We did not have enough time to dedicate to Kilimandjaro, so we settled for Mt Meru, and did not regret our choice. We spent three days in a beautiful natural setting with amazing views over Kilimandjaro! The hike itself is not difficult but for a couple of rocky passages.
We chose the 3 days/2 nights alternative. 3 days is not an issue, unless you suffer from alternative sickness (which we did not).
The only issue is that, though you book a "private" trek with your own guide, cook and porters, you are actually not allowed to walk on your own: you must be accompanied by a ranger, and there are not enough rangers for everyone. Thus we climbed the first day in a group of approximately 20 people (all very nice, by the way, but still, that was not what we had expected). On the second day, we got to the second refuge as early as 11AM, so we insisted with our guide to go to the top on the same day (the classical trek is that you go on the third day, starting at 1AM, which we did not want). Our guide agreed and the ranger accepted to let us go from the second camp to the top without him. We had an amazing afternoon, walking in the wind, with clouds coming up from below and suddenly opening to reveal views over the crater, or over Kili (most beautiful sunset over Kili ever). And we were by ourselves at the top, which was great. We were back at the camp by 8:30PM. I recommend this solution if you prefer to be alone when hiking (otherwise you will have to follow everybody else on the third day).
All this made for a great hike. Our second day was tough, that's for sure, but very much worth it!
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