Mt. Meru 4 day Hike.
Route starts at Momella Gate and heads up through the fig tree arch, over Jekukumia river, Njeku viewpoint and to Miriakamba hut. From Miriakamba to Saddle Hut and options to walk to Little Meru. Summit attempt is normally at night time arriving at dawn. Descend to Saddle for brunch and then onto Miriakamba. Final day is an easy hike out to Momella gate and a short game drive in Arusha National Park before heading back to Arusha.
Pros As a standalone mountain it's a great hike. Also very useful pre Kilimanjaro hike and the set departures on Meru run into Machame set departures. A lot less crowded than Kilimanjaro and more wildlife to see as well.
Cons Night time ascents are generally quite mentally taxing and Meru is a tough hike. People attempting Meru should be hiking fit and those continuing onto Kilimanjaro afterwards should be in great physical shape.
Detailed Itinerary: Mt. Meru 4 Days.
We start from Momella Gate (1,500m.) in late morning. The track soon passes some open grassland, with a good chance of seeing buffaloes and warthogs, and then continues as a steady climb through mountain forest. We take lunch there, or near, the Fig Tree Arch, which is big enough to drive a car birds and monkey. The black and white coleus monkeys are particularly fascinating to watch. By mid-afternoon, there are the first closer views of the towering cliffs and Ash Cone. We reach Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m.), situated in an idyllic grassy glade, in time to enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro (5-6 hours walking).
The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep and sustained climb all the way. We walk through attractive, open, and lush mountain forest to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. This has excellent views of the summit ridge and across most of the crater floor. Whilst resting, you might spot elephants or other animals from here. The path continues uphill through giant heather and other moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3,570 m.), where lunch is waiting for us. The afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the views. The more energetic can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820 m.) for superb views just before sunset. (3-6 hours walking).
An early start at around 2 a.m. to climb steeply at Rhino Point (3,800 m.), and Then continue along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m.) around 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 west towards the Rift Valley if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4,566m.) is an hour more on a superb but often steep path. The route back to Rhino Point in the sharp 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. We rest, and have brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2,514m.). (10-12 hours walking).
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. Sunrise from here is equally as spectacular as from Cobra Pt.
We take the direct route down towards Momella through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back towards the crater and over the plains of the National Park. We should reach Momella Gate by late morning. (2-3 hours walking). Our driver will meet you at the gate to drive back to your hotel in Moshi/Arusha.
END OF TREK!
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Our guides go through bi annual training focusing specifically on topics such as Acute Mountain Sickness, the identification and treatment of Cerebral and Pulmonary Edemas and we even teach topics such as geology and botany - i.e. our systems on Mt Kilimanjaro and Meru.