Mount Meru is located in northern Tanzania, northeast of the town of Arusha. It is among the volcanic mountains that have multiple climatic zones. The mountain’s size is roughly 552 sq km or 212 sq miles. From Arusha town, the distance is approximately 45 minutes’ drive time, and 60 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The mountain is within Arusha National Park. You can tour the forests, lakes, and the famous Ngurdoto Crater, which can be visited over the course of a half-day excursion or as part of your extended northern safari tour.
Because Mount Meru’s location is inside the boundaries of Arusha National Park, hikers are required to be accompanied by an armed ranger. Depending on the climber’s fitness, it can take 3-4 days to ascend and descend Mount Meru. On the lower slopes, you’re more likely to see animals like elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, etc. As hikers go on with their ascent, the trail follows the north rim of the volcano’s crater. Hikers get to sleep in designated huts which are present along the trail. Upon reaching the summit, trekkers will witness the spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru Crater.
Moshi (2970ft/900m) – Miriakamba Hut (8250 ft/2500m)
Environment: Montane forest
Time: 5-7 hours of hiking
After breakfast at the hotel in Moshi, followed by a one-hour transfer to Momela Gate in Arusha National Park, for the registration process, begin the ascent trail which passes through the Ngarenanyuki River and also a small but beautiful waterfall just at the base of Mt. Meru. The first part of the first day is very much similar to walking safaris. As a result, expect to see giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, zebras, and elephants close to the hiking trail. Due to the presence of wild animals, trekkers are always accompanied by an armed ranger which is mandatory for the duration of the hike. Arrive at Miriakamba Hut for dinner. Enjoy the beautiful sunset and overnight.
Miriakamba Hut (8250ft/2500m) – Saddle Hut (11,550ft/3500m)
Time: 3-4 hours
After breakfast, start ascending along the ridge of the saddle through a steep trail. In the process, you might get lucky and see various wild animals that live in the mountains. The trail offers views of the Mt. Meru Crater and the Ash Tray. Arrive at the camp, hike the little Meru at 3820 meters for acclimatization, followed by an early dinner and going to sleep before starting the midnight summit.
Saddle Hut (11,550ft/3500m) – Summit Attempt (15,0654566m) –Miriakamba Hut 8250ft/2500m
Distance: 5km/3miles ascent/14km/8.6miles descent
Environment: semi-desert, alpine desert, Montane forest
Wake you around midnight for tea and biscuits. The summit to the top will resume at around 1:30 am. The trail follows a steep grade to Rhino Point at 3800 meters and then to Cobra Point at 4350 meters. Towards the end of the hike, you’ll scramble on a rocky ridge between the inner cliffs of Meru and its crater. Arrive at the summit before or at sunrise to see the marvelous sightings of Mt. Meru Ash Tray and the nearby Mt. Kilimanjaro Ash Tray and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Enjoy the views, then descend to Saddle Hut and take a break. After having some snaks, descend further to Miriakamba Hut (2500 meters) for dinner and overnight.
Saddle Hut (11,550ft/3500m) – Summit Attempt (15,0654566m) – Moshi (2970ft/900m)
Distance: 10 Km
Habitat: Rainforest Zone
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours,
After breakfast, then descend to Momela Gate, which takes 2 to 3 hours. The descent follows a shorter route than the ascent, but there is still a chance to see elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, as well as the black and white colobus monkeys. Enjoy lunch at the gate, then meet with the driver and transfer back to Moshi.