Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro | Discover Africa Safaris
 

13

days
Safari: Tanzania

Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro

Summit two of Tanzania's iconic mountain ranges in under two weeks

Go on a 13 day safari like this from

per person

Our African Travel Expert

Megan Warrington

At 4 566 metres, Mount Meru is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent and the second highest in Tanzania. About 250,000 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption blew away the entire eastern flank of the mountain and left it with the distinctive appearance it has today. The Mt Meru ascent passes through many different vegetation zones. The dry forest of the lower region changes to a dense mountain rainforest, which then turns into scrubland. Closer to the summit, vegetation becomes less and less and gives way to alpine terrain.

As the vegetation changes so does the wildlife. During the ascent, you might come across large game such as giraffes, buffaloes, baboons, colobus monkeys and antelopes. To be safe, it is obligatory to be accompanied by an armed park ranger on your tour.

The next leg of your epic trek will be a summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. You'll be trekking the Machame route; one of the most beautiful routes to the top of Kilimanjaro. The climb begins in the lush rainforest and follows a path that offers occasional views of Mount Meru, Shira Ridge as well the main summit of Kilimanjaro; Kibo. The Machame route contains more steep passages and higher altitudes than the Marangu and the Rongai route and is slightly more demanding. Reaching the summit though, is well worth the trip. 

Throughout the trip you will have an English-language speaking guide, as well as cooks and porters who will help carry up to 15kg of your luggage to lighten your load. 

COST OF SAFARI - CAN BE CUSTOMISED
Estimated cost per person for a 13-day safari like this, depending on the season.
International flights not included.
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What to Expect on This Safari

This popular itinerary can be customised to match your budget and travel dates by adding/removing a few days or selecting different lodges

day

1

Arusha

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to the Greenhills of Africa Hotel, on the outskirts of Arusha. Located within ten minutes from Arusha National Park, this little garden oasis is the perfect place to relax before your big trip. 

Feel free to lounge by the pool, or take a taxi into the bustling safari town of Arusha (at your own cost). In the evening, you'll enjoy a delicious meal at Greenhills restaurant that serves up all manner of international and local cuisine. Enjoy your first night in Tanzania.

Included: 

Meals: Dinner

Drinks: Not included 

Transport and Transfers: Included 

day

2

Momella Gate (1500 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2500 m)

In the morning, you will be collected from your hotel in Arusha and after a scenic drive through the Arusha National Park you will reach the Momella gate. Once the formalities have been sorted out, you will begin the great trek.

An armed park ranger will accompany you and right from the start and you may spot giraffes and buffaloes as you walk through open grasslands. After approximately two hours you will reach the Maio Falls; the perfect spot to rest and have a picnic. Thereafter you will continue your trek to the well-known “fig tree arch”. After about another two hours your will arrive at the Miriakamba Hut in time for afternoon tea and snacks. Your night will be spent at the Miriakamba Hut, with a warm dinner. 

day

3

Miriakamba Hut (2 500 m) – Saddle Hut (3 550 m)

In the morning after a great breakfast, you will begin your journey navigating a steep, wooden footpath. Due to the gain in altitude, it will be noticeably cooler than the previous day and walking may seem easier. The clouds often hang low in the rainforest, creating a moody atmosphere in the lush vegetation. After going uphill for about two hours, you will reach the vantage point called “Mgongo wa Tembo” (elephant back) at a height of 3 200 m, where you will enjoy a well-earned break.

The vegetation now changes from rainforest to heather and moorland and you should reach Saddle Hut (3 550 m) at around midday. During the afternoon, you have the option to hike to Little Meru (3 820 m) which should take about one to two hours. From here you will enjoy wonderful views of Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro about 80 km away. Back at Saddle Hut you will have a warm meal before you retire to bed early as your wake-up call with be just after midnight.

day

4

Saddle Hut (3 550 m) – Socialist Peak (4 562 m) –

After a small snack and some tea, you will leave the camp at night. Lighting the way with headlamps, you will follow the trail through bush land to Rhino Point (3 821 m). From here the path becomes more challenging and occasionally climbing will be necessary. You will walk on volcanic ash, rocks and gravel, following the crater rim.

After about four or five hours you should reach the summit, named Socialist Peak. From here, you will experience the sun rising above Kilimanjaro and enjoy the fantastic view of 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 you will take a break and recuperate with hot soup and tea. Once refreshed, you will continue the descent and in the afternoon you reach Miriakamba Hut (2 500 m); tired but happy.

day

5

Miriakamba Hut (2 500 m) – Momella Gate (1 500 m)

After breakfast, you will follow the so-called “northern route”, a two to three hour trek back to the Momella gate in Arusha National Park. The descent follows a shorter route than the ascent but there is still a chance that you'll spot elephants, buffaloes, giraffes as well as the black and white colobus monkeys. At the gate, you will say farewell to your hiking crew and your driver will take you back to the Greenhills of Africa Hotel where you will celebrate your achievement and spend the night in utter peace and relaxation. 

day

6

Arusha

The next day is your rest day, and you're going to need the break as you prepare for your much more technically difficult Mount Kilimanjaro trek. Get your gear cleaned and sorted out while the support team gets everything ready for the next leg of your journey.

During your time at Greenhills Hotel, why not take a game drive into Arusha National Park for the chance to spot the big cats, amazing birdlife giraffe and cheerful monkeys of this pristine park. 

Alternatively, you can keep your body moving with the bicycling activities on offer, or a hike to Lake Duluti. However, it is recommended that you prepare your body adequately for the climb to come. 

Meals: Breakfast

Drinks: Not included 

Transport and Transfers: Included 

day

7

Arusha – Machame Gate (1 790 m) – Machame Camp (3

After breakfast, you'll be driven to the Machame gate to complete registration formalities before heading through colonial coffee and banana plantation villages on your way to the Umbwe gate (1 641 metres). This is where your climb will truly start. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. Grin and bear this short time as the landscape will soon change. 

The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers views of deep gorges and if you're lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. Your overnight camp is nestled between huge trees and thick undergrowth. You'll camp overnight at Umbwe Cave Camp (2 850 metres), with meals included.

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

8

Machame Camp (3 010 m) – New Shira Camp (3 845 m)

After an early morning start, your trek begins once again. As you walk, you will notice how the path steepens and the landscape changes into moors and heathlands. This expansive landscape really allows you to see the impressive size of the Kilimanjaro mountain range.

The climb today will be shorter than the previous day and you will arrive at the Shira Camp by mid-afternoon, just in time for lunch. The camp has breathtaking views of the mountain and during sunset, the evening sun lights the rock face and glacier of Kibo. Enjoy dinner and chats before you head off for a good night's sleep. 

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

9

New Shira Camp (3 845 m) – Lava Tower (4 640 m) –

Enjoy an early morning breakfast because today you will climb about 800 m but you will be camping at an elevation only slightly higher than the previous night. This will allow your body to acclimatise better.

The trek begins with a long ascent above the Shira Plateau in the direction of the Lava Tower (4 640 m). The vegetation becomes sparser as the landscape changes to an afro-alpine desert. The route passes through the sweeping Barranco Valley with its lobelia and giant senecio plants. After six to seven hours, you will arrive at the most beautiful camp on the mountain; the Barranco Camp.

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

10

Barranco Camp (3 960 m) – Barafu Camp (4 640 m)

Today’s stretch starts with the climb of the “Barranco Wall”. Safety is paramount and your guides will assist you wherever necessary. Following the ridge as it traverses up and down, you can enjoy the splendid views of the south glacier of Kibo. In the Karanga Valley you will have lunch, followed by a two to three hour climb to Barafu Camp (4 640 m). Once at the camp, you can relax, have dinner and call it an early night.

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

11

Barafu Camp (4 640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mwe

After hot tea and a light snack, the climb begins at around midnight. By torchlight, you will climb the steep Kibo peak. After five to seven hours of ascending in the dark you will arrive at Stella Point, the crater rim of Kilimanjaro. Another one to two hours climb along the crater ridge will lead you to Uhuru Peak (5895 m). This is the highest peak of Kilimanjaro. Here you will see Kilimanjaro in all its glory, enjoying the 360° view over the landscape below as the sun rises. You are now standing on the “Roof of Africa”.

The simple descent runs almost along the same route and shortly before midday you should arrive at Barafu Camp, where the porters and the cook will be waiting for you. After a warm meal and a well-deserved break of approximately one to two hours, you will be on your way down to Mweka Camp (3 080 m) where supper and a well-earned rest await you.

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

12

Mweka Camp (3 080 m) – Mweka Gate (1 630 m) – Arus

The final leg of your amazing adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from the mountain crew. Then a gentle two to three hours descent through the rainforest continues to Mweka Gate, where your driver will be waiting for you. He will take you back to the Greenhills of Africa Hotel and after a warm shower, the rest of your day will be free to relax, unwind at the pool or celebrate your achievement.

Meals: Included

Drinks: Included (except alcoholic drinks)

day

13

Departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport or alternatively you can extend your trip in Tanzania and go on safari.

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