Mount Meru 4 Day Guided Climb
Destination: Arusha, Tanzania
Routes: 4 Days (+ 2 Days in Moshi)
Team Size: 4 – 10
Accommodation: Hotel (Moshi) & Tents (on trek)
Minimum Age: 16 Years
High-altitude trekking in mountainous regions calls for flexibility and adaptability to many conditions. In the wilderness, nature has the final say. For us to survive, we need flexibility and adaptability to circumstances as they unfold. While we endeavour to follow the itinerary below, we may need to change it to suit conditions. The end point will always be returning safely to our families. It is imperative to commit to training at least three to six months beforehand to cope with the demands of high altitude trekking. If you have access to The Altitude Gym, then we will help you with pre-acclimatization training. During the trek, our blood oxygen will be monitored and your guide will advise you how to handle any issues that will inevitably crop up. With this in mind, we will have the best time on a trek that has unparalleled mountain views.
Mt Meru is situated in Arusha National Park, 70km west of Mt Kilimanjaro and, at 4,562m above sea level, is the 2nd highest mountain in Tanzania (5th highest in Africa). It is a dormant volcano that is prominently seen from Mt Kilimanjaro. All hikers in this park must be accompanied by an armed ranger who is employed directly by the park authorities. We will also have our own guide, who manages the crew and watches our safety. The park ranger has the authority to make decisions such as trail choices, pace, etc. Arusha National Park will combine groups of hikers with one park ranger, therefore we cannot guarantee a private Meru trek. Park authorities require the hire of porters specific to this park, which will be assigned at the trail registration.
Climbers often climb Mt Meru to pre-acclimatize for Mt Kilimanjaro however it is a worthy mountain to climb in its own right. It takes less time to summit Mt Meru however climbing it is quite a bit more technical than Mt Kilimanjaro. To reach the summit, there is some scrambling over rocks in the dark and at high altitude. We need to be prepared for at least 10 hours of hiking on summit day. For an easier hike, we can climb just to Rhino Point for sunrise, and then descend. We recommend having at least one night’s rest after returning from Mt. Meru before heading off to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. We can’t predict how each team member will react to the altitude so we ask that all participants come well prepared for the demand of this trek (which means you need to train!). At The Altitude Gym, we will have a great opportunity to pre-acclimatize and all trekkers must commit to an agreed training program to make our collective journey a success.
TRIP ITINERARY: FOUR DAYS MT MERU
Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport (or other specified location) and transfer to hotel for gear check and team briefing. Any items still needed may be organized at the company’s gear shop. The rest of the day is free. Overnight at Parkview Inn.
Day 2: Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut; Elevation: 1,500m – 2,515m.
Hiking Time: 5 – 7 hours.
After breakfast, we will be driven to Momella Gate in the Arusha National Park. After completing the formalities, we go on a walking safari through the park and get to choose between two routes:
- The Mountain Trail: Pass through several different ecosystems during the three to five hour mountain trail hike. The hike begins along a seasonal stream through open forest where grazing Cape buffalo, giraffe and warthogs reside. Continue climbing through the woodland stopping for lunch along the way. We reach the hut in the afternoon. Or,
- The Dirt Road: This route takes four to seven hours and also passes through several different vegetation zones. During the first part of the trail, walk through open grassland where viewing Cape buffalo, giraffe and warthogs. After the grassland, enter the montane forest and pass through Fig Tree Arch. Continue along the road until reaching the hut in the afternoon.
We soon pass the Ngarenanyuki River and a beautiful waterfall at the base of the mountain. At Miriakamba Hut, we will enjoy a hot dinner and settle for the night. Miriakamba Hut offers beautiful views of the U-shaped Meru crater, the ash cone and the towering cliffs that make up Meru’s crater walls. There are toilet facilities, a water source and separate kitchen and lodge facilities for the mountain staff. Solar power is available. Soda and beer are available at Miriakamba.
Day 3: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut; Elevation: 2,515m – 3,570m.
Hiking Time: 3 – 5 hours; Habitat: Alpine desert.
After breakfast, we leave Miriakamba and walk along flat land before entering the montane forest. We will continue on until reaching an opening in the woods called Elephant Ridge. As we get higher, the sky gets clearer as the normal cloud cover of Arusha National Park burns off at about 3,200 meters. We soon arrive at Saddle Hut sitting at 3,570m. This hut is very similar to the previous one and is well-maintained, with separate facilities for mountain staff and tourists. The more energetic can do a two hour round trip to summit Little Meru (3,820m) in the afternoon for breathtaking views of Meru and Kilimanjaro. It does get cold on the summit, so a warm jacket, gloves and beanie is necessary. Tonight, we’ll have an early dinner and then settle for the night in preparation for our summit attempt at midnight.
Day 4: Saddle Hut to Summit to Miriakamba Hut; Elevation: 3,570m – 4,566m – 2,515m.
Hiking Time: 10 – 12 hours.
After a light breakfast at 1:30am, we begin the hike to Mount Meru’s summit, Socialist Peak. We start with a steep climb to Rhino Point (3,800m), then descend to a small rock bridge before traversing a rocky and sandy trail. We’ll be scrambling over rocks and in some places there are steep drops on either side, so it’s important that we follow the green trail markers and our guide’s instructions. We reach the crater rim at dawn and continue on to Meru’s peak. The views are spectacular all the way to the summit with the trail offering a perfect vantage of the crater’s sheer walls, the ash cone, cloud formations and the surrounding park. The hike to the summit is slow-going due to the sandy trail conditions, high winds and altitude. Bring energy food to snack on during the hike. After taking photos, we descend to Saddle Hut for brunch and then back to Miriakamba Hut.
NOTE: It may be impossible to proceed beyond Rhino Point during rainy or icy conditions (March – June). We advise to climb Meru during the dry season (Jan – Mar / Jul – Oct). There are many parts of the summit trail that have steep drops on either side or involve periods of rock scrambling. Proceeding beyond Rhino Point is not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo.
Day 5: Miriakamba Hut to Momella Hut to Moshi; Elevation: 2,515m – 1,500m.
Hiking Time: 2 – 3 hours.
After breakfast, we begin our final descent to Momella gate. The descent will be fast unless it has rained recently. We will pass through scrubland first, then into the montane forest and finally onto open grassland. If the trail is wet, we will descend using the road. Upon reaching the gate, we will receive our summit certificates. After bidding farewell to our national park guide and mountain staff, we will be greeted by our driver and taken back to Moshi.
– Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport, and drop off after climbing
– Two nights’ accommodation at Parkview Inn – Bed and Breakfast
– Three nights’ hut accommodation while on climb
– All park fees for four days Meru climb
– Salary for Guides, Cook and Porters
– Three meals a day while trekking. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Oxygen and O2 saturation meter will be available for health check up every day
– Transport from hotel to Momella gate and return
– Flights to Kilimanjaro airport
– Tipping for climbing team
– All personal needs
– Meals at hotel (other than breakfast)
– Any extra days on mountain and hotel
Price (Offered only in conjunction with a Kilimanjaro climb)
We offer a choice of three service levels on our treks depending on ability to pre-acclimatise at our gym and experience level:
1. Premium Package: $1,690.00
2. Standard Package: $1,990.00
3. Out-of-area: $1,990.00
Trekkers can contact us at any time for any concerns that they may have about the trip.