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Mount Meru – Tanzania’s most exciting mountain?

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Mount Meru

Mount Meru (4,566 m) is an active stratovolcano and forms the centrepiece of Arusha National Park in Tanzania. The mountain is often referred to as Mt Kilimanjaro’s ‘little brother’. Although the mountain is not as high as Kilimanjaro, it is just as challenging. Known for its huge cliffs, beautiful green surroundings and abundant wildlife, Mount Meru is the sixth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest in Tanzania!

Climbing Mount Meru requires more technical climbing skills than the routes on Kilimanjaro. What Mount Meru ‘lacks’ in height, it makes up for in difficulty. Therefore, it is important to have some climbing experience.

Still, Mount Meru is sometimes used as warm-up for climbing Kilimanjaro, especially to acclimate the body to greater heights. If you have the time and budget to climb Meru, it is definitely worth it. The mountain isn’t climbed as often and it provides a truly 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.

What to expect on the mountain..
Mount Meru Highlights
  • 4564 meters in height. Second tallest mountain in Tanzania!
  • Fewer people have been at the top of Mt. Meru than on Mt. Everest.
  • Very rewarding ascend at SUNRISE
  • Different vegetation zones over several days
  • Socialist Peak (Meru's main peak)
  • Little Meru (Meru's second highest peak at 3800m)
  • You CAN climb Meru by yourself or in a small team (not possible on Kilimanjaro)

Mount Meru Trekking Tours

Ready to take on Tanzania's second highest mountain?

Mount Meru is a recently active (latest eruption in 1910), but now dorment volcano that 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. Below you’ll find the most popular routes to climbing Mt Meru. 

Facts about..

Climbing Mount Meru

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 Mt. 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. On the 4 day climb, 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 as it’s a very long and exhausting hike. 

Accommodation on Mount Meru

For the climbers who take on Mount Meru, there are two very well appointed, big huts. Here you will 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 location

Mount Meru is located about 70km (43mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. On a clear day, you can see Kilimanjaro from Mt Meru. 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. 

  • Not to confuse Mt. Meru Tanzania with a mountain in India that bears the same name.
When to climb the mountain?

Best time to climb Mount Meru

Mount Meru can be climbed all year around. For the highest chance of succes, it’s best to take on the mountain during the dry season. The dry season is from June to the beginning of March. This runs from June to early March. For the best weather conditions and incredible views of the snow-covered peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, also known as ‘the Roof of Africa’, we recommend climbing the mountain from late December to February.  

If you’re considering a Mount Meru trekking tour during November till halfway December, you should expect occasional rains. This is called the “light rain season”.

April and May are the so-called ‘heavy rainy season’ in Tanzania. Try to avoid climbing in these months. If it rains too much during the climb, it might be cancelled if the guide finds it too dangerous. This does not happen often, but it is definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to reach the summit. 

Ready to take on Tanzania's most challenging mountain?

Enquire about one of the Mount Meru climbing routes or ask us for advice