5 Days / 4 Nights Mount Meru


 
5 Day / 4 Night . Tanzania . Multi-Environment Adventure
Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. Meru is the only great isolated stratovolcano in East Africa that is still active. A massive eruption 7,800 years ago shattered Meru's upper slopes and formed an oblong 8 km/5 mi wide caldera that is open to the east. The main summit is on the caldera's western edge, perched above a dramatic and still active Ash Cone inside the caldera. Meru is just below the permanent snowline, so there are no glaciers or snowfields on its slopes. It is best to allow 4 days for climbing Meru, since it involves a large elevation gain, but you can do the trek in 3 or 5 days. There are huts available to climbers on the mountain and firewood is supplied. Your ascent involves hiking through grassland and forest on the mountain's lower slopes where you can see animals grazing. Higher, you hike and scramble along the breathtaking crater rim to the summit. Aside from being a rewarding and picturesque trek in its own right, Meru is also great acclimatization for a Kilimanjaro climb. You need advance permission from the park warden at Momella Gate before you start your ascent.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Springlands Hotel or similar hotel in Moshi for your overnight.

Transfer from Moshi to Arusha National Park, check in with park personnel, and in the late morning, walk under the Momella Gate to begin your trek. You soon pass some open grassland where you can view buffalo, warthogs, and elephants. Then, you continue a steady climb through montane forest. You can pause for your lunch at the famous Fig Tree. After lunch you, continue through less dense forest, where you can see birds and monkeys, including the black and white Colobus. By mid afternoon, you have closer views of Meru’s towering cliffs and Ash Cone. The Miriakamba Huts are situated in an idyllic grassy glade, and you will reach it in time to enjoy the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains between Meru and Kilimanjaro. If you are lucky, a giraffe may walk through camp.


Day 2
It is often clear in the morning, so if you want a view of Kilimanjaro, get up early. From the Miriakamba Huts, you climb steeply to the crater rim, which is called Elephant Ridge at this point. Then, you follow a steep path through attractive open lush Montane Forest to reach the giant heather in the Moorland near the saddle between Little Meru and Meru. A hot lunch will be ready for you when you arrive at the Saddle Huts. Your afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views, but energetic trekkers can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820 m/12,533 ft) for superb views just before sunset.
Day 3
Start early at 2 AM, and climb steeply for an hour to Rhino Point (3,800 m/12,467 ft). In icy conditions or in strong winds, it may be unreasonable to progress beyond Rhino Point, but sunrise from here is equally as spectacular as from Cobra Point. If the weather is fine, descend slightly and continue along or near a rough undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m/14,271 ft) near sunrise. The stunning views include the cliffs of the crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds, and the Rift Valley. Hike for another hour on a superb but often steep path into the unfolding day to reach the summit of Meru. The view from the top of this steep-sided peak can make you feel quite unique and suspended. Your hike back to Rhino Point in the still sharp morning light between the crater’s sloping outer wall and sheer cliffs of the inner wall is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. You can make this a 5-day trek by only descending to the Saddle Huts on Day 3
Day 4
Descend to the Miriakamba Huts on Day 4.
Day 5
Descend to the Momella Gate on day 5. This itinerary makes the long descent much easier and gives you more time to enjoy the mountain.

Important Travel Information

Is This Trip For You?

If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the local rice fields and rainforest, do a little shopping in the town of Moshi, relax at the swimming pool, or get a massage.

 

Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.


Money

The local currency is Tanzanian shillings. U.S. dollars, Euros, and credit cards may be accepted by larger stores and hotels, but the exchange rate is better with shillings. ATM's are only available in larger towns like Moshi and Arusha.  Yahoo Currency Converter


Travel Companions

Groups are limited to 5-7 people. We will combine groups up to this limit if they are starting the same route on the same day. However, we can also arrange for private groups at no extra cost. We will try to add single travelers to a group if at all possible, but we cannot guarantee it. We can accommodate large groups of any size.


Guide(s)

Tips for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru:

  • You will be given an envelope at the Springlands Hotel after your trek for your tip money. You can use U.S. dollars, Euros, TZ shillings, or a combination of these.  It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually. There is no need to take money on the mountain with you.
  • The typical tip is $15/day for guides, $10/day for assistant guides and cooks, $7/day for porters. This is from the whole group, not per hiker.
  • Expect 1 guide per 8 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers:
  • Expect porters as follows:
    - 2 porters per hiker on the 5-day Marangu Route (minimum of 4 porters)
    - 3 porters per hiker on a 6 or 7-day trek (minimum of 5 porters)
    - 4 porters per hiker on the 8-day Lemosho Route (minimum of 8 porters)
    - Sometimes extra porters are required based on the weight of your luggage.
  • Budget $200 per hiker for tips for a 6-day trek.
  • Gifts: Guides and porters also appreciate your warm clothing, shoes, and packs. You may want to bring some older clothing items for this purpose.
  • Celebration: You are also welcome to invite your guides back to the Springlands Hotel for drinks and/or dinner (on you) as a thank-you in addition to their tip.

Transportation
With the exception of airfare, all Zara trips include all transportation costs and arrangements within the destination country. This includes all transfers and the equipment for all activities listed.

Recommended Gear List

Climber’s Packing List Notes

  • The pack that the porters carry is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds)
    • Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $5/day
  • Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double sealed if possible)
  • Wrap clothing in plastic bags
  • In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants, and jacket at a minimum.
    Add any other items you might need during the day, since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
  • Zara Tours is interested in purchasing second-hand gear for rentals.
  • You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters or donations to the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society.
  • You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the Springlands Hotel for no charge.
  • You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at the Springlands Hotel for $1/day.
  • See the Zara Equipment list for details on what is provided by Zara Tours.

Baggage

  • Day pack, for you to carry
  • Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
  • Plastic bags

Clothing You want your inner layer to be wicking – no cotton
Your next layer should be insulating and warm, and your top layer should be water proof but breathable.
You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and for sleeping.
Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly.
Kilimanjaro may be near the equator, but it gets cold up there!

  • Shorts, for first and last day only
  • Pants, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
  • Short-sleeved or t-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
  • Long underwear
  • Fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures well below freezing plus wind)
  • Rain jacket, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
  • Rain pants, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
  • Underwear
  • Sport bras, for women

Cold Weather Accessories

  • Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
  • Wool or pile hat
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)

Footwear

  • Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!
  • Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferrably warm, waterproof, and with ankle-support – not too light and not too heavy
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
  • Gaiters
  • Hiking socks for warmer conditions
  • Wool socks for colder conditions
  • Sock liners to wick away moisture

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
  • Sleeping pad and repair kit
  • Tents are supplied by Zara at no charge
  • Foam sleeping pads are provided by Zara at no charge (Thermarest is highly recommended, however)

Other

  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
    • Get 3 liters of bottled water before the trip (available at the Springlands Hotel).
      Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use steripens for water sanitization.
    • To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
      For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.
    • Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.
  • Water filter or iodine purification tablets
  • Sun hat with brim
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Money ($400 or more in cash and/or travellers cheques, including some small U.S., Euro, or Tanzanian bills)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera, film, tripod
  • Video camera, tapes
  • Batteries
    • Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook, journal, pencil, and pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Electricity adapter
  • Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
  • Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
  • Chocolate or pens for village children, momentos for guides, porters, and other climbers
  • Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
  • Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
  • Sewing kit
  • Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
  • Business cards
  • Alarm clock
  • Calculator (for currency conversion)
  • Swim suit for hotel swimming pool

Toiletries

  • Toilet paper (and baggie to carry used paper while on trail)
  • Small towel
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
  • Comb, mirror

Documents

  • Passport
  • Yellow fever certificate
  • Tanzania Visa
  • Medical insurance
  • Address book
  • Vaccination records
  • Airline tickets
  • Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
  • Maps, guidebooks
  • Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and travellers cheques numbers.
    Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.

First Aid

  • Ibuprofin, Aceteminophen, or Aspirin
  • Throat losenges
  • Bandaids
  • Moleskin
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
  • Bandages and tape
  • Diahrea medicine
  • Antihistemines
  • Ace bandage
  • Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
  • Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
  • Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
  • Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
  • Diamox (talk to your doctor)

Gifts for Guides, Porters, Locals

  • Shoes
  • Any warm clothing
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Nerf football, frisbees
  • Candy
  • Pens

Packing for your flight to Africa

  • U-shaped neck pillow (blow-up)
  • Books/magazines
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Walkman and music
  • Eye shades, ear plugs
  • Melatonin or other sleep aid
  • Critical climbing gear (in case baggage is delayed)

Meeting/Departures Location

ZaraTours
P.O. Box 1990
Moshi
Tanzania, United Republic of
See Location on a Google Map

Cancellation Information

Cancellation of a booking or failure to join a tour will result in a retention of funds by ZaraTours  Inc. as follows: Upon receipt of written cancellation by any member of the tour indicated on this reservation 30 days or longer prior to departure, 20% of the reservation of the canceling party will be retained by ZaraTours and the balance of the package price refunded. If a cancellation is received at least 14 days and up to 29 days prior to departure, 50% of the package price will be retained by ZaraTours Inc. If a cancellation is received less than 14 days prior to departure, 100% of the total package price will be retained by ZaraTours Inc. and all outstanding payment will become payable immediately. Should the canceling party be able to find a replacement for themselves no less than 14 days prior to departure and the replacement completes this booking form individually, no retention of funds will take place. However, should no replacement be found by 14 days prior to departure, a 100% cancellation penalty will apply to the canceling party. ZaraTours  Inc. and its agents reserve the right to terminate, at their discretion and with immediate effect, the participation of any person on the tour.
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Adventure Snapshot

Duration: 5 Day / 4 Night
Skill Level: Intermediate
Category: Hiking-Backpacking
Destination: Tanzania
Theme: Multi-Environment Adventure

Provider

Operator: ZaraTours Inc.

Next Departures

4/19/2014 at 8:00 AM

Pickup Location

If you would like us to pick you up, the following locations are available:

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Nairobi Airport Jomo Kenyatta International

Adventure Matrix

Comfort level
Difficulty

Rates

Per Person $1,111.00

We Accept