Hike for acclimatization before Kilimanjaro


Hi, I will be hiking Mount Kilimanjaro on the Machame route next August with a friend, but we both live at sea level, so we are afraid of the altitude sickness. We do not have many chances of trekking above 3000 m anywhere near our location.

Are there any 2-3 day hikes which go above 3000 m for acclimatization? We have 3 extra days in Arusha/Moshi before the Kili trek. I have read that Mt Meru needs 4 days, so that would not be possible.

Maybe some hike to the 1st and 2nd camps on any of the other Kili routes instead of Machame? Is there any route with a very different landscape so that we can have another impression of the mountain?

Thanks in advance.

Answer ( 1 )


    Although climbing Mount Meru indeed normally takes 4 days (although for the very fit, it could also be done in e days), you can still have an excellent 2 to 3 days acclimatization on this mountain, even if you don’t climb it to the top of its peak. It offers different scenery to Kilimanjaro, and above all, it will definitely offer you much more wildlife encounters than Kili. It is also relatively easy logistic-wise, as you overnight in huts. Probably also cheaper than spending those acclimatization days on slopes of Kili, as you need smaller team of porters.

    Spending two nights in higher altitudes (2.500 m and 3.500 m respectively) and easy climb to nearly 4.000 m a.s.l. will give you the best acclimatization for Kili that you can ever have. The ascent starts at 1.500 m at Momela gate. About four hours trek will bring you to Mirakamba Hut at 2.500 m, where you can spend your first night. Second day, you climb up to Saddle Hut at 3.500 m, where you spend your second night.

    From there, it is short and easy climb to either Little Meru or Rhino Point, both at around 3.800 m. The third day you can descend back to Momela gate and probably having your own little “walking safari” on your way down (we saw buffalo, giraffes, waterbuck, zebras, warthogs, white colobus and many other animals on the lower slopes of Mount Meru).

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