Trekking Kilimanjaro & Mount Meru

Tallest mountain of Africa with Mount Meru and safari.

Mountaineers and trekkers associate the African continent with Kilimanjaro. A dream that can come true for many!

Facts

5895 m
Tansania
medium
easy

The adventure

Kilimanjaro is one of those “Seven Summits” that is certainly achievable for many.

The previous ascent of Mount Meru is a highlight in its own right and increases the chances of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro by almost 100%.

We climb Kilimanjaro via the wind-protected Marangu Route where the number of trekkers is limited.

This trip can be rounded up with an additional four-day trip to Zanzibar, where you can relax, snorkel and bathe.

At 5,895m Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the African continent which makes it one of the Seven Summits. The mountain range with a base area of 50x80km lies 350km south of the equator in north-eastern Tanzania and is close to the Kenyan border. The standalone mountain protrudes around 5,000m from the endless Massai Steppe. The acclaimed writer Ernest Hemingway was already mystified by its beauty: “…as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun.” In order to have the best possible chance to reach the top of Africa we climb the 4,566m-high Mount Meru beforehand.

Thanks to good logistics and top support, the dream of experiencing the sunrise “on the roof of Africa” is not only possible for mountaineers but also for ambitious trekkers!

Day 1 - Day 2: Zurich – Kilimanjaro Airport / Arusha

Journey to Tanzania. We land at the Kilimanjaro Airport that is located to the south west of the Kilimanjaro massif on Tanzanian ground. Here we are greeted by our local crew. A short drive along banana- and sisal plantations brings us to the Kia Lodge where we spend our first night on the African continent.

Day 3: Arusha – Miriakamba Hut (2,521 m)

We start our journey to our first target, the 4,562 m tall Mount Meru. After a drive of around one hours we reach the entrance to the Arusha National Park. While our guides take care of the obligatory entrance formalities, we have the option to inform ourselves about the Park and its unique qualities by reading large wall charts. Afterwards, we continue our drive to the Momella Gate, where our actual ascent to the Miriakamba Hut begins. As soon as our luggage is handed over to the porters that already waiting for us, we begin our ascent. During the ascent we pass through a primordial rain forest, cross open slopes and soon we encounter buffalo herds, giraffes and zebras.

After about 3 hours of hiking we reach our target.

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut – Saddle Hut (3,566 m)

In order to give our bodies time to acclimatise, which is the key to success, we ascend slowly further up through the mountain rain forest. Clouds often engulf the rain forests of this region, hide away the lush vegetation and thus they give the lichen covered trees a special atmosphere. After about two hours we reach the viewpoint “Mgongo wa Tembo” that gives us a great panoramic view on the entire region. Already toward noon we reach the Saddle Hut. Here we can enjoy a delicious lunch. In the afternoon there is the option, depending on your mood, to ascent the nearby Little Mt. Meru (3,820 m). These ascent efforts are rewarded with a wonderful view over the entire Arusha National Park. When the visibility is good we can even see our actual target, the 80 km far away Kilimanjaro.

Day 5: Mount Meru (4,566 m)

Around 1,000 altitude metres separate us from our first target, the 4,566 metres tall Mount Meru. In the light of our headlamps we begin the ascent at around 1 o’clock in the morning. After about 5.5 hours our efforts are rewarded, after all, it is a fascinating view to see the sun rise behind the Kilimanjaro and how it slowly engulfs the plain between in oranges and reds.

We enjoy these intense moments and slowly prepare ourselves for the descent. We descend down to the Saddler Hut via the familiar route. Here we enjoy a longer break before we descend the last 1,000 altitude metres down to the Miriakamba Hut, where we spend the night.

Day 6: Miriakamba Hut – Marangu

After the rather exhausting previous day we can tackle this day in a more relaxed fashion. We descend to the Momella gate via the familiar path. A short transfer brings us to Marangu where we move into our accommodation, enjoy a shower and let the day come to a relaxed end.

Day 7: Marangu – Mandara Hut (2,730 m)

The second part of our travel begins. After a strengthening breakfast a 20 minutes long drive brings us to the Kilimanjaro National Park. While we take care of the formalities, our guides and porters begin to distribute the luggage. Once this procedure is over, we start our ascent to the Mandara Hut together. During our ascent we pass through the rain forest belt, which surrounds the entire Kilimanjaro massif. The monkeys shriek in the treetops and birds present themselves in their most wonderful colours. After about three and a half hours we reach the Mandara Hut at 2,730 m. Here we move into our accommodation and recover from the ascent. During the late afternoon we then hike up to the Maundi Crater at 2,850 m. The Maundi Crater is a small but perfect side crater of the Kilimanjaro.

After our return to the hut we enjoy a delicious supper and afterwards we prepare our night-quarters.

Day 8: Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)

The scenery now changes suddenly. We leave the rain forest and reach open space. Through tall grass the path ascents higher and higher and finally the view on the Kilimanjaro is not obstructed anymore. After about five hours we reach our target of the day, the Horombo Hut at 3,718 m.

Day 9: Horombo Hut - Kibo - Horombo Hut

We intentionally have another resting and acclimatisation day, after all, this will help us to tackle the last stages of the travel as acclimatised as possible. We ascend to the Kibo Saddle and thus further our acclimatisation even more. For lunch we are back at the Horombo Hut and we enjoy the wonderful landscape in the surrounding of the hut.

Day 10: Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut (4,710 m)

Strengthened by the additional night we continue our ascent today. We march through lush flora riddled with senecia and thus we soon reach the last water hole. Shortly afterwards we enter the volcanic landscape that is without vegetation. The Kilimanjaro and its blindingly white glaciers is always in front of us. Today we cross the 4,000er mark, a mark that lets us march even more comfortably. After about five hours we reach the Kibo Hut, our last accommodation before the summit.

Day 11: Kibo Hut – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut

Summit day! Already in the middle of the night we start and we tackle “the big day” very comfortably. Soon we reach the Hans-Meyer Hut, named after Dr. Hans Meyer, one of the first people to ascend the summit. Now the path becomes steeper and steeper and takes us over volcanic ashes and lava rocks up to the edge of hte crater, the Gilman’s Point. Now begins the unique natural spectacle; to the east the black night sky changes its colour steadily and the glowing red sun rises. The rays of the sun colour the landscape and make it look even more strange. Now, there are only 200 altitude metres between us and the 5,895 m tall Uhuru Peak, the main summit of the Kilimanjaro. Here we have a wonderful panoramic view and this rewards us for our efforts of the past hours. We stay on the summit for a little while and enjoy the feeling of standing on the roof of Africa. The descent back down to the Kibo Hut and further down to the Horombo Hut follows the same path as the ascent and it will be much easier for us than the ascent beforehand.

Day 12: Horombo Hut – Marangu

Our last trekking day. We reach Marangu already around noon and we have to say good-bye to your crew. Without their help our summit ascent would hardly have been possible. We spend the rest of the day together and enjoy our success.

Day 13: Marangu – Ngorongoro Crater

After an extensive breakfast follows a change in scenery!

From Arusha we drive via Moshi with special cars to the Ngorongoro Crater that also has the nickname “the eighth wonder of the world”. Once we stand at the edge of the crater and see the massive bottom of the crater we understand why it has its nickname. We drive further to our exclusive safari camp and enjoy the first night surrounded by the foreign noises of the African jungle.

Day 14 - Day 15: Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Tarangire National Park

We take two days time in order to explore and observe the spectacular flora and fauna of east Africa. The diversity is overwhelming. After all, we can observe giraffes, elephants, lions, antelopes, gnus and many other kinds of animals. During the afternoon we leave the Ngorongoro Crater and drive back to the Tarangire Safari Camp. Here we spend the coming two nights.

After breakfast outdoors we board our cross country vehicles. While the Ngorongoro Crater offers an overwhelming fauna, the Tarangire Safari National Park entices with its very diverse flora. However, the fauna is no less impressive here either. After all, the largest elephant herds that graze between the baobab trees can be observed here.

Our last night outdoors we spend at the campfire of the Tarangire Safari Camp.

Day 16: Departure in Arusha

After one last night underneath the stars of Africa we leave the beautiful Tarangire Safari Camp.

A transfer brings us to Arusha, or rather to the Kilimanjaro Airport and the return journey back home begins.

Day 17: Arrival Back at Home

Arrival back home during the morning.

Supplementary Option Zanzibar:

All those who don’t have enough of the “East African fever” have a change in scenery ahead of them. The additional three days on the spice island Zanzibar are ideal in order to round off this travel.

Day 16: Arusha - Zanzibar

We get up early in the morning in order to once again hear and experience the unique morning atmosphere of the savannah.

After breakfast we drive to the airport at Arusha and fly to Zanzibar, past the summit of the Kilimanjaro. Here we spend the last days of our journey and we enjoy the wonderful sandy beaches and the crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean with its emerald greed coral reefs.

Day 17 - Day 18: Zanzibar

We spend the last days and enjoy the beach or we might use the day to visit the spice market. Many exotic fruits and vegetables, carnations and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, cacao and vanilla, mango, pineapple and papaya grow on these island. Here we also recover from the intense journey behind us. The evenings we spend in the maze-like gasses of the historic district Stone Town with its old Dhau port and its sultan palaces.

Day 19 - Day 20: Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam - Home

In the afternoon we board the plane back home. Arrival back home likely to be during the morning hours of the 20st day.

Important info

The Profilecheck is a fixed part of the travel programme. Please read through it thoroughly and assess yourself. Due to the required score for this travel, you will be able to tell from your own score, if your skills, your fitness and your mountaineering experience is sufficient to go on this travel. With your registration you confirm to us that your capabilities are sufficient to actively participate in this travel.

Please take note of the following points concerning procedure of this travel:

  • This travel is demanding and exhausting. Alone the height brings several challenges with it.
  • The participants do not have to be super mountaineers, however, they should have a solid amount of trekking experience. Participants have to be able to move securely and independently through, sometimes, very rough terrain. We put a lot of importance on active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance.
  • Everybody has to be able to recognise their own limits on the mountain and you have to be ready to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and retreat. The trekking is undertaken on your own responsibility.
  • The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every participant has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the leader. The decisions are always made in group’s interest.
  • Depending on the circumstances on site, improvisations and changes to the travel programme might be necessary.
  • Kobler & Partner refuse any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
  • Especially the last ascent to the crater of the Kibo is exhausting and requires stamina due to its height and its length, and because it takes us over loose debris. Sure-footedness is important.

Included

Organisation of the entire travel

International flights to Kilimanjaro Airport and back, including taxes

Flight luggage (minimally 23 kg, detailed information is found in the finalised documents)

All transfers; bus- and jeep rides

Information meeting at Bächli Bergsport including 10%-voucher for equipment purchase

Entrance fees of the Kilimanjaro National Park

Overnight stays at huts during the ascent

4 overnight stays in good lodges on the basis of double rooms

1 overnight stay at an exclusive private camp in the Ngorongoro Crater

2 overnight stays at a good safari camp in the Tarangire National Park

Full board during the time in Tanzania

All-terrain vehicle safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and in the Tarangire National Park

Satellite phone, exclusive call charges

Porters for the ascent

Kitchen: cook and kitchen helpers

Tip participation by Kobler & Partner (the tips for porters and guides is included)

Extensive pharmacy with pulse oximeter

Local, well educated mountain guides

Nationally certified mountain guide

Included Services for the Zanzibar Extension

Domestic flight Arusha - Zanzbar, including taxes

Overnight stay on double room basis in a good hotel on Zanzibar (east coast)

Half board on Zanzibar

Not included

Insurances

Beverages

Visa for Tanzania

Personal medication

In case no roommate can be found for a booked double room, we charge half of the single room surcharge (look at Additional Costs)

Surcharges that may arise due to changes being made to the planned travel programme

Personal, individual tips

At 3,750 m we intentionally insert a resting day. With an easy hike on the 4,400 metres high Kibo saddle we acclimatise ourselves to the height on this day. Of course we have the help of our porters, who transport the heavy luggage. We ourselves only carry a light daysack. And last but not least, our balanced meals from our kitchen in the hut will support our undertaking.

Kobler & Partner contribute a lot of experience to the organisation of ascents at these heights. In order to have the highest possible chances of success for reaching the summit of the 5,895 m tall Kilimanjaro, a serious acclimatisation is important and thus we ascent the 4,566 metres tall Mount Meru.

Then we ascend the Kilimanjaro via the classic ascent route. This route offers advantages, most of all, the overnight stays at the huts offer more recovery options than overnight stays in tents.

Climate:

The climate in the east African highlands is very pleasant.

The reference values for Arusha are: early temperatures from 9°C to 12°C, noon temperatures 23°C to 28°C and night temperatures 9°C to 14°C. In the summit region of the Kilimanjaro nightly frosts can occur (approximately -10°C to -15°C). In the interior of the country the daily temperatures sway between 20°C and 28°C. Favourable travelling times are during the “cooler” dry periods from June until October and from December until April.

Local Agency:

Kobler & Partner work together with one of the most renowned Kilimanjaro agency. The entire logistic is co-ordinated by our office in Marangu and the co-operation with our long-standing partner is close and trustworthy.

During the ascent of the Kilimanjaro we spend the nights in cozy huts. In the Ngorongoro Crater we will stay in an exclusive private camp.

Trip preparation

The flat fee covers international flights. The planned point of departure is in Switzerland during the late afternoon hours (flight schedule changes reserved). We happily check different points of departure for you. In case your preferred point of departure results in additional costs, you will be informed in due time.

Journey to the airport via SBB. SBB Fahrplan.

The visa for Tanzania will be obtained upon entering the country and the price is included in the flat fee of this travel. (Costs: 50 USD, as of September 2018). No visa is required for Kenya.

Your passport has to be valid until 6 months after the return date of the travel.

Equipment List Trekking Kilimanjaro & Mount Meru

General

Departure letter by K&P (contains the finalised information)

1 travel bag 90-110 l (waterproof travel bag available at K&P at a discount price)

Backpack approximately 35 l

Cash for personal use and tips

Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)

Passport

Copy of the passport

Copy of the vaccination card

2 passport photographs

Small travelling pharmacy (personal medication / compeed, if need be individual malaria prophylactics)

Writing materials

Cellphone

Toilet case, washbag

1 roll of toilet paper

Towel (microfibre cloth)

Hand-disinfectant gel (50 ml)

Sunglasses

Sun hat

Sunscreen, protection factor 50

Lip-protection, protection factor 50

Ohropax

Tissues, wet wipes

Photographic equipment

Binoculars (nice to have)

Protective case for he backpack

Drinking bottle with large opening (e.g. Nalgene, pet bottles are forbidden on the Kilimanjaro)

Thermos bottle

Headlamp (including replacement batteries)

Pocket knife or multitool

Lighter with flint stone

Telescopic sticks

Altimeter

Clothing

Gore-Tex jacket

Gore-Tex trousers (weather protection trousers)

Down jacket or thick primaloft jacket

Soft-shell jacket

Trekking trousers

Fleece sweater, fleece jacket, thin

Scarf / Buff

Beanie / headband

T-shirts

Underwear

Thermal, respectively functional shirt, long sleeves

Thermal, respectively functional trousers, long

Short trousers

Trekking socks

Mountain socks, thick and warm

Gloves / Sleeping Bags

Full-fingered gloves, warm

Down gloves (mittens)

Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece

Down sleeping bag, comfort zone -10°C

Shoes

Comfortable shoes (walking shoes / boots)

Trekking shoes

Sandals (nice to have)

Equipment List for the Safari and Zanzibar

Bathing suit / bathing trunks

Towel

Light clothing

Trekking pharmacy, satellite phone, GPS and maps are provided by Kobler & Partner.

Dates

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Ulla_Mengel

Ulla Mengel

office@kobler-partner.ch