Mt. 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.
Leave early from your hotel and drive to Arusha National Park, where we enter and drive a bit farther to Momella Gate (1500 m) where our climb begins. Leave the gate and walk through game-filled grassy plains. The path gets steeper leading up to a broad ridge. As you continue, the forest thickens and you get occasional views of Mount Kilimanjaro to your right. After a few hours, you will reach the first campsite, Miriakamba Hut (2500 m). Here you will settle into a dormitory style room, rest and enjoy dinner.
Trekking Time: 4-5
Distance: 10 km | Altitude Gain: 1000 m
Wake early to eat breakfast and begin your day’s trek. The path becomes steeper today and passes through fine forests and heather to the Saddle Hut (3500 m) where you will spend the evening. If there is time in the afternoon, you may take a one-hour acclimatization hike to Little Meru (3801 m) where you have the opportunity to see beautiful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro at sunset.
Trekking Time: 3-4
hours | Distance: 8 km | Altitude
Gain: 1000 m
Waking around 01:00 am, we have a small meal and start our ascent towards the summit. The hike begins with switchbacks until we reach Rhino Point (3800 m). From here, the trek becomes more difficult as we traverse rocky inclines, navigate narrow ridges, and climb up to the summit. We hope to reach the summit, Socialist Peak (4562 m) around sunrise, where we can see the moon setting to west and the sun rising over Mt. Kilimanjaro in the east.
Trekking Time: 4-6
hours | Distance: 5 km | Altitude
Gain: 1062 m
We descend the same way we came up, reaching Saddle Hut in a few hours. Here we rest and have a short meal before beginning our descent down to Miriakamba Hut for our last night on the mountain.
Trekking Time: 5-7 hours | Distance:
13 km | Altitude Loss: 2062 m
Descend back down through grassy plains, where you have a high chance of seeing wildlife. Arrive at the park gate, happily accept your certificate of completion, and drive back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha town where you will enjoy a well-deserved shower and congratulations.
Trekking Time: 2-3
hours | Distance: 10 km | Altitude
Loss: 1000 m