Mount Meru, a 14,980-foot volcanic cone, lies 45 miles west of Kilimanjaro. It is an active volcano; has a snowcap; lies in Arusha National Park; and is often climbed as a training peak for Kilimanjaro.
Fifty miles (80 km) west of Mount Kilimanjaro lies is an often overlooked, but spectacular volcano. Mount Meru is 14,980 feet (4,565 m) high, and serves as a great warm up before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft/5,895 m). In fact, it is ideal for altitude acclimatization and you may elect to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a lower number of days after climbing Meru.
On the mountain, there is a good chance of seeing wildlife, and the crowds that can plague Kilimanjaro are non-existent here. Many people who climb both mountains have a quiet preference for the humble Mount Meru.
Mount Meru is located in the center of Arusha National Park, a beautiful area with a wide range of habitats teeming with wildlife. On the lower slopes of the mountain and inside the park, there is a good chance of spotting animals. An armed ranger will accompany your party on the first stage to protect against any wildlife threats. The trail follows the north rim of the crater, along a dramatic ridgeline. Once at the summit, the views of Mount Kilimanjaro and down into Meru crater are unforgettable. Many people who climb both mountains have a quiet preference for the humble Mount Meru.
Although about 4,000 feet lower than Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is still a very tall mountain. Do not underestimate Mount Meru. Altitude acclimatization is still the key to a successful summit.
Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second highest mountain with an elevation of 4,565m stands in the centre of Arusha National Park 70km west of Mount Kilimanjaro. With several different vegetation zones, you will experience spectacular scenery and even get to spot wildlife.
The climb begins at 1,800m through evergreen forest, an ideal habitat for primates such as the blue monkey and small duiker antelopes. The route leads into floral meadows where you might see buffalo, giraffe or warthog. A zone of giant lobelia and groundsell is next, followed by the silence of alpine desert.
The mountain can be climbed in 3 or 4 days and although shorter than Kilimanjaro, it’s often more challenging as the ascent is steeper.
MT. MERU 3 – 4DAYS ITINERARY
Day 1: Moshi to Arusha National Park
Once at Arusha National Park we will complete registration formalities before driving to Momela Gate (1,500m). You begin your ascent through bushy grassland, the track skirts to the south and become steeper as you begin to climb through a densely forested area. After a short hike of 4 – 5 hours you will reach Miriakamba Hut (2,514m), where you have views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 2: Miriakamba Hut (2,514m) to Saddle Hut (3,570m)
After early morning breakfast we will continue our ascent to Saddle Hut (3,570m). Although this is a short hiking day of just 3 – 4 hours, it is extremely tiring due to the steep incline of the path. The vegetation consists of montane forest and heather and offers beautiful views of the summit ridge and across the crater floor. Once at Saddle Hut you can relax for the rest of the day or take a one hour acclimatization hike to Little Meru (3,820m).
Day 3: Saddle Hut (3,570m) to Meru Summit (4,565m)
Waking at 1am you will have a hot snack and drink before heading to the summit of Meru. This is a 4 -5 hour ascent following a narrow ridge along the western rim of the crater. We will aim to arrive at Socialist Peak (4,465m) at sunrise, when the views are spectacular as the sun rises on Mt. Kilimanjaro in the east. The descent back to Saddle Hut taking 2 – 3 hours is breathtaking as the sharp morning sun lights up the outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall. Once at the camp you will have time to rest and enjoy brunch before continuing your hike to Miriakamba Hut.
Day 4: Miriakamba Hut (2,514) to Momela Gate (1,500m)
We will take the same route down as we took on the way to the summit (4 – 5 hour trek). You may have chances of spotting wildlife along the way. Once at the gate you will receive your certificate of completion before heading back to your hotel for a hot shower and a well deserved rest. All of our itineraries are tailored with you in mind so that every experience is unique, however, the following examples will hopefully begin to inspire your ideal African experience.
Our Mount Meru climbs are four day itineraries. Accommodations while climbing Meru are in wood huts. Mount Meru is offered as a four day private climb, though clients from different parties and different companies are often combined to walk with the armed ranger on the lower slopes.