Kilimanjaro Machame Route | Meru | Ol Doinyo Lengai
5th -19th October 2019 : £3,495
Day 1: Arrival Day - Fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport
The adventure begins! You will be met and picked up from Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to our hotel in Arusha. Spend the afternoon relaxing before meeting in the evening for introductions, a briefing, kit check ahead of an exciting two weeks.
Peak 1: Ol Doinyo Lengai (3,188m)
Ol Doinyo Lengai, the 'holy Maasai' mountain is an active cone shaped volcano, surrounded by multiple small craters near the Ngorongoro Highlands and Lake Natron. Lake Natron is a natural salt and soda lake and attracts an abundance of birdlife including thousands of flamingos.
Day 2: transfer to Engaresero village
After breakfast, we depart Arusha for the 5 hour drive to Engaresoo Village near Lake Natron.
After setting up camp, we have the opportunity to visit Lake Natron in the evening before dinner and its head down for an early night's rest before our climb tomorrow. Our wake up call is at 10.30pm where we have some tea and coffee and some biscuits before we drive for 45 minutes to an hour to the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai. Our summit hike begins at 12am sharp. [Breakfast - B, Lunch - L, Dinner - D]
Our wake up call is at 10.30pm where we have some tea and coffee and some biscuits before we drive for 45 minutes to an hour to the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai. Our summit hike begins at 12am sharp. [Breakfast - B, Lunch - L, Dinner - D]
Day 3: Ol doinyo climb and Summit (3,188m) - 9-10 hours hiking
By 6.30am, everyone will be standing on the top of Ol Doinyo Lengai for a perfect sunrise over the African Savannah. After celebrating our summit success, we start our decent to the cars which will take approximately 3-4 hours. We return to camp in time for lunch and after an hour's rest, we begin our return journey to Arusha. We expect to reach Arusha for 6pm, in time for dinner, a briefing and a kit check for Meru the next day. [B, L, D]
Peak 2: Mt Meru (4,565m)
Arusha National Park
Mt Meru lies in the heart of Arusha National Park, an area of outstanding beauty encompassing a wide variety of habitats and teeming with a magnificent array of animals including elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalo, zebra, antelope, blue monkeys, black and white Colombus monkeys, hyenas and even the elusive leopard.
Day 4: Momella Gate (1,500m) to Miriakamba Hut (2,515m)
4-6 hours hiking, elevation gain: 1,015 metres
After breakfast, orientation and a kit check we leave at 9am for Arusha National Park, reaching the climb registration gate at approximately 10:30am before we begin our ascent of Meru. We trek through the rainforest which covers the foothills of Meru, home to a vast array of birds and other animals. After a relatively easy first day of ascent we reach our destination for the day, the Miriakamba Hut. Located deep in the forest, it offers beautiful views of the U-shaped Meru crater, the ash cone and the towering cliffs that make up Meru's crater walls. [B, L, D]
Day 5: Miriakamba Hut (2,515M) to Saddle Hut (3,570m). acclimitisation little meru (3,820m)
3-5 hours hiking, elevation gain: 1,055 metres
We leave the Miriakamba hut after breakfast and walk along flat land before entering the Montane forest. We continue hiking until we reach a brief opening in the woods called Elephant Ridge before arriving at Saddle Hut. The normal cloud cover of Arusha National Park burns off at about 3,200 meters, with Saddle Hut sitting at 3,570 meters, we will be able to take in the views above the clouds.
Those of us who are feeling more energetic can take the short climb to summit Little Meru (3,820m) in the afternoon for breathtaking views of Meru and Kilimanjaro. The hike should take one to two hours. [B, L, D]
Day 6: Mt meru summit climb: Saddle hut (3,570M) to socialist peak (big Meru) (4,565m) to miriakamba hut (2,515m)
8-10 hours hiking, elevation gain: 996 metres
After a light breakfast at midnight, we begin the hike to Mount Meru's summit, Socialist Peak. We start with a steep climb up to Rhino Point (3,800m), descending to cross a small rock bridge, and then continue going up and down over the mix of rocky and sandy trail. The trail involves rock scrambling and there are steep drops to either side of the trail in some places.
We reach the crater rim around sunrise and continue to Meru’s peak. The views are spectacular all the way to the summit, offering a close look at the crater's sheer walls, the ash cone, cloud formations and the surrounding park.
The hike to the summit can be slow-going due to the sandy trail conditions, high winds and altitude, however the effort is well rewarded with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro from the summit. After some mini-celebrations at the top and the obligatory photo taking, we descend to the Saddle Hut for brunch and continue on to Miriakamba Hut for dinner and rest overnight. [B, L, D]
Day 7: Miriakamba Hut (2,515m) to Momella Gate and Arusha (1,500m)
2-4 hours hiking, elevation loss: 1,015 metres
After breakfast we descend to Momella Gate from Miriakamba Hut. The descent is usually fast unless it has rained on the trail and we pass first through scrubland, then into the Montane forest and finally into the open grassland. If the trail is wet, the road might be used instead for the descent. Upon reaching the gate, we receive our certificates for reaching the summits of Mount Meru and Little Meru before transferring back to the hotel. [B, L, D]
DAY 8: REST DAY
Spend the day at leisure, rest & relax at the hotel before the last of your three peaks, Mt Kilimanjaro. Or why not arrange an optional excursion to visit Ngorongoro Crater for the day. Contact us for details.
Regroup at dinner for your Mt Kilimanjaro briefing [B, L, D]
Peak 3: Mt Kilimanjaro - Machame Route (5,895m)
Day 9: begin Kilimanjaro climb. Machame Gate (1,800m) to Machame Camp (3,000M)
6-7 hours hiking, elevation gain: 1,200 metres, distance: 10 km
We start the day with a kit check and then at 9am, we will leave for Machame Gate. On arrival, we will register the climb and our guides and porters will make our final preparations, and then we're off! We hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro's cloud forest before the forest thins at the end of the hike and vegetation will change to include heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers. If the weather is clear, you will be able to view the surrounding area and your ultimate destination, Kibo Peak. [B, L, D]
Day 10: Machame Camp (3,000m) to Shira Camp (3,750m)
5-6 hours hiking, elevation gain: 840 metres, distance: 7 km
Our route continues up into the forest and as we gain altitude we continue to notice a change in the vegetation. Today’s trek includes several uphill sections and there are several viewpoints from which we can see the plains and forests below and Kibo and Mawenzi peaks above.
As we gain altitude, we will notice a change in vegetation. The trees will diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaro’s famous high altitude plants, Scenecio kilimanjari and Lobelia deckenii. After lunch, we climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled the Shira crater. We continue to Shira Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day. You will see Kibo lying to the west and Mt Meru to the east. [B, L, D]
Day 11: Shira Camp (3,750m) to Barranco Camp (3,950m)
6-8 hours hiking, elevation gain: 690 metres, distance: 10 km
Although this up and down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 metres, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 metres to a height of 4,530 metres before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatisation.
After breakfast, we hike east on the Shira Plateau before reaching the junction for the Shira and Lemosho Routes. We continue on through the barren landscape before stopping for lunch at the highest point of the day, Lava Tower, a 300ft lava formation jutting out of the mountainside, before descending quickly to Barranco Camp.
Barranco Camp, set among stands of Senecio kilimanjari, and is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route. [B, L, D]
Day 12: Barranco Camp (3,950m) to Barafu Camp (4,600m)
8-10 hours hiking, elevation gain: 650 metres, distance: 8 km
We leave Barranco Camp after an early breakfast to begin the hike to Barafu Camp. The day begins with an hour and a half scramble up the Barranco Wall, which forms probably the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up.
On reaching the top, you will make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley before continuing on to Barafu Camp. As we make our way to Barafu, we will have the opportunity to view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail.
During the day we will hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers for some amazing camera opportunities. Though the trail to Barafu passes through an alpine desert with often very little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks.
We reach camp and have dinner and then it is early to bed for some rest before we awaken just before midnight for our summit hike. [B, L, D]
Day 13: Barafu Camp (4,600m) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) to Mweka Camp (3,100m)
12-16 hours hiking, elevation gain: 1,295 metres, elevation loss: 2,795 metres, distance: 18 km
This is it, what we’ve all been working up towards! At around midnight, we begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, we will be hiking by the light of your headlamp. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek as the trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point around dawn. Watch an amazing sunrise as we continue climbing more gradually from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak. On reaching the summit of Africa, take a moment to take in the stunning views of the mountains, crater, clouds and glaciers, take some photos and reflect with pride on what you’ve achieved over the last two weeks.
We then start our descent via the scree to Mweka Camp via Barafu Ridge where we will stop for breakfast and a short break. Take a very well deserved rest overnight before we are on the home stretch tomorrow.
This will quite possibly be the toughest day that you will have with the 12-16 hours of walking. But it will also be the day you reached the top of Africa! [B, L, D]
Day 14: Mweka Camp (3,100m) to Mweka Gate (1,500m)
3-4 hours hiking, elevation loss: 1,600 metres, distance: 10 km
After breakfast, we finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Reaching the gate you can look forward to your certificate and a celebratory Kilimanjaro beer or two. Along the way we will stop for some local lunch before heading back to our hotel in Arusha.
After a long awaited shower, it’ll be time for our celebration dinner and drinks together. [B]
Day 15: Departure Day - Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport or extensions
Today is our last day and group transfers will be available to take you back to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
You are of course more than welcome to extend your stay with us after your challenge. Safaris and excursions can be arranged. Please contact us for details.
*Itinerary is indicative and may be subject to some small changes. Hiking times are also approximate and will depend on the group.
Flights (approx £400/500 if booked in advance)
Tanzanian Visa Fees
Travel Insurance and Mountain Insurance (see insurance)
Optional trips and excursions
Dinner on Day 1
Lunch and Dinner in Arusha and Moshi on Day 14 (to give you the opportunity to sample some local cuisine)
Drinks [apart from on the mountain]
Bar bills and laundry
Tips for hotel/drivers
Tips for mountain crew (approx US$390 - US$565 for 11 days on the mountain)
Personal hiking and expedition kit
Terms and Conditions
Deposits: Please note that all deposits are non-refundable
Cancellations: We strongly suggest that you take out trip cancellation/travel insurance. Due to our small size, cancellations affect us greatly. Trips cancelled between 90 and 65 days prior to the expedition start date will incur a 25% cancellation fee. 50% of the total expedition price will be charged for cancellations between 64 and 30 days. No portion of the total expedition price will be reimbursed for cancellations within 30 days of the trip start date.
Discounts on future trips: Provided the trip is cancelled more than 90 days before the start date, the £250 deposit may be applied to a future trip if booked within 365 days, at the discretion of the company.
Final Payments: Final balances are due 90 days prior to the trip start date.
Price and Dates - Challenging Route
2019 Full Expedition Cost: £3,495 [£233 per day]
Average Group Size: 6 - 12
Minimum Group Size: 6
15 days with other like-minded adventurous individuals climbing the Three Peaks in Tanzania!
National Park fees, camping, lodge and administrative fees
Group airport transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport
All transfers between hotel and national parks
Accommodation including camping equipment [5 nights hotel, 5 nights camping, 3 nights hut] (Single supplements available at extra cost)
Meals [Breakfasts - 14, Lunches - 12, Dinners - 12] (dietary requirements are catered for - please let us know)
Filtered drinking water on the mountains
All costs for professional guides (Wilderness First Aid and Leave No Trace), cooks, porters and mountain crew (salaries paid in accordance with the National Park and KPAP recommendations)
Baggage porterage (max 12kg per person)
Emergency oxygen and equipment for Kilimanjaro
Immediate emergency medical evacuation cover from AMREF Flying doctors (*note - individuals still require appropriate insurance)
Dedicated UK expedition and support team to help best prepare for your expedition. This including a pre-expedition training weekend run by Love Adventures, expedition training plans and talks on kit and equipment
15% off class credits at Digme Fitness, UK's premier Spin and HIIT fitness studios across London and Oxford
Ready to book? Great!
The deposit for this trip is £250.
Your full balance is due 90 days prior to the expedition start date. If you book within 90 days of departure then the full balance will be due at the time of booking. If you have any queries please contact email@example.com
We look forward to having you on board!