Climate: We traveled during the period in August / September, the so called cool and dry season. We did not have significant rain. On Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro daytime hiking temperatures were (10-20 °C, 50-68 °F). The nights, however, where quite cold, up to -15°C (5°F).
Terrain: On Mount Meru the climate was more moist than Mount Kilimanjaro. Therefore the paths on Mount Meru were slippery and muddy. The path to the Mount Meru was straightforward, only the last track to the top was the rocky. On the Kilimanjaro we followed the route on the Southern Shira Plateau. We climbed the Kibo (the highest peak of the Kilimanjaro massif),through the Western Breach , a very steep route.
Day to day: After a safari we started the climb of Mount Meru. This trip was merely made for acclimatization, to get used to the height of Mount Kilimanjaro. But still, the hike was more pure and beautiful compared to the path on the Kili. On Mount Meru, we wore most of our own backpacks, on Mount Kilimanjaro we had porters. The trails on Mount Kilimanjaro were good, the paths to the Mweka route were not muddy anymore, since Finland donated money to repair and reconstruct the trail.
Local people: During a hike you will obviously not come in touch with local people, because they will not even consider making a trip like this in such a harsh environment. At least not for fun.... Most Tanzanians we met were our own porters, guides and cooks. We had good contacts with the `locals`. They were concerned and made our hike to a good one.
Tourists: Needless to say that both mountains are pretty well crowded with tourists. The Kilimanjaro is climbed more or less successfully by several tenths of thousands every year. Most people chose however for the `coca cola route`, which brings you to the summit in about five days. We took a different route, over the Shira plateau and the Western Breach. This route is longer (seven days), and quieter.
Remarks: To climb all climate zones from tropical to arctic in seven days is a unique experience. Fortunately the weather was fine all the time, and we had nice views on both the summits
Weather today in Kilimanjaro Airport: Click for Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Forecast
To the pictures and tracklog: