Standing at 4,568m high, Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. After a massive eruption 7,800 years ago, an 8km caldera was formed. The main summit is on the caldera’s western edge, perched above a dramatic and still active Ash Cone inside the caldera.
Meru is just below the permanent snowline, so there are no glaciers or snow elds on its slopes. Your ascent involves hiking through grassland and forest on the mountain’s lower slopes. Further up, you will scramble along the breathtaking crater rim to the summit. Because of the abundance ofwildlife on and around Meru, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an armed ranger on your trek at all times.
Depart your accommodation in the morning and head for Arusha National Park where you will check in with park personnel and in the late morning walk under the Momella Gate to begin your trek. You will soon walk through open grassland where you can see buffalo, warthogs, and elephants. As you walk enjoy stunning waterfalls and oddly shaped trees. Stop and enjoy your lunch beneath the branches of the famous Fig Tree. After lunch, continue through less dense forest where you can see birds and monkeys, including the striking black and white Colobus. By mid afternoon you will have closer views of Meru’s towering cliffs and ash cone. The Miriakamba Huts are situated in an idyllic grassy glade and you will reach it in time to enjoy the beautiful views over the surrounding plains between Meru and Kilimanjaro. If you are lucky, a giraffe may walk through camp.
Wake up early to enjoy a beautiful view of Kilimanjaro. From the Miriakamba Huts, you will make your way up the steep incline towards the crater rim known as Elephant Ridge. Follow a steep path through lush forest to reach the saddle between Little Meru and Meru. A hot lunch will be ready for you when you arrive at the Saddle Huts. Your afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views and you make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820 m/12,533 ft) for superb views just before sunset.
Day 3/Day 4
You will wake up just past midnight and have a hot drink and snack before starting your final trek to the summit. The trail starts out on a steep climb to Rhino Point (3,800 m/12,467 ft) and descends slightly and continue along the ridge to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m/14,271 ft) near sunrise. The
stunning views include the cliffs of the crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds, and the Rift Valley. Continue for another hour on a superb but steep path to reach the summit of Meru. Your hike back to Rhino Point in the early morning light is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. Enjoy brunch and a well-earned rest at the Saddle Huts before continuing your descent to the Miriakamba Huts where you will spend the night if you are on the 4-day itinerary. If you are on a 3-day itinerary, you will descend all the way to Momella Gate where you will be transferred back to Arusha.