Mount Meru is an active, but dorment volcano and forms the center of Arusha National Park in Tanzania. It is known for its huge cliffs and green surroundings at the foot. Mt. Meru is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent and the second highest in Tanzania. Even though the mountain isn’t nearly as high as the Kilimanjaro, its just as challenging. Climbing Mount Meru requires more technical climbing skills than the routes on Kilimanjaro. Where Mount Meru ‘lacks’ height, it makes up in skill. Therefore its keen to have some climbing experience before taking on this mountain.
Still, Mount Meru is sometimes used as warm-up for climbing Kilimanjaro, especially to acclimate the body to greater heights. If you have to time and budget to climb Meru, it’s definately worth it. The mountain isn’t climbed as often and gives you a really unique experience.
Since Meru lies in Arusha National Park, there’s a great chance of seeing various animals while trekking. You’re likely to encounter giraffes, buffalos, antelopes and baboons.
In opposition to Kilimanjaro, there’s only 1 route to climb Mount Meru. So no need to figure out which route suits your style best. The one route is the way to go! Even though it’s not as high as the Kili, its a difficult climb and surely not to be taken lightly.
If you’re not keen about completely climbing Mount Meru, or simply don’t have the time, then there are several dayhikes reaching lower heights on Mount Meru. These hikes are very rewarding as you’ll hike through green vegetation, surrounded by wildlife. Here you can get some real peace and quiet as its not as overrun as Kilimanjaro (dayhikes) and most likely won’t encounter many others.
When you do decide to climb Mount Meru, you can choose to do it in 3 days or 4 days, meaning 2 or 3 nights. In opposition to the Kilimanjaro Routes, this isn’t a matter of acclimatisation as the ascend will be the same on both routes. Moreover the descend on the last day will be a lot slower and will give you time to enjoy the surrounding areas. If you choose for the latter, you will hike down all the way from the peak to Momella Gate (starting point). This can be very challenging and maybe not all-that-fun as it’s a very long and exhausting hike.
For the climbers who take on Mount Meru, there are two very well appointed, big huts. Here can they stay during the trek. The huts are: the Miriakamba Huts at 2514 m (8248 ft) and the Saddle Huts at 3570 m (11712 ft).
Mount Meru is located about 70km (43mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. You can view Meru from Kilimanjaro if the weather lets you. Meru is a freestanding mountain and its location is right in the Middle of Arusha National Park. One of the main national parks of northern Tanzania.
Arusha National park is just north of the town that wears its name: Arusha. This is the ‘safari capital’ of Tanzania and most likely even of the world. Meru is visable from Arusha on clear days and offers a nice view from the city. On hikes at the lower ends, you can overview Arusha city as a whole.
Mount Meru can be climbed all year around. For the highest chance of succes it’s best to conquer the mountain during the dry season. The dry season is from June to the beginning of March. In April and May we have the so called “heavy rain season” in Tanzania.
To have the highest chance of succes, try to avoid climbing in these months. The last part of climbing Mount Meru can be very steep and slippery and the heavy rains only increase this. If heavy rains occur during the summit climb, it might be called off, if the guide decides it’s too dangerous. This doens’t happen often, but it surely is something to keep in mind if you plan to reach the summit.
If you’re considering a Mount Meru trekking tour during November till halfway December, you should expect occasional rains during these months. This is called the “light rain season”.
For the best views and a snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa. We recommend climbing from the end of December till February.