Mount Meru is in the heart of Arusha National Park, about 80km (50 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru is a massive volcano reaching an altitude of 4,566 meters (14,980 feet). Mount Meru, the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, and the fourth in Africa is about 32km (20 miles) from Arusha City to Momella Gate – the headquarters office for the Park – where the trek begins.
Mount Meru is the perfect fit for acclimatization prior to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro due to its altitude acclimatization and hiking distances.
This trek is also for hikers who prefer fewer crowds and a less challenging ascent.
As Mount Meru in Arusha National Park, hikers must climb with an armed ranger due to the wide range of wildlife living on the mountain. On the lower slopes of the mountain, hikers are more likely to see elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, warthogs, Black and white Colobus-Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, and sometimes the shy antelopes like bushbuck, suni, and red duiker; also some colorful birds like Hartlaub’s Turacos, Trogons, Silvery-cheeked Hornbills and so on!
As hikers continue their ascents, the trail follows the north rim of the volcano of the crater along a dramatic ridgeline. Hikers reach the summit as the sun is rising, and they will have spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru Crater.
Throughout the climb, hikers sleep in designated huts along the trail.
Summary description based on this tour trip:
- Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Duration: 3 days/2 nights
- Accommodation: In comfortable mountain huts on wood-bunk beds with thick foam mattresses covered with sheets. Note that a sleeping bag is needed! Please, bring one with you or ask us to arrange it for you at a low cost.
- The huts are with solar system lights.
- The meals will be in the dining hall.
- Bathrooms with cold showers
- Clean flush toilets
Day 1: Momella Gate (1,500m) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500m)
A description of the hike today
- Elevation: 1,500m to 2,500m; (1,000m ascent)
- Hiking distance: 10 km
- Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
- Habitat: Mountain Forest
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner
- Budget Lodging: Miriakamba Hut
After a short registration at the Momella Gate, our walk will begin with a full-armed ranger escorting us on our hike. While on this walk, we expect to see wild animals like zebras, giraffes, monkeys, antelopes, and often, elephants along the route. Dinner and overnight night will be at Miriakamba Hut.
Day 2: Miriakamba Hut (2,500m) – Saddle Hut (3,500m)
A description of the hike today
- Elevation: 2,500m to 3,500m; (2,000m ascent)
- Hiking distance: 4 km
- Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
- Habitat: Mountain Forest, heath
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Budget Lodging: Saddle Hut
After Breakfast, you will start a walk from Miriakamba Huts (2,500m) to the saddle Huts (3,500m) below Little Meru is a steeply sustained climb all the way. While starting through the beautiful and lush mountain forest, the path continues beyond the halfway point of Elephant Back Ridge, then continues on uphill through the giant heather and other moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut for lunch.
In the afternoon, you will have a short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru for superb views. It takes about one hour to walk up and 30 minutes to walk down.
Day 3: Saddle Hut (3,500 m) – The Summit (4,566 m /14,980 ft) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m)
A description of the hike today
- Elevation: 3,500m to 4,566m; (1,066m ascent)
- Hiking distance: 5 km ascent; 9 km descent
- Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours ascent, then 7-8 hours descent to Miriakamba Hut
- Habitat: Mountain (alpine) desert, Montane forest
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
On this Summit day, you will wake up just slightly before midnight for a light meal, then start at around midnight for your final ascent to Socialist Peak, 4,566 m (14,980 ft) at the top of big Meru. The trail to the summit is steep as you will be climbing through the gravel and rocky ridges. There is a 1-hour steep climb to Rhino Point (3,800m / 12,467ft), then the path continues along the ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350m /14,272ft).
The summit of Socialist Peak, 4,566m/14,980ft, is an hour further on a steep path with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro. Depending on your pace, you can enjoy sunrise at Cobra Point or the summit. The views are stunning: the cliffs of the Meru Crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds, and the Rift Valley.
The route back through Rhino Point to Saddle Hut, in the sharp morning light along a narrow ridge between the sloping outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall, is one of the most spectacular and exhilarating walks in Africa! Occasionally, you’ll see wild animals like klipspringers and mountain reedbucks over the rocky terrain.
Brunch is at Saddle Hut; Dinner and overnight will be at Miriakamba.
Upon your arrival at Saddle Hut, you’ll have brunch and a brief rest are at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent through Miriakamba Hut to Momella gate. Back at Momella gate, you will have lunch, then be transferred to your hotel/lodge in Arusha or Moshi.
- Transfers to and from Momella Gate back to your hotel/lodge in Arusha
- All national park fees – entrances, hut fees, rescue fee, armed park ranger fee
- All national park fees for the crew – guides, porters, and a cook
- Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides
- Salaries for the guides, porters, and cook
- All meals on the mountain – Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Cooking equipment and eating utensils
- All government taxes, including 18% VAT
- Airport pick up and drops off
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Visa fee
- Tips for mountain crew (guide/s, porters, and a cook)
- Laundry Services
- All items of a personal nature
For the Head
Wool Hat, Balaclava, Sunglasses, glacier glasses better, Sunscreen (SPF 25+), Lip Balm (SPF 25+), Sun Hat, Bandana
Clothes (No Cotton)
Wool or synthetic base layer (2), Wool or fleece sweater, Wind/Water-proof jacket, Convertible hiking pants, Underwear, Water-Proof Pants, Synthetic or wool pants for layering, Gloves or mittens, Glove Liner, Lycra tights.
For the Feet
Thin sock liners (2 pairs), Wool hiking socks (6 pairs), Good- broken-in hiking boots, Gaiters (knee lengthy is better), Tennis shoes or sandals (for camp)
Zero degrees sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow (optional)
Day pack (no larger than 2,200cu), Water bladder 100oz/3ltr, Rain cover for a daypack, Headlamp, Extra batteries, Energy bars/gels, walking pole/sticks (1 piece or a pair).
- Toiletries, Small first aid kit, Small towel, Diamox for altitude sickness, Wet wipes, Sunglasses, Sunscreen (SPF 25+), Lip Balm (SPF 25+), Sun Hat, Bandana, Camera, Bug spray, Malaria pills, Flashlight/torch, Batteries, Cash for tipping, etc