Mount Meru is one of Africa’s most beautiful volcanoes, and it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4,5685m, the fifth highest in Africa.
The mountain is located within Arusha National Park, Tanzania’s gem. This prime location gives walkers the opportunity to spot some of the birds and wildlife that inhabit the area. The ascend is quite steep, the route to the summit passes over streams, through parkland, montane forest, a giant heather zone and moorland.
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. Weather permitting, Kilimanjaro can be seen in the West. There are two huts available to climbers on the mountain and firewood is supplied. The best time to climb Meru is between October and February. But also June to September, while it is colder then.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Momella Gate (1500m). The track soon passes some open grassland, with a good chance of seeing wildlife – buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, and then continues as a steady climb through montane forest. We take lunch at or near the Fig Tree arch which is big enough to drive a car through! After lunch, the route continues through less dense forest, where there are abundance of birds and monkeys. The black and white Colobus monkeys are particularly fascinating to watch. By mid afternoon, there are the first closer views of the towering cliffs and Ash cone. We reach Miriakamba Hut (2514m), situated in an idyllic grass glade, in time to enjoy the last arrows of the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro. [4-6 hours walking]. Overnight at Miriakamba Hut of Full board basis
The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the Saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep and sustained climb all the way. We walk through attractive, open and lush montane forest to reach the half way point of Elephant Ridge. This has excellent views of the summit ridge across most of the crater floor. Whilst resting, vegetation you might spot elephants or other animals from here. The path continues uphill through giant heather and other moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3,570m), where lunch is waiting for us. The afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views. The more energetic can make a short climb nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820m) for superb views just before sunset.[3 -5 hours walking]. Overnight at Saddle Hut of Full board basis
An early start at around 2 a.m. to climb steeply to the Rhino Point (3,800m), and then continue along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350m) around sunrise. The views are stunning: the cliffs of the crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the Crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds, and the west towards the Rift Valley if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4,566m) is an hour more on a superb but often steep path. The route back to Rhino Point is the sharp morning light on a narrow ridge between the sloping outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall is one of the most exhilarating walks in Africa. We rest and have brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2,514m). [10 – 12 hours walking]. Note: the ridge between the summit and Rhino Point is not suitable for those suffering from vertigo. In icy conditions or in strong winds, it may be impossible for anyone to progress beyond Rhino Point. Sunrise from here is equally as spectacular as from Cobra Point. Overnight at Miriakamba Hut of Full board basis
After breakfast we take the direct route through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back towards the crater and over the plains of the National Park. We should reach Momella Gate by late morning. [2 – 3 hours walking] Overnight at your lodge Full board basis