Mount Meru Ascent

Number of days

4

Start Location

Tanzania

Group Size

2-6

Operated by

World Expeditions

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An exhilarating ascent of Tanzania's 2nd highest mountain

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Join Arusha, early morning transfer to Mt Meru, walk to Miriakamba

We pick you up from Ilboru Lodge (Arusha) at 7.00am and transfer to our start at Momella Gate (1500m) in late morning. The track soon passes some open grassland, with a good chance of seeing buffaloes and warthogs, and then continues as a steady climb through montane forest. We have 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 an 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 the Ash Cone. We reach Miriakamba Hut (2514m), situated in an idyllic grassy glade, in time to enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro. (5-6 hours walking)

To Saddle Hut

The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short but a steep and sustained climb all the way. We walk through attractive, open, and lush montane forest to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. This has excellent views of the summit ridge and across most of the crater floor. During a break, you might spot elephants or other animals from our vantage point. The path continues uphill through giant heather and other moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3570m), where lunch is waiting for us. The afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views. The more energetic can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3820m) for superb views just before sunset. (3 to 6 hours walking)

To summit (Socialist Peak 4556m) and down to Miriakamba Hut

We begin with an early start at around 2.00am to climb steeply to Rhino Point (3800m), and then continue along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4350m) arriving at 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 west towards the Rift Valley if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4566m) is another hour on a superb but often steep path. On a clear day, the views are absolutely rewarding. The route back to Rhino Point in the sharp morning light situated 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 dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. We rest, and have brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2514m). NB* 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. (10 - 12 hours walking)

Descend to Momella Gate and transfer to Arusha, trip concludes

We take the direct route down towards Momella 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. Transfer back to Ilboru Lodge (Arusha), where trip concludes. (2-3 hours walking)

Additional Information

Mount Meru is often seen solely as an acclimatisation ascent before attempting Kilimanjaro. However, most trekkers come away exhilarated by the experience of climbing a steep ridge line to a crater rim that rivals Kilimanjaro. The slopes of Mount Meru are home to a large wildlife population including elephants and mountain reedbuck. The summit reaches 4566m and although considerably lower than neighbouring Kilimanjaro is not to be taken lightly. This is a fantastic trek offering challenge and stunning vistas in a compact time frame that is achievable for fit walkers. It can be taken on its own or combined with any other climb such as Kilimanjaro or Mt Kenya.

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