Mount Meru

Overview

With its 4566m, Mount Meru is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent and the second highest in Tanzania. About 250,000 years ago, a massive volcanic explosion swept away the entire eastern side of the mountain and left it with the distinctive and distinctive appearance it has today. Last eruption: 1910. The ascent of Mount Meru passes through different areas of vegetation: the forest in the lower part gives way to a dense mountain rainforest which, finally, turns into a bush. Towards the top of the mountain, the vegetation is formed by moorland which is replaced by the wonderful alpine deserts. As the flora changes, the fauna also does the same: during the ascent, you will encounter large mammals such as elephants and buffalo, but you may also encounter leopards. For this reason it is mandatory to be accompanied by an armed park ranger during the tour.

1st day Arusha - Momella Gate (1.500m) - Miriakamba Hut (2.500m)

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and, after a 45 minute drive, you will arrive at the Arusha National Park Gate. At the entrance gate, the guide will complete the compulsory registration forms (it is possible to consult the national park information sheets). Once the formalities are completed and the hikers' team is formed (also composed of porters from the surrounding villages), the ascent will begin. An armed park ranger will accompany you as you begin your excursion and you will have the opportunity to take a first look at the wonderful giraffes and buffaloes. Once you leave these herds behind, you will enter the acacia forest following the South Road.

After a steady 2 hour climb, you'll reach the Maio waterfalls and some picturesque meadows that are the perfect place for a picnic. After a rest, you will be on your way again and soon you will reach the famous "Arched fig tree". Here the park ranger will tell you about the formation of this tree and how it got its arch shape on the path. After about another 2 hours, you will arrive at the Miriakamba refuge.

Dinner, overnight at the Miriakamba refuge and breakfast before leaving.

2nd day Miriakamba Hut (2.500m) - Saddle Hut (3.550m)

In the morning, you will leave the Miriakamba refuge and follow a steep path with wooden steps upwards. Due to the increase in altitude, it will be noticeably cooler than the previous day so the hike will seem to be easier. Clouds are also often found in the rainforest and immerse the lush vegetation in a particular atmosphere. After about 2 hours, you will reach the vantage point "Mgongo wa Tembo" (elephant's back) at an altitude of 3,200 m, where you can enjoy a well-deserved break. After another long walk where you will see the vegetation transform from the rainforest into an airy woodland, you will reach Saddle Hut (3,550 m) around noon and there you can relax and have lunch. During the afternoon, you have the opportunity to take a trip to Little Meru (3,820 m), which lasts about an hour and a half and from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro (about 80 km away) . Back at the shelter, a hot dinner awaits you before starting the last speech in view of the ascent the day after the summit.

Dinner, overnight at the Miriakamba refuge and breakfast before leaving.

3rd day Saddle Hut - Socialist Peak (4.562m) - Miriakamba Hut (2.500m)

The alarm will be at night, breakfast with tea and biscuits, you will leave for the summit at 02:00. In the light of the torches, you will follow the path through the bush to the so-called rhino point (3.821 m) where the path turns into a more challenging trek with occasional lighter climbs. You will follow the north ridge to the summit where you will walk on land formed by lava and rock ash. After about 4/5 hours, you will begin to see the Tanzanian peak and flag. From the top, you can enjoy the sun rising over the Kilimanjaro and the fantastic view of the crater of Mount Meru with its steep sides and the "Cono della Cenere" in the middle. The descent follows the same route as far as the Saddle refuge (3.550m) where you can enjoy a long deserved break and recover with hot soup and tea. Once refreshed, you will continue with the descent. In the early afternoon you will arrive at the Miriakamba refuge (2,500 m), tired but happy. Here, you can relax and rethink the last venture you've completed.

Dinner, overnight at the Miriakamba refuge (2,500 m) and breakfast.

4th day Miriakamba Hut (2.500m) - Momella Gate (1.500m)

After breakfast, you will follow a 2/3 hour trek on the so-called "Northern Route" to Momella Gate. The descent is shorter than the climb, but there is still the possibility of seeing elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and colubus monkeys. At the gate, you will say goodbye to your team of hikers and your driver will take you back to Arusha.

Note:

The climb to the summit contains some simple but unsafe climbing passages. A good habit at heights and firm feet are absolutely necessary. In adverse weather conditions (heavy rain, rocks and icy paths or dense fog) the park ranger can postpone the climb to the summit. We do not recommend climbing in the rainy season (April and May).