Read This Before Hiking Mt Meru


What You Should Know before Climb Mt Meru

Tanzania Local Travel Expert

Mount Meru Climb

The climb up Mt Meru possibly rivals that up Kilimanjaro. There are numerous animals and changes of vegetation to be seen along the way. Parts of the climb are very steep, particularly along with the saddle, but the views are absolutely stunning.

In the dry season, jogging shoes are sufficient, but if there is a possibility of rain, you are advised to have a stout pair of boots. As for Kilimanjaro, bring along plenty of warm clothing. Temperatures drop to below zero at night up on the saddle and around the peak, and there is often snow there, too. You will have your professional guide as well as porters from Shizi safaris who are get paid wages as for porters and guides on Kilimanjaro.

It is obvious from the walking time mentioned below that Mt Meru can be scaled in just 3 days, which make an option if your time is limited but it does limit what you will see on the way and you need to be fairly fit. It may not be Kilimanjaro, but it is not that small either.


Mountain Meru History

It is estimated that Mt. Meru was formed 20 million years ago during earth movements associated with the formation of the Rift Valley. Sometime later, a subsidiary vent opened to the east of the volcano and Ngurdoto was born. As lava continued to spew out thousands of years until a violent explosion blew it apart as a result of superheated gases being trapped beneath the earth’s crust. A repeated activity of this nature gradually increased the size of the crate until the molten rock withdrew to deeper levels, leaving the cone without support. It then collapsed to form the caldera which you see today.

Although Ngurdoto is now extinct, Mt Meru is merely dormant, having last erupted only 100 years ago. The lava flow which occurred at this time can still be seen on the north-western side of the cone. The spectacular Meru Crater has formed 250,000 years ago as the result of a series explosion which blew away the entire eastern wall of the cone and showered the eastern side of the mountain with a mass of mud, rocks, lava and water. The Momela Lakes were formed out of depressions in the drying mud.


Mount Meru Climb Itinerary

Assuming you take 3 days to climb the mountain, below is how the usual route will look like:


Day 1

Momela park to Mirakamba Hut

The first part of the walk is from Momela park headquarters to Mirakamba hut. This will take about five hours while escorted with an armed park ranger since there will be abundant of wild animals although is impossible to predict what you will see and exact where you will see it. you can fairly certain of sighting zebras, waterbuck, hyenas, mongoose, dik-dik, warthogs, baboons, vervet and colobus monkey and leaves you the rest of the day to explore Meru Crater.

Accommodation: Mirakamba Hut

Elevation : (from 1,387 metres to 1,500 metres)
Elevation : (from 4,921 feet  to 3,000 feet )
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Duration: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest


Day 2

Mirakamba Hut to Saddle Hut

Today you will have a short but steep walk with a great view of the Meru Crater and the incredible scenery of the mountain to Saddle Hut and after arriving you will have your hot lunch before taking an afternoon to climb up to the summit of Little Meru (3820 metres) where you will have breathtaking views while observing the sunset.

Accommodation: Saddle Hut

Elevation : (from 2,514 metres to 3,570 metres)
Elevation : (from 8,250 feet  to 11,712 feet )
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Duration: 3-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest and Moorland


Day 3

Saddle Hut to Summit and then back to Momela gate

You will leave around 1 am and walk around the rim of Meru Crater before reaching the summit of Mt. Meru, you will need a torch or flashlight as well as warm clothes since it can be very cold up there. Together with the ranger and your guide you can reach the summit of Mt. Meru in the time of sunrise and after taking good photos then you will start to descend down to Momela gate with a stop at Saddle Hut where you will have a hot lunch. Once arrive at the gate your driver will be there to pick you up and drive to the Hotel in Moshi or Arusha

Elevation : (from 3,570 metres to 4,565 metres to 2,524 metres)
Elevation : (from 14,977 feet  to 11,712 feet to 8,250feet )
Distance: 13 km
Hiking Duration: 12-14 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert Moorland and Montane forest


Wildlife Viewing 

Meru mountain which is rivals Kilimanjaro is a mixture of lush forest and bare rock and has on its eastern side the spectacular Meru Crater, a sheer cliff face which rises over 1500 metres and is one of the tallest of its type in the world.

Animal life is abundant, and although it is impossible to predict what you will see and exactly where you will see it, you can fairly certain of sighting zebras, waterbuck, reedbuck, klipspringer, hippotamus, buffaloes, elephants, hyenas, mongoose, dik-dik, warthogs, baboons, vervet and colobus monkeys. You might even catch sight of the occasional leopard, but there are no lions nor rhinos.

It is possible to see a good deal of the park in just one day – the Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes and the lower slopes of Mt. Meru – assuming you are in a vehicle. But this won’t give you the chance to walk around, so it is much better to spend two days here, staying overnight at a campsite, contact us for more detail about the accommodation in Arusha National Park.



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