Mount Meru is one of Africa’s highest and most beautiful volcanoes, standing at 4566 m. It is located within Arusha National Park. The route to the summit passes through parkland, montane 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 Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background.
Because the mountain lies within a National Park, it is common to encounter some of the area’s birds, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs, and black and white Colobus monkeys on the first day of your journey to the summit. For this reason, you will climb with a Park Ranger who takes your safety very seriously.
Many will say that Mt. Meru is not a difficult climb compared with Mt. Kilimanjaro, because of its lower elevation, shorter distance, and comfortable sleeping arrangements, but this is not a mountain to be taken lightly. The climb to the summit is rigorous, involving some steep ascents over rocky inclines and narrow ridges to traverse. It is therefore challenging yet rewarding and a beautiful mountain to experience.
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Moshi (2970ft/900m) – Miriakamba Hut (8250 ft/2500m)
- Distance: 7 km/4.3miles
- Environment: Montane forest
- Time: 5-7 hours of hiking
After breakfast at the hotel in Moshi, followed by a one-hour transfer to Momella Gate in Arusha National Park, for the registration process, begin the ascent trail which passes through the Ngarenanyuki River and also a small but beautiful waterfall just at the base of Mt. Meru. The first part of the first day is very much similar to walking safaris. As a result, expect to see giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, zebras, and elephants close to the hiking trail. Due to the presence of wild animals, trekkers are always accompanied by an armed ranger which is mandatory for the duration of the hike. Arrive at Miriakamba Hut for dinner. Enjoy the beautiful sunset and overnight.
Miriakamba Hut (8250ft/2500m) – Saddle Hut (11,550ft/3500m)
- Distance: 6 km/3.7miles
- Environment: Moorland
- Time: 3-4 hours
After breakfast, start ascending along the ridge of the saddle through a steep trail. In the process, you might get lucky and see various wild animals that live in the mountains. The trail offers views of the Mt. Meru Crater and the Ashtray.
Arrive at the camp, hike the little Meru at 3820 meters for acclimatization, followed by an early dinner and going to sleep before starting the midnight summit.
Saddle Hut (11,550ft/3500m) – Summit Attempt (15,0654566m) – Moshi (2970ft/900m)
- Distance: 5km/3 miles ascent/18 km/11 miles descent
- Environment: semi-desert, alpine desert, Montane forest
- Time: 4 – 5 hours ascent / 6 – 7 hours descent
Wake you around midnight for tea and biscuits. The summit to the top will resume at around 1:30 am. The trail follows a steep grade to Rhino Point at 3800 meters and then to Cobra Point at 4350 meters. Towards the end of the hike, scramble along a rocky ridge between the inner cliffs of Meru and its crater. Arrive at the summit before or at sunrise to see the marvelous sightings of Mt. Meru Ashtray and the nearby Mt. Kilimanjaro Ash Tray and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Enjoy the views, then descend to Saddle Hut and take a break before continuing to Momella Gate, where you will meet with the driver and transfer to Moshi.