Mount Meru (Tanzania)

Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 metres (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the ninth or tenth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition. Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption in 1910.The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.

Mount Meru’s ash cone that has formed in the old crater.

Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards.

First ascent in 1904 by Fritz Jager.

MT. MERU:

 

Smaller but still challenging, at 4566 m, Mt Meru offers the avid mountaneer as well as the discerning amateur an unsurpassed challenge.

 

Below 3 days itinerary, but a 4th day is highly recommended for acclimatization and also to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful scenery offered as you trek.

 

Day 1:

After breakfast, we depart Moshi for Momella Gate.

Momella Gate is located near Shamba La Mbogo, a natural glade in the Mt. Meru Game Reserve. It is situated at 1,500m above sea level. Two routes are available from Momella Gate: The first route goes through the forest towards the crater floor and then steeply up to Miriakamba Hut. The second option climbs gradually through the grassland direct to Miriakamba Hut.

After all formalities, we begin trekking accompanied by an armed ranger. We will ascend up to Miriakamba Hut situated at 2,500m above sea level. The trekking takes approximately 3 hours. We will be walking amidst the montane forest where various species of flora and fauna can be found on this part of the mountain. There are beautiful views of Arusha National Park’s various landscapes that can be seen from this trek and, weather-permitting, spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro can also be seen. This day is very enjoyable as you also meet a lot of wildlife en route.

 

Day 2:

From Miriakamba Hut the path is steep compared to other mountains in the region. We continue our ascent on a narrow winding trail through a thick montane forest, where various species of vegetation can be seen. There are water streams that we cross before approaching the moorland zone. A good view of Little Meru can be seen on a clear day, just as you approach Saddle Hut.

Buffalo footprints can be seen. Some bird species, and plenty of Africana Masaica, a shrub plant that stings can also be seen on both sides of the trail . The ascent takes approximately 4 hours. After our arrival at Saddle Hut (3,500m), you have the option to embark on a 45 minute walk to Little Meru (3,820m). it has a meandering trail which is aided with good grass cover to give you good grip. One can see the Kenyan border from the peak of Little Meru, Ngara Nanyuki -a town that lies after the Arusha National Park, as well as gorgeous views of West Mt, Kilimanjaro and Longido.

Day 3:

Our ascent to Big Meru, the summit of Mt. Meru (4,566m) begins at around midnight and takes us from the moorland zone to alpine desert zone. The trek will take approximately 6-7 hours. Along we will pass Rhino Point as we walk around the rim of Meru crater. Conditions are cold and windy and during the rainy season ice and snow can occur in this section of the route.

If sunrise is your thing, you have two options:

You can trek up to the summit in time to watch the sun rising from behind Kilimanjaro or

You can leave Saddle Hut later in the morning and head to Rhino Point, about an hour away. Sunrise here is as impressive and perhaps even more so because you also see the main cliffs of the inner wall of the crater being illuminated by the rising sun. You can always add an extra day to the itinerary in order to appreciate both.

From the summit we return to Saddle Hut for breakfast and then proceed to Miriakamba Hut and eventually down to Momella gate, in the late afternoon, where you will be awaited by our transport to hotel in Moshi.

 

MENU: (We accommodate vegetarian/non vegetarian- inform us for any special dietary needs)

 

BREAKFAST

Toast (with honey, jam and/or butter); French toast; pancakes; sausage; bacon; eggs (scrambled, fried, omelet); cooked vegetables; fruits (oranges, mangos, bananas), cereals; hot cereal; tea; coffee; cocoa; juice

LUNCH

Cold meat sandwiches; tuna or chicken salad sandwiches; grilled cheese sandwiches; fruits (oranges, mangos, bananas);  eggs; French fries, otherwise known as chips; tea; coffee; cocoa; juice.

DINNER

Beef, chicken (roasted, stewed, curried); pasta; rice; vegetables (stewed, boiled, steamed, curried); potatoes (mashed, boiled, fried); corned beef + cabbage; Ugali (Local dish); fruits (oranges, mangos, bananas); tea; coffee; cocoa, juice.