Mt 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 Mt Meru requires more technical climbing skills than the routes on Kilimanjaro. Where the mountain ‘lacks’ height, it makes up in skill. Therefore its keen to have some climbing experience before taking on this mountain.
Trekking Meru can be done in 3 days or 4 days.
The day starts with a transfer to Momella gate at 1500m. After the registration, the climb will start. Because Mt Meru is in the middle of Arusha National Park, the beginning of the trek is also a walking safari. During this trek you have chances to spot wild Giraffes, Buffalo, Warthog, Elephants and a huge variety of birds as you continue a steady climb through the montane forest.
In roughly 2 hours you will reach the Maio Falls, where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the view. After the falls, we will do a bit more trekking and hike to the “fig tree arch”. This fig tree is an unusual tree formation created by the wild fig Ficus Thonningii. Here we will enjoy a nice, picknick lunch.
Once our belly’s are filled, the trek continues through less dense forest. Here you might be able to spot a variety of monkeys including the famous black and white Colobus. Within another two hours of trekking we will reach our final destination of today, Miriakamba Hut on Mt Meru. Afternoon tea, snacks and beautiful sunset-view awaits you.
In the morning we will start trekking from Miriakamba hut to Saddle hut. The trek continues on wooden steps along a steep track. The climb may be short, but it will be very steep. Upon climbing, the temperature drops noticably due to the altitude gain.
Slowly, the vegetation on Mt Meru will change from rainforest to heather and moorland. Todays hike takes you to “Mgongo wa Tembo” (elephant back) at a height of 3,200 m after approximately 2 hours. Here we will take a break, relax and enjoy the surroundings. After another short hike we will find our way to Saddle hut at 3570m where we will have lunch.
The rest of the afternoon can be spend relaxing OR climbing towards the second highest peak of Mt Meru, little meru. This is an amazing place to watch the sunset and offers fantastic views over Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro! If you choose to visit little meru (3820m), you will ascent another 250m meters from Saddle hut. Trekking to little meru and back usually takes another 3,5-4,5 hours.
Dinner will be waiting for you upon your return to Saddle Hut. Make sure to go to bed early and have a good night’s rest, because the night will be short and the next day will be long and exhausting.
Today is summit day! The most difficult and certainly the most rewarding day of the climb. Summit day means an early awakening. Our hike will start from 1:30 with a steep climb to Rhino Point.
From Rhino Point (at 3820m), the path continues along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4350 m). Depending on the time we will stay at cobra point for an amazing sunrise or climb further to Mt Meru: Socialist Peak to watch the sunrise there! The path to socialist peak is quite challenging and some climbing skills will come in handy here. The path goes along the crater rim, where you’ll trek on frozen volcanic ash and rocks, before reaching the summit.
Standing at the peak you will enjoy the breath-taking view of the sun rising above Mt Kilimanjaro as well as a fantastic view of Mt Meru’s crater with its steep sides and the “ash cone” in the middle. YOU MADE IT!
After our summit we will start a fast decent through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back towards the mt meru crater and over the plains of the National Park. Momella Gate is reached by late morning.