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Mount Meru
Summary Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second highest mountain and Africa’s fifth highest.
Photo
Looking down on the Ash Cone from the summit of Mount Meru
Price
  • 3 days: $555/person
  • 4 days: $685/person
  • 5 days: $785/person
  • Minimum group size: 2 people
  • Single supplement: $20/day
  • Extra days on the mountain: $100/person/day
  • Included:
    • Two nights accommodation in Moshi - Bed and Breakfast
    • Transportation from Moshi to the Momella Gate and return to Moshi
    • National Park Gate Fees, Hut/Camping Fees, and Rescue Fees
    • Guides and Porters Salaries
    • All meals on the mountain
    • Armed Ranger Fee
  • We can taylor a climbing itinerary for you
Duration 3, 4, or 5 days trekking from Moshi
Length 46 km/29 mi round trip
Elevation 3,065 m/10,056 ft gain
Momella Gate (1,500 m/4,921 ft) to Mount Meru (4,565 m/14,977 ft) and return
Description At 4,565 m/14,977 ft, Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. Meru is the only great isolated stratovolcano in East Africa that is still active. A massive eruption 7,800 years ago shattered Meru’s upper slopes and formed an oblong 8 km/5 mi wide caldera that is open to the east. 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 snowfields on its slopes. It is best to allow 4 days for climbing Meru, since it involves a large elevation gain, but you can do the trek in 3 or 5 days. There are huts available to climbers on the mountain and firewood is supplied. Your ascent involves hiking through grassland and forest on the mountain’s lower slopes where you can see animals grazing. Higher, you hike and scramble along the breathtaking crater rim to the summit. Aside from being a rewarding and picturesque trek in its own right, Meru is also great acclimatization for a Kilimanjaro climb. You need advance permission from the park warden at Momella Gate before you start your ascent.
Map
Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory
Mount Meru Itinerary
Moshi
(915 m/3,000 ft)
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Springlands Hotel in Moshi for your overnight.
Day 1
Moshi (915 m/3,000 ft) to Momella Gate
(1,500 m/4,921 ft)
to Miriakamba Huts
(2,514 m/8,250 ft)
10 km, 4-6 hours
Montane Forest
Transfer from Moshi to Arusha National Park, check in with park personnel, and in the late morning, walk under the Momella Gate to begin your trek. You soon pass some open grassland where you can view buffalo, warthogs, and elephants. Then, you continue a steady climb through montane forest. You can pause for your lunch at the famous Fig Tree. After lunch you, continue through less dense forest, where you can see birds and monkeys, including the black and white Colobus. By mid afternoon, you 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 afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains between Meru and Kilimanjaro. If you are lucky, a giraffe may walk through camp.
Day 2
Miriakamba Huts
(2,514 m/8,250 ft)
to Saddle Huts
(3,570 m/11,712 ft)
8 km, 3-5 hours
Forest and Moorland
It is often clear in the morning, so if you want a view of Kilimanjaro, get up early. From the Miriakamba Huts, you climb steeply to the crater rim, which is called Elephant Ridge at this point. Then, you follow a steep path through attractive open lush Montane Forest to reach the giant heather in the Moorland near 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, but energetic trekkers can 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 - Summit Day!
Saddle Huts
(3,570 m/11,712 ft)
to Mount Meru
(4,565 m/14,977 ft)
to Miriakamba Huts
(2,514 m/8,250 ft)
5 km up, 13 km down
10-12 hours
Alpine Desert, Moorland, and Montane Forest
Start early at 2 AM, and climb steeply for an hour to Rhino Point (3,800 m/12,467 ft). In icy conditions or in strong winds, it may be unreasonable to progress beyond Rhino Point, but sunrise from here is equally as spectacular as from Cobra Point. If the weather is fine, descend slightly and continue along or near a rough undulating ridge of ash and rock 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. Hike for another hour on a superb but often steep path into the unfolding day to reach the summit of Meru. The view from the top of this steep-sided peak can make you feel quite unique and suspended. Your hike back to Rhino Point in the still sharp morning light between the crater’s sloping outer wall and sheer cliffs of the inner wall 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 on Day 3.
Day 4
Miriakamba Huts
(2,514 m/8,250 ft)
to Momella Gate
(1,500 m/4,921 ft)
to Moshi
(890 m/2,920 ft)
10 km, 2-4 hours
Montane Forest
Taking a slightly different route, make a fast descent through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back toward the crater and over the plains of the national park. You will reach Momella Gate by late morning. Remember to tip your guides and porters, since you will be leaving them here. A vehicle will take you back to the Springlands Hotel in Moshi, where it is definitely time for celebration!
Moshi
Continue to Kilimanjaro, depart for the airport, or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris around Moshi and the Kilimanjaro region.
Extra Day
You can make this a 5-day trek by only descending to the Saddle Huts on Day 3, descending to the Miriakamba Huts on Day 4, and descending to the Momella Gate on day 5. This itinerary makes the long descent much easier and gives you more time to enjoy the mountain.

 
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