Mt Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania rising to 4,566m (14,980ft). Like Mt Kilimanjaro it is a free standing mountain (not part of a mountain range) and is classified as a dormant volcano which last erupted in 1910. This mountain gets far fewer trekkers than Mt Kilimanjaro but it is a wonderful trek. The mountain is located inside of Arusha National Park, just a one hour drive from Moshi. There is only one route on the mountain and overnights are in basic dormitory mountain huts with solar lighting. At the lower elevations,there is a good chance of encountering wildlife, so an armed park ranger is required to accompany all trekkers. Depending on the the number of rangers and the number of groups trekking, the park reserves the right to combine groups to trek with one ranger. The tour companies have no say in this decision but be advised that even if you sign up for a private trek, you might have others trekking alongside of you. Each group will still have their own guide and climb staff taking care of just thier specific clients.
Many people climbing Mt Meru use it as an acclimitazation trek before a Mt Kilimanjaro trek. Fewer poeple have altitude sicknness issues on Mt Meru partially due to its lesser height and partially due to it being a steeper climb, making trekking too quickly less likely.
Mt Meru is an excellent trek in its own right and is a very enjoyable experience.
Mt Meru is typically climbed as a four days trek. A three days trek is possible but it is quite exhausting and not recommended for the great majority of trekkers. For the three day version, the entire descent is done the same day as reaching the summit (combining days 3 and 4 on the itinerary given below. Note that the final ascent can be very windy and icy. During bad weather conditions, the park ranger may prohibit proceeding to the summit due to safety concerns.
After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel. Before we leave, we have a general briefing about your trek and an equipment check.
The drive to Arusha National Park takes about an hour. Once your guide has completed the necessary paperwork at the gate, the trip continues
to Momella Gate, the starting point of your hike. On the way you might observe giraffes, zebras and many other animals.
Because of the wildlife in the park, from the Momella Gate you will be accompanied by an armed park ranger.
The route takes you across the Ngare Nanyuki River, as you walk along the river you may perhaps see buffalo herds,
baboons and other animals. Soon the hike will take you through the forest, and after about 2 hours, you will reach the small Mayo Falls,
here a meadow is an ideal place for your picnic. After you have relaxed a bit, your hike continues to the "Arched Fig Tree" -
a unique tree that spans the way like a gate. After another
1.5 - 2 hours you will reach the Miriakamba Hut where you will spend the night.
After breakfast, the trek leads through the dense forest with mosses and beard lichens. After 2-3
hours you will reach the viewpoint of Mngongo wa Tembo (Elephant Ridge), which is at a height of about 3200 meters.
The ascent takes place partly over wooden steps, since the path is steep and slippery in some places.
From this vantage point, you will have a magnificent view of the large volcanic crater. After a short rest,
the trek continues and you may notice the change n landscape from mountain rainforest to light bushland.
You continut to Saddle Hut. After lunch, you will have the opportunity to take a detour to the summit of Little Mount Meru (3820m),
this 1-1.5 hour hike will reward you with a great view over the national park up to Kilimanjaro. Back to the hut it is time for your
dinner, after that it is straight to bed. Tomorrow is the summit day and it starts early!
Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
After a small snack and a hot drink, your way to the summit starts approximately at 2 o'clock in the morning. Guided by your
your headlamp, you will head up through the bushland to Rhino Point. The path here becomes more and more challenging.
Along the long north ridge the route continues to the summit, which you will reach
around sunrise. Weather permitting, sun rising behind Mt. Kilimanjaro is a wonderful and energizing moment.
On the descent, you return to the Saddle Hut where a lunch and a hot drink will await you. Afterwards
you will continue to Mirikamba Hut, reaching it in the early afternoon. Here you can rest and enjoy your summit success.
Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner
After breakfast the trail continues down towards Momella Gate via the so-called "Northern Route". On the way, you may be able to
see again buffaloes, baboons and other wild animals, and with some luck also elephants. After a 2-3 hour trek, you will arrive at
the Momella Gate, where your driver will be waiting. After a farewell from your mountain team you will be driven back to