Mount Meru is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent and the second highest in Tanzania at 4566 m. About 25000 years ago, a massive volcanic blast blew away the entire eastern flank of the mountain and left it with the characteristic and distinctive appearance it has today. The Mt Meru ascent passes through many different vegetation zones. The dry forest of the lower region gives way to a dense mountain rain forest, which then turns into a shrub land.
Towards the top of the mountain, the vegetation consists of heath and moorland and is then finally replaced by the stunning baron alpine deserts. As the flora changes the wildlife does so too, which is diverse and equally impressive. During the ascent, you will regularly come across large game such as elephants and buffalo but you may also come across leopards. Due to this, it is obligatory to be accompanied by an armed park ranger on your tour.
Mount Meru Guides and Porters:
Guides are mandatory for every trek up Mount Meru, they are armed and are there for your safety to protect you from the abundant wildlife. Porters are not mandatory but make the trek more enjoyable. Porters will carry up to 15kg each. You can hire both porters and guides at the Momella gate but plan ahead at least a day. If you`re trekking with an operator (see below), these services are usually included in the price. Ask around for tipping guidelines as this is a significant part of the guides, porters and cooks salaries.
Mount Meru Accommodation:
On Mount Meru two huts provide accommodation, Saddle Hut (3570 m) and Miriakamba Hut (2514 m). It`s common to spend the first and third nights at Miriakamba and the second at Saddle hut. Huts fill up well in advance and it may be prudent to bring a tent to pitch if you`re planning to trek during the high season (December - February). Both huts offer wonderful views.
Day 1: Arrive Arusha. Arrive at Arusha where you will be met for an early evening pre-climb briefing on the trek. After dinner make final preparations for the trek and enjoy a comfortable night rest.
Day 2: Transfer to Arusha Park- Mount Meru - Miriakamba. Drive to the Momella gate in Arusha National Park from where you start hiking. The first section of the climb takes you through grasslands and further up through lush indigenous forest, crossing the Ngare Nanyuki river to reach Miriakamba Hut at 2541m where you will stay overnight. Duration of hike is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
Day 3: Miriakamba - Saddle Hut - Little Meru. Today you continue to ascend steeply through the forest and giant heather to reach Saddle Hut at 3570 m. Walking time is 2 to 3 hours. From here it is possible to take a side trek to reach the summit of Little Meru which lies at 3794m. The return trip takes about 2 hours. Summit.
Day 4: Summit - Saddle - Miriakamba - Momela Gate. An early pre-dawn start takes you via Rhino Point and then on to the summit at 4566m to see the sun rise behind Mount Kilimanjaro. After viewing this spectacular vista descend back down to Momella Gate to be met and transferred back to Arusha for dinner and overnight stay. If you would prefer to take the last day at a more relaxed pace, it is possible to extend the trek by a day and return to Saddle hut to overnight before returning to Momella gate.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Tanzania Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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