Acclimatize on Mt Meru and enjoy safari game drive in Arusha NP. Mt Meru (4,565m) is one of Tanzania’s most beautiful volcanoes, and it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania. This 4 day trek is part of our acclimatization program leading towards successful summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak 5,895m) is non-technical climb. 6day trek – Rongai route is the only northern start point, on Kenyan border. This route descends via Marangu route on the south-east, which gives us a chance to see Mt Kilimanjaro from both sides.
Day 1 Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport – pickup from the airport and transfer to the lodge accommodation in Arusha. The drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha is approximately one hour. You will have your own free time and opportunity for rest. In the evening, we will attend a briefing in preparation of our upcoming trek and organise our gear for next 4 days of trekking. Anything what we don’t need for next 4 days of trekking will stay at the storage of our accommodation. No meals included on this day.
Day 2: Arusha – Momella Gate (1,500 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m): 4-5 hour walking. In the morning, we will get picked up from our accommodation in Arusha and after a scenic drive through the Arusha National Park we will reach the Momella gate. Once the formalities have been sorted out we will start our trek from here. Right from the start we might spot giraffes and buffaloes as we walk through open grasslands. An armed park ranger will accompany us for entire trek. After approximately 2 hours we will reach the Maio Falls – the perfect spot to rest and have a picnic. Thereafter we will continue our trek to the well-known “fig tree arch”. After about another two hours we will arrive at the Miriakamba Hut, just in time for afternoon tea and snacks. Overnight at the Miriakamba Hut. (huts are shared / dorm kind of accommodation)
Day 3 : Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m) – Saddle Hut (3,550 m): 3-4 hour walking. In the morning we will follow wooden steps along a steep track. Due to the gain in altitude, it will be noticeably cooler than the previous day which can make walking a little bit easier. The clouds often hang low in the rainforest, creating a moody atmosphere in the lush vegetation. After ascending for approximately 2 hours, we will reach the vantage point “Mgongo wa Tembo” (elephant back) at an elevation of 3,200 m, where we will enjoy a well-earned break. The vegetation now changes from rainforest to heather and moorland and we should reach Saddle Hut (3,550 m) at around midday. During the afternoon, we have the option to hike to Little Meru (3,820 m) which should take about 1 to 1½ hours. From here, we will enjoy wonderful views of Arusha National Park and Mt Kilimanjaro about 80 km away. Back at Saddle Hut we will have dinner before we retire to bed early as the wake-up call for summit push with be just after midnight.
Day 4: Summit day! Saddle Hut (3,550 m) – Socialist Peak (4,562 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m): 10-14 hour walking. After a small snack and some tea, we will leave the camp very early, just after midnight. Lighting the way with head torch, we will follow the trail through bush land to Rhino Point (3,821 m). From here, the path becomes more challenging and occasionally some rock scrambling will be necessary. We will walk on volcanic ash, rocks and gravel, following the crater rim. After about 4 to 5 hours you should reach the summit, Socialist Peak. From here, you will experience the sun rising above Mt Kilimanjaro and enjoy the fantastic view of Mt Meru’s crater with its steep sides and the “ash cone” in the middle. The descent follows the same route back to Saddle Hut (3,550 m) where we will take a break and recuperate with hot soup and tea. Once refreshed, we will continue the descent and in the afternoon we reach Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m) where we stay overnight.
Day 5: Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m) – Momella Gate (1,500 m) – Arusha. 2-3 hour walking. After breakfast, we will follow the so-called “northern route” back to the Momella gate. The descent follows a shorter route than the ascent but there is still a chance to see elephants, buffaloes, giraffes as well as the black and white colobus monkeys. At the gate, we will say farewell to our hiking crew (porters and cook) and chip in some tips for their hard work. Before we drive back to our accommodation, we will go for a short safari game drive in Arusha NP. Then our driver will take us back to our accommodation in Arusha where we will celebrate our achievement.
Day 6: Today is a rest day and your own free time. All we need to do today is to organize our gear for next 6 days of trekking to Kilimanjaro. Chance to do some washing if needed or check out Arusha town.
Day 7: Nalemoru Gate to Rongai Cave (2,600 m): 3-4 hours walking. After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Rongai (Nalemoru) Gate near the Kenya border. We begin our climb on this unspoilt wilderness route. The walk then starts climbing consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2600 m.) withextensive views over the Kenyan plains. The first day is only a half-day walk. Overnight camping at Rongai camp.
Day 8: Rongai Cave – Kikelewa Caves (3,600 m): 6-8 hours walking. Gradual ascent through beautiful open moorland towards jagged pinnacles of Mawenzi to Kikelewa Camp (3,679 m) we reach in late afternoon at Kikelewa Caves for dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day 9: Kikelelwa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m): 3-4 hours walking. A Short but steep ascent to Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m). Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn. The afternoon is free to help with our acclimatization.
Day 10: Mawenzi Turn to Kibo Hut (4,700m): 5-6 hours walking. Today we cross the lunar desert which is part of the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Hut (4,700m), at the bottom of the Kibo Crater wall by early afternoon. There is no running water at Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent relaxing in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night.
Day 11: Summit day! Kibo Hut to Summit (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3100 m): 13-15 hours walking. Wake up before midnight to have an early breakfast. We begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to rim of the main crater, Gillman’s Point 5,685 m. It can be windy and cold at this elevation and time of day. We will rest at Gillman’s Point for a bit and enjoy the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Then we will continue slowly to the summit. It is about three hour return trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru peak 5,895 m – which is the highest point in Africa. Time to take lots of pictures and selfies in front of the sign and appreciate our accomplishment before we start descending to Kibo Hut. Coming back to Kibo Hut is amazingly fast, and we stop there for some refreshment, before we continue to descend through Marangu Route (south-east part of the mountain) to Horrombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 12: Horrombo Hut – Marangu Gate. 5-7 hours walking. On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. We will descend past Mandara hut to Marangu Gate, successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. From here we will be transferred back to our accommodation in Arusha for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Departure to your home country.
What is included?
Pick up and drop off from / to Kilimanjaro airport (or Arusha airport).
Hotel / Lodge Accommodation in Arusha with breakfast – 4 nights in total.
All land transport to start and from finish of the trekking routes.
Full board of meals during trekking (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – Non-vegetarian or Vegetarian options available) hot water / tea.
Trek accommodation Huts (Mt Meru) / Tents – camping (Mt Kilimanjaro)
Mess tent, tables, chairs, sleeping tents, sleeping mats, private toilet (Kilimanjaro trekking).
Professional English speaking trekking guide.
Assistant trekking guide(s).
Necessary porters to carry all personal gear and group equipment and food (weight limit of personal gear is 20kg per client).
Private cook and waiter.
All NP entry fees and government levies and tax.
First aid kit with Diamox and other related medicine, oximeter, + emergency oxygen.
Peak climbing certificates after successful summit.
What is not included?
International flight in / out to Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
TanzanianVisa (USD $95)
Your meals in Arusha, except provided breakfast at the hotel.
Items of personal expenses: laundry, telephone, satellite phone, internet access, beverages, etc.
Travel insurance that also covers trekking to altitudes up to 6000m as well as medical evacuation from the mountains.
Rescue costs or other cost due to the abandonment of the group. (Individual transfer, helicopter flight, extra nights, meals, extra costs for changes in your flight tickets etc.)
Personal equipment and all trekking gear.
Liabilities of loss, theft and damages.
Tips to mountain crew. Recommendation per day: porter is from USD $6, assistant guide / cook from USD $12, guides from USD $20. (ratio client : porter = approximately 1 : 4-5 on Kilimanjaro trek)
Any other service not detailed as included in the paragraph above.
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