Mount Meru is one of Africa's highest and beautiful volcanoes. It stands at 4566m, and is the second largest in Tanzania, after Kilimanjaro and fifth in Africa. There are small cones and craters observed in the surrounding area and these reflect some episodes of volcanic activity. The route to the summit passes through parkland, alpine 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 just a few thousand feet below the crater and Kilimanjaro in the background.
Climbing Mt. Meru can be done in four days, however it is not an easy summit to reach. To get to the top there is some scrambling on the rocks in the dark and at high altitude. Mt Meru is situated in the Arusha National Park and over 400 species of birds, rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, black and white Colobus monkeys and duiker are all found in this park.
Groups are accompanied on Mount Meru by an armed Park Guide and porters. On the mountain dormitory style huts are used which have two bunk beds and at each ranger station visitors can purchase sanitary facilities. This is a tough walking trip with some steep terrain.
Mount Meru can be visited between October and February although November is a rainy month, and also June to September but bear in mind during this time it is colder. The Kilimanjaro can best be viewed in December to February.
Getting to Arusha takes approximately 40 minute drive (60 km) from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
4 Days Mt Meru Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at your hotel in Moshi/Arusha. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, start from the Momella Gate (1500m) in the late morning, passing through open grassland, do some game viewing. There is a chance of seeing large animals such as giraffe or elephant. This is followed by a steady climb through lush forest and less dense forest, lunch en route. By mid afternoon there are the first close views of the towering cliffs and Ash Cone. Miriakamba Hut (2514m) is reached in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight Miriakamba Hut. ( 3-4 hours).
Day 2: After breakfast, continue with steep climb through beautiful lush alpine forest, hiking beyond halfway point of Elephant Back Ridge, then uphill through giant heather and other moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3570m). Lunch at Hut.
If time permits, climb further on Mt. Meru for the scenic view of Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of your acclimatization. (3-4 hours). Dinner and overnight Saddle Hut.
Day 3: After breakfast, an early start to hike to the summit. There is a steep climb to Rhino Point (3800m), continue along a ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra point (4350m) and here you can enjoy the sunrise. The Summit is Social Peak (4566m) is reached an hour later. At this point you will also enjoy the spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds. 5 hrs hiking up. From the summit descend back to Saddle Hut for lunch and brief rest. Continue the descend to Miriakamba Hut for dinner and overnight. 3 hrs hiking down.
Day 4: After breakfast descend through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. Memolla Gate is reached by late morning. Drive back to the hotel in Moshi/Arusha. (2 hrs).