Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania (4566 m) located 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro within Arusha National Park. Mount Meru is an active volcano although it has been sleeping for a century now. Vegetation and fauna are following shapes of the mountain. On the bottom of the mountain there are animals like giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes and warthogs. Further up on the mountain forests there lives elephants, gueretsa monkeys, porcupines and baboons.
The route to the summit passes through parkland, mountain forest, a giant heather zone and moorland. Finally, the summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater and Kilimanjaro in the background. Over 400 species of birds and a rich fauna guarantee an unforgettable experience.
You will climb with a professional Park Guide and porters. Accommodation is in dormitory style huts and firewood is supplied. A sleeping bag and mat are required for the huts. Climbing to the top of Mount Meru is a tough walking trip with some steep terrain. Although the mountain is not as high as Mt. Kilimanjaro it’s known to be more difficult to climb.
Mount Meru deserves its own worth. Compared to Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru has many attractive features. During the hike you will see large animals and there are not too many people. Also reaching the top requires stamina, not just ability to tolerate high altitude conditions, such as in the most popular Kilimanjaro route Marangu.
MOMELLA GATE (1500 M) –MIRIAKAMBA HUT (2541 M)
WALKING TIME: 4-6 HOURS
Leaving early in the morning from Moshi and driving to Momella gate in Arusha National Park. Driving takes about 3 hours. At the gate you will clear your trekking permits, meet up with your porters, guide, cook and game ranger, and start climbing. You will pass open grassland which will give you a good opportunity to see buffaloes, warthogs and other grazers. You will cross the Ngare Nanyuki River and continue climbing through mountain forest. There you will have chance to see many different kind of birds and black and white colobus monkeys. Finally you will reach Miriakamba Hut where you will stay overnight.
MIRIAKAMBA HUT (2541 M) – SADDLE HUT (3570 M)
WALKING TIME: 3-5 HOURS
Second day climbing is quite short but demanding. You will start early in the morning and ascent steeply through lush mountain forest full of birds to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. There you can see the crater. After 3 to 5 hours climbing you will reach Saddle Hut where you will have lunch. In the afternoon you will have another hiking to Little Meru (3794 m) for superb views before sunset. Then you will return to Saddle Hut for overnight. It is good to go to sleep early so that you get enough rest for the next day’s hiking.
SADDLE HUT (3570 M) – RHINO POINT (3850 M) – PEAK ( 4566 M) – RHINO POINT (3850 M) – SADDLE HUT (3570 M) – MIRIAKAMBA HUT (2541 M)
WALKING TIME: 10-12 HOURS
You will start climbing between 1 to 2 at night. The route is very steep towards Rhino Point (3850 m) and from there towards the summit along very narrow ridge. You will reach the summit, Socialist Peak, (4566 m) right at the sunrise. The sceneries there are stunning; you will see Mount Kilimanjaro in close distance. After taking photos on the summit you will descent back to Saddle hut.
Note: On icy conditions or strong wind it is not necessarily possible to pass the ridge between Rhino Point and summit. You guide will decide if the conditions are not good enough to continue.
MIRIAKAMBA HUT (2541 M) – MOMELLA GATE (1500 M)
WALKING TIME: 2-5 HOURS
You will leave about at 8.00 in the morning and descent to Momella gate. You can choose longer or shorter route down. On the longer way down you have very good changes to see wildlife and the ash cone. Once at the gate, it’s time to tip your porters, guide, cook and game ranger. After that your transportation back to Moshi will be waiting for you.