Kilimanjaro & Mount Meru Summit Trek

12 Days

Price from: £2025.00

Mountaineering
Trekking
Wilderness

A double climb finishing on this famous African giant

Towering above the African plains, Kilimanjaro is an iconic mountain. The easiest of the seven continental summits, the highest point in Africa is attainable by means of a stunning trek which passes through a huge variety of landscapes.

  • Kilimanjaro & Mount Meru Summit Trek image
  • Highlights
  • Magnificent views
  • Wilderness expedition
  • Africa's highest peak
  • Acclimatise on Mount Meru first
  • Summit over 5000m high
Our ascent of Kilimanjaro is arguably up the mountain's best route, the Machame, which traverses past many of Kilimanjaro's most famous landmarks before climbing up to the crater at Stella Point and onwards to the highest point, Uhuru Peak.

The most common reason for failing to summit is a lack of acclimatisation beforehand so we combine our ascent with a four day trek up Mt Meru which will greatly increase your chances of a success. Mt Meru also offers more opportunity to see much of the wildlife which the area is famous for including elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, buffalo and Colobus monkeys.

Participation Statement
Mountaineering and trekking can be dangerous and carries an inherent risk of injury or death. Our professional leaders will continually undertake dynamic risk assessments to minimise the level of risk but it is impossible to reduce the risk entirely, nor is it desirable to. Objective dangers such as avalanches, rock fall and altitude illness will occur in the mountains. Participants must understand and accept these risks and take responsibility for their own involvement.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania. Transfer to your hotel in Arusha. Meet up with the rest of your team and your leader for a full briefing and equipment check. (H)

Day 2

Trek to Miriakamba Hut (2515m). A short drive brings us into the foothills of the dormant Mount Meru. This spectacular volcanic crater has collapsed on one side leaving a giant bowl containing on of the best examples of an ash cone in the world. Our route winds steeply up from the park gate at 1500m, through grassland and forest to the Miriakamba Hut. (Hu, B, L, D)

Day 3

Trek to Saddle Hut (3570m), Ascent of Little Meru (3820m). A steep start up wooden steps soon leads to the top of the tree line and the vegetation changes as we approach the saddle. After lunch there is the opportunity to gain some extra acclimatisation by climbing Little Meru, a satellite peak which rises just behind the huts. This 50 minute ascent is rewarded by stunning views east to Kilimanjaro and our route to the summit of Mt Meru along the crater rim. (Hu, B, L, D)

Day 4

Ascent of Socialist Peak (4566m), Descend to Miriakamba Hut. We aim to leave the Saddle soon after midnight, following the good trail with our head torches. At 3800m we arrive on the crater rim at Rhino Point, the scene of the demise of the last Rhino in the park due to poachers. There is now a short section of easy scrambling over rock slabs before we begin the final ascent to Socialist Peak. The views as the sun rises in the east behind the bulk of Kilimanjaro are unworldly while below us the ash cone reminds us of the forces of nature that created this beautiful mountain. We descend by the same route for a late breakfast at the Saddle before continuing to the Miriakamba Hut. (Hu, B, L, D)

Day 5

Descend to Momella Gate. We take a different and less steep path back to the park gate which showcases the rainforest and the ever present wildlife. After lunch we will take a safari through the Arusha National Park with its elephants, giraffes, buffalo and zebra before returning to our hotel in Arusha for a well deserved meal & showers and to make our final preparations for Kilimanjaro. (H, B, L)

Day 6

Trek to Machame Camp (3300m). From Arusha, a two-hour drive east brings us to the Machame Gate at the foot of Kilimanjaro. Organised chaos reigns at the park gate as permits are checked, porters are hired and loads weighed and allocated. We take this opportunity to relax and have an early lunch while our team of local guides ensure everything is ready to go. The obvious trail climbs steadily through the trees and can be muddy. The usual humid conditions in the rainforest are helped by the arrival of the afternoons showers. Machame Camp is situated in a number of clearings at the top of the tree line. There will be a couple of hours to explore or have a nap before dinner will be served in the mess tent. Despite our best efforts the toilets at many of the camps are in a very poor state so we carry a toilet tent to make the experience as pleasant as possible. (C, B, L, D)

Day 7

Trek to Shira Camp (3700m). Today we climb across a picturesque moorland plateau which offers some amazing views towards the summit and the obvious Breech Wall. (C, B, L, D)

Day 8

Trek to Barranco Hut (3950m). We follow the age old maxim of climbing high and sleeping low by climbing to the Lava Tower, an exposed lava plug at 4400m before descending to the impressively situated Barranco camp. Our route lies across a rugged and harsh landscape with only a few well adapted plants able to survive in this environment. (C, B, L, D)

Day 9

Trek to Barafu Hut (4500m). The imposing Barranco Wall stands in our way but the good path soon enables us to overcome the steepest bit of the whole climb without too much effort . A long rising traverse below many of the Kilimanjaro glaciers brings us to the cleft of Karanga Valley, the final water source on the mountain. Your cook team will return here to obtain water for cooking and drinking. A steep climb out of the valley leads past the Karanga camp and a bleak traverse leads to Barafu Camp at 4500m. (C, B, L, D)

Day 10

Ascent of Uhuru Peak (5895m), Descend to Mweka Hut (3100m). After an early night it is easy to be up and away soon after midnight. We set a slow and steady pace up the never ending screes beside the Rebmann Glacier. We aim to arrive at Stella Point on the crater rim as the sun starts to lighten the sky behind us. The final ridge on a gradual incline around to Uhuru Peak is a real pleasure in the ever changing light with Mt Meru dominating the view to the west. As you arrive at the iconic sign post marking the highest point you really are stood on the roof of Africa. After the obligatory summit photos and celebrations we begin our descent back to Barafu. There will be an opportunity for a couple of hours sleep and lunch before we continue all the way back to the tree line and the Mweka Hut. It is possible to buy beer and soft drinks at this camp to toast your success. (C, B, L, D)

Day 11

Descend to Mweka Gate. The final few hours down through the trees will fly by with the thicker air and warmer temperatures. At the park gate your leader will pick up your certificates detailing your achievements before the journey back to your hotel in Arusha. (H, B, L)

Day 12

Departure. Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport (B)

Reference

  • This itinerary is only a guide. Adventure travel in a developing country can be affected  by a huge variety of factors including weather, landslides, strikes, breakdowns etc. Our staff will work hard to give you the best possible experience but please be aware that there are some things outside of our control.
  • Key of Symbols
  • H - Hotel, Hu - Hut, C - Camp, B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner

What's Included?

  • Trip planning, organisation and local logistics
  • Experienced Western leader
  • All permits and entrance fees for National Parks
  • Local guides and porters
  • Accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in Arusha (3 nights)
  • Full board accommodation in lodges on Mt Meru (3 nights)
  • Full board accommodation in tents on Kilimanjaro (5 nights)
  • Group equipment including tents, dinning tent, toilet tent
  • Discount outdoor clothing voucher for Cotswold and Montane

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tourist visa for Tanzania (£38.00)
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches & evening meals in Arusha
  • Tips for porters and local staff (approximately US$150)
  • Costs incurred if the expedition finishes early or late
  • Costs incurred if you leave the expedition early

Information

Download a kit list using our Kilimanjaro Preparatory Information

FAQs

Q. How fit do I need to be?

A. During the trek most days are between 4-6 hours walking along obvious but rough tracks. As a general guide if you can enjoy two good consecutive days walking in the UK (e.g. Scafell from Langdale and Helvellyn via Grisedale Tarn) over a weekend and not feel too bad on the Monday morning then the trekking should not present too many problems. The summits of Kilmanjaro and Mount Meru both involve a long day of walking at altitude. The usual plan is to leave the high camp just after midnight getting to the summit for sunrise. We would then descend back to high camp for a break before continuing down. In total these days can be up to twelve hours. Many people find Mt Meru harder than Kilimanjaro due to the extra acclimatisation they on have on the latter ascent. For most people long days in the hills and some form of aerobic training will give them a good base to enjoy these stunning summit days.

Q. I am concerned about porter welfare?

A. Our hardworking guides and porters are fundamental to the success of our expeditions and are very much part of our team. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG). Our Tanzanian agent is a partner with the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) and Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) which ensures we adhere to the following guidelines: 1) A minimum porter wage of 8000Tsh/day 2) A maximum porter load of 25kg of which 5kg is for there own equipment 3) Transparent tipping policy where each porter receive the correct amount 4) All porters outfitted with proper clothing and equipment suitable to the conditions 5) All porters to have a sleeping bag and a dedicated sleeping space 6) All porters to receive adequate water and a minimum of two meals a day 7) The crew size must stay constant throughout the trip to prevent overloading 8) A sick or injured porter must receive the same care and treatment as a sick climber

Q. I have never been to altitude before. What should I expect?

A. For many people a trip to Kilimanjaro is their first experience of going to altitude. We have a very gentle acclimatisation profile which should allow you to enjoy the experience with nothing more than the occasional minor headache. Interestingly many people find Mt Meru harder than Kilimanjaro due to the extra acclimatisation they on have on the latter ascent. We recommend you download the free booklet - Travel at High Altitude. This was written by MedEx, a collective of doctors with an interest in mountaineering and high altitude medicine and provides clear and simple advice on going to altitude.

Q. I would like a single room and tent. Is this possible?

A. Accommodation in Arusha is on a twin room basis with a member of the same sex or a double room where requested. The lodge accommodation on Mt Meru is in four person dormitories. On Kilimanjaro we will be camping with two people in a three person tent. Where possible we can offer the option of a single room or tent (approximately 15 pounds supplement per night) although this is not available on Mt Meru.

Q. Is Tanzania safe?

A. Tanzania is one of the friendliest and most stable African countries in which to travel. We support the British government campaign: Know Before You Go. This provides invaluable information on any potential risks as well as lots of other useful information.

Q. What equipment will I need?

A. You will be supplied with a detailed equipment list on booking but you will require the following specialised equipment: 1) Trekking boots 2) Three season sleeping bag 3) Down jacket If you are looking to purchase new equipment team members receive a discount at Cotswold Outdoors and Montane.

Q. What happens if I get ill?

A. When travelling in developing countries there is always a risk of illness or accident. Our staff will work hard to reduce this risk to an acceptable level. Our itineraries include extra acclimatisation and spare days in case of inclement weather or illness. This gives us plenty of flexibility to deal with any unexpected occurrences. All our leaders have a current mountain first aid qualification and they will carry an extensive first aid kit. The following websites all provide useful information on staying healthy while travelling: MedEx Book , BMC Medical Information, UIAA Fact Sheets, NHS Choices, Fit for Travel, Travel Health.

Q. What insurance do I require?

A. It is a requirement of your booking with Activus Outdoors that you have adequate travel insurance for the planned activities which covers you for emergency medical, repatriation and rescue expenses, including the use of helicopters, up to the maximum altitude of your trip. We also recommend you have cancellation cover as your deposit is non-refundable. Some good insurers for high altitude trips are Snowcard and BMC.

Q. What previous experience do I need?

A. This expedition is ideally suited to regular UK walkers. You do not need to have any previous experience of trekking at altitude.

Q. What visas do I require?

A. The following is the latest information we have on file. However it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities and ensure you have the correct visa or the means to get one on arrival. UK Passport holders may get a Tourist Visa on arrival but we recommend you arrange this before travelling. Your initial booking pack will contain detailed notes on how to organise your visa in advance. More details can be found at the Tanzanian UK Embassy website.

Q. Who will be leading my expedition?

A. One of the most important factors affecting the enjoyment and success of your expedition is the quality of your leader. Activus leaders have successfully led expeditions to all seven continents, they have climbed 8000m peaks, they are active in mountain rescue, they train and assess mountaineering instructors and are out walking and climbing in all conditions across the UK everyday of the year. As soon as your trip is confirmed we will look to appoint a suitably experienced leader who will be in contact with you prior to the trip departing. They are selected on their communication & group management skills as well as their experience and qualifications. Many of our leaders are members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or British Mountain Guides. For trekking holidays they may also be a member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders. All leaders will also hold a Mountain First Aid Certificate. Smaller groups may use one of our regular local leaders. This will be discussed with you prior to any decision being taken.

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If you have any questions about this activity please do not hesitate to ask.

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