Mount Meru is Mount Kilimanjaro's little sister, standing at 4,566m compared to 5,895m, It’s one of Africa's highest and most beautiful volcanoes. The route to the summit passes through parkland, mountain forest, a giant heather zone and moorland.
Finally, the summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater and Kilimanjaro in the background. Over 400 species of birds, rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, black and white Colobus monkey and duiker are all found in this delightful "gem amongst parks".
The visit to the Ngurdoto crater and Momella lakes, with their superb scenery, flamingos and other wildlife, is an unforgettable experience.
Mount Meru is the centrepiece of Arusha National Park and is known as the 2nd highest peak of Tanzania (5th in Africa). From there you will have superb views of the Momella Lakes, Kilimanjaro, Lake Natron and the distant plains.
Meru has advantages over Kilimanjaro in that it has (being lower) been less popular. This means there are still large numbers of game on the lower slopes and that the flora is richer.
Day 1: Nairobi-Arusha
Depart from Nairobi and head towards Arusha arriving in the evening. Once at the hotel, you will have time to freshen up, have dinner, pre-climb briefing and then retire for the night.
Day 2: Hotel-Momela Gate (1,500m/4,921ft) Miriakamba Hut (2,516m/8,255ft)
After breakfast, we will depart for the Momela gate of Arusha National park (1,500m). Here you begin your hike towards Miriakamba hut accompanied by a park ranger. The initial part of the trek passes through open grassland giving you the opportunity to see buffalos, giraffes, warthogs and other grazers. The climb continues upwards towards the montane forest.
After a lunch break by the giant fig tree arch, you continue through the less dense forest surrounded by an abundance of birds and Columbus monkeys. After a good 4-6 hours climb, you reach Miriakamba hut (2,516m) for dinner and over-night stay.
Day 3: Miriakamba Hut (2,516m/8,255ft) to Saddle Hut (3,570m/11,713ft)
The hike from Miriakamba hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short but steep one. We slowly ascend through the lush montane forest to reach halfway through Elephant ridge. The ascent continues through giant heather to reach Saddle hut just in time for lunch.
The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the magnificent views. The more energetic can make the short climb to the summit of Little Meru (3,820m) for superb views of the summit route and Kilimanjaro at sunset.
You descend back to Saddle hut for dinner and over-night stay.
Day 4: Saddle Hut – Summit (Socialist Peak 4,556m/ 14,948ft) - Miriakamba Hut-Park Gate
We start as early as 2a.m on a steep climb to Rhino Point (3,800m). You continue up on an undulating ridge of ash and ice to reach Cobra point at sunrise (4,556m). The views of the crater rim, the ash cone rising off the crater floor and the majestic Kilimanjaro in the distance are stunning from here.
The summit of Socialist Peak (4,556m) is an hour further on a good but steep path. The route back to Rhino point in the morning light on the narrow ridge between the outer walls of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall, is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa.
We enjoy a short rest and brunch at Saddle hut before making the long descent to Miriakamba hut and further down to the park gate.
Here you will be met by our representative to be transferred to Arusha for dinner and over-night stay.
Day 5: Departure
After breakfast, depart for Nairobi arriving late afternoon.
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