Mount Meru (4566 m)

Tanzania's second-highest mountain.

About this route

Mt Meru is one of Africa’s most beautiful, dormant volcanic cones. Standing at 4566 m, it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and also the fifth highest mountain in Africa! The rewarding climb to the summit takes you through grassland and lush forest, where you are likely to spot wildlife, and onto the knife-edge crater rim.

Stunning sights into the crater and breath-taking views across to the majestic Kilimanjaro make this an incredible climbing experience! The entire trek, with accommodation in huts, takes 3 to 4 days and is an excellent way to acclimatize before taking on its’ big brother, Kilimanjaro!

Mount Meru

Duration: 4 days

Starts from: Arusha or Moshi

Ends at: Arusha or Moshi

Accommodation: Mountain huts

Price: from 1000 USD per person

The route day-to-day

(click on the day to expand)

Day 1: Momella Gate (1580 m) to Miriakamba Hut (2514 m)
Hiking time: 5-6 h / Distance: 14 km / Ascent: 950 m

Depart from your lodge in the morning for Momella Gate of Arusha National Park (1580 m). Begin your hike along the southern route guided by an armed park ranger. The track passes open grassland providing an opportunity to see buffalo, warthogs and other grazers. The trail continues as a steady climb through Montane forest. A short lunch break can be enjoyed either at the giant Fig Tree arch or at the base of the scenic Maio Waterfalls. After lunch, the route continues through less dense forest, where there are an abundance of birds (Hartlaub’s Turaco) and Black and White Colobus monkeys.

By late afternoon, after entering the crater floor, you can see towering cliffs and the Ash Cone. After crossing the crater floor, the trail descends the last few hundred metres to the Miriakamba Hut (2515 m), situated in an idyllic grassy glade. After checking in you can relax and enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation: Miriakamba Hut. (-/L/D)

Day 2: Miriakamba Hut (2514 m) to Saddle Hut (3566 m)
Hiking time: 4-5 h / Distance: 6,5 km / Ascent: 1050 m

The trek from Miriakamba Hut to the Saddle Hut which lies just below Little Meru is a short day but a steep climb. You slowly ascend through lush Montane forest to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge Mgongo wa Tembo – apparently an elephant fell into the crater here!).

From here you can enjoy excellent views of the summit ridge and across the crater floor. The path continues in a serpentine fashion steadily upwards through giant heather and other fascinating moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3566 m) where lunch will be provided. After a short break, you will proceed to ascend Little Meru (3801 m) as part of your acclimatization programme. If you are lucky and the weather is clear you will be rewarded with stunning views across the Maasai plains towards Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation: Saddle Hut. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Saddle Hut (3566 m) to Socialist Peak (4566 m) and down to Miriakamba Hut (2514 m)
Hiking time: 12-14 h / Distance: 18 km / Ascent: 1000 m / Descent: 2050 m

We start early at around midnight to climb steeply to Rhino Point (3800 m), continuing along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4350 m) at 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 westwards the Rift Valley if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4566 m) is an hour further on along a good but steep path – the last part requires some scrambling up the rocks. At the summit you can enjoy the spectacular views before proceeding down the crater rim.

The route back to Rhino Point in the morning light, 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. After gathering up your belongings you enjoy a rest and well-deserving brunch at Saddle Hut to stock up on energy before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut. Here you will have your last night on the mountain before descending back to the Momella Gate.

Note: 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.

Accommodation: Miriakamba Hut. (-/L/D)

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut (2514 m) to Momella Gate (1580 m)
Hiking time: 3-4 h / Distance: 6 km / Descent: 950 m

After a leisurely breakfast you will descend via the northern route which leads you through open grassland and mixed forest providing good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back towards the crater and over the plains of the National Park. You should reach Momella Gate by late morning after crossing an open grass plain which is home to numerous animals including buffalo, giraffe and warthogs.

At the Momella Gate you will join up with your mountain team who will provide you with your luggage. This is a good opportunity for you to tip the team and say goodbye. Once you have ‘checked out’ you will receive a certificate after which you will then be transferred back to your hotel.


Requirements on Mt. Meru

Persons attempting the climb must be physically very fit and in very good general health. You need surefootedness, trekking experience, good physical shape for the hiking stages lasting several hours, team spirit and acceptance to staying in simple accommodations.


Please note

Huts and toilet facilities on the mountain are basic and water for personal hygiene on the mountain is limited. Clients climb at their own risk. It is at the guide’s discretion to break off a climb in case weather conditions or clients health dictate it for safety reasons.

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