Full of optimism and excitement, Travel Bunny and friend organised to hike Mt Rinjani in a 3 day, 2 night trek. As advertised it was for: experienced hikers/excellent level of fitness. This advice is right, and perhaps should be more stringently applied.
Travel Bunny is really of average fitness and lower at altitude. The trek program selected was as follows:
Day 1 – start at Sembulan village 1,000 metres.
Ascend to crater camp around 2,000 metres.
Day 2 – 2am start, ascend to 3,000 metres in 3 hours and back to 2,000 metres
12 hours of trekking to get to next campsite.
Day 3 – 7am start descend to Senaru village about 1,000 metres.
Was it amazing? Yes.
Was it challenging? Definitely.
Would Travel Bunny do it again? Yes (after rigorous stairs & fitness training)
- Crater lake campsites on both nights
- Great views throughout the trek, an enjoyable trek.
- Glimpses of black monkeys
Lombok is a beautiful island neighbouring Bali. Quiet, peaceful, stunning and a lot more affordable!
Catch a mini-bus to Padang Bai and hop on a fast ferry to Senggigi (ferries usually also drop off at the Gili Islands, mini-bus transfer is usually included in the ticket ~ AUD40).
Senaru is a 2.5 hour drive from Sengigi. Most trekking companies are based in Senaru (and yes going with a trekking company is advisable as the guides are helpful and porters to carry tents and cook food is massively helpful). They usually arrange return transfers around Lombok inclusive of your trekking price.
Sembulan the other start or end point is another 1 hour drive from Senaru as it’s quite mountainous in this area.
- If you start from Sembulan (recommended) it’s very hot on the first day hiking through an open plain to the base of the mountain.
- Trekking companies should supply water for drinking, washing, toilet paper, snacks and can supply trekking poles (super useful).
- Best to arrive earlier to the base camp on the first day so you can sleep earlier before the 2am hike to summit
- The summit is cold but the start at base camp temperate. So you need to layer up. Long pants are recommended but some people did it in shorts and were chilly.
- One wind proof and one warm layer recommended, light rain jacket for tropical storms when you are trekking up and down the mountain, but not necessary for the summit.
- Do bring swimmers for the Hot Springs, they are recommended after the summit hike to help with muscle soreness
- Travel Bunny didn’t find the views from the summit amazing, the views along the way up were equally as good.
- Travel Bunny’s iPhone camera was sufficient, the weight of the DSLR camera was unnecessary.
- Bring: blister bnd aids, muscle balm, head torch, gloves for the summit and your own mint tea for digesting the copious amounts of food the porters make.
- Tips – at the end of the trip Travel Bunny wished she had more money to tip the porters and guide as they did an outstanding job.
Which trekking company?
Based off a friend’s recommendation, Travel Bunny went with Green Rinjani. To see her review on Green Rinjani or more information on this company, check it out on TripAdvisor here. Other companies seemed to be of equal standard. Do check reviews before you book. The Deluxe tour (USD 275 not including tips) is well worth the extra spend for comfort and service.
As most of them are fully locally run, their English or responsiveness isn’t amazing. But once you’re there your confidence is returned, they are experienced and safe (from Travel Bunny’s experience).
Recommended: Definitely. It is stunningly beautiful up there on Mt Rinjani. Disappointing to see all the rubbish strewn on the mountain, there are some attempts to clean up but it’s still a disaster as at November 2016.