Mount Meru is often overlooked due to its proximity to Kilimanjaro, but it has plenty to offer those looking for a challenging climb. A dormant volcano that last erupted in 1910, it is Tanzania’s second-highest mountain at 4566 meters (14,979 ft). Taking only 3 or 4 days to climb it is perfect for those wanting to get a taste of high altitude trekking without going too high before or after going on safari or to help with acclimatization if undertaken before you climb Kilimanjaro. It is ideal for those looking for a quieter trekking experience and should definitely not be underestimated as climbers still need to acclimatize properly to succeed in reaching its peak.
An armed park ranger will join the team to guard against any animal threats as you start your approach through Arusha National Park via the Momella route. Keep your eyes open and you will be rewarded with a sighting of baboons, giraffe, zebra, colobus monkeys, and a variety of birds. From here you start your ascent through Meru’s diverse vegetation zones from the montane forest, moorland, semi-desert, and alpine desert until you reach its magnificent crater. Traversing around the crater rim to reach its summit, Socialist Peak at 4566m, after which you will have time to explore the ash cone that has formed in the crater during the 1910 eruption. Accommodation is in dormitory-style huts.
DAY 1: Arrive in Tanzania
Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your pre-climb hotel. Later you will attend a pre-climb briefing with your Lead Guide to prepare you for the challenge ahead.
DAY 2: Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut
Elevation: 1600m to 2500m
Distance: 7 km
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Habitat: Montane forest
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and we will drive to Arusha National Park to check all our permits are in order at the Park Headquarters. We then proceed on by vehicle until we reach Momella Park Gate where we start our trek. It is mandatory on this route that an armed Park Ranger accompanies us to ensure that we are safe against any wild animal threats. The trail leads us through Montane forest, past waterfalls and oddly formed trees until we reach Miriakamba Hut.
DAY 3: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut
Elevation: 2500m to 3550m
Distance: 6 km
Time: 3 – 4 hours
As we climb higher up Mount Meru you will feel the air begin to cool and get slightly thinner. Today we will ascend over 1000 metres up to Saddle Hut at 3550m. This afternoon there is time to go for an acclimatization hike a further 300 metres up to Little Meru at 3820m. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the views of Mount Kilimanjaro over 80 kilometers away.
DAY 4: Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak to Momella Gate
Elevation: 3550m to 4566m (and down to 1600m),
Distance: 5 km ascent / 18km descent,
Time: 4-5 hours ascent / 6-7 hours descent,
Habitat: Semi-desert, alpine desert, montane forest
We set off early around 2 a.m. following the path through scrubland to Rhino Point at 3820 metres. From here the route gets more demanding as we follow the narrow crater ridge until we reach the summit after approximately 4-5 hours. From Socialist Peak we will watch the sunrise over Kilimanjaro and have time to explore Meru’s crater and ash cone. We then descend by retracing our steps back down to Saddle Hut and onwards to Miriakamba Hut and finally Momella Gate. Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration. If you are climbing Mount Meru as an acclimatization trek before tackling Kilimanjaro, we will transfer you to a hotel in Moshi to rest.
DAY 5: Depart Kilimanjaro International Airport
We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Kilimanjaro Airport for your departing flight.