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Mount Meru is located 50 miles west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Arusha National Park of Tanzania and is 4,562 meters (14,968 feet) tall. Mt Meru treks serve as an ideal warm-up for Mount Kilimanjaro due to its altitude acclimatization and hiking distances. This trek is also geared towards hikers that prefer fewer crowds and a challenging ascent.
Climbing Mount Meru is a shorter hike than Kilimanjaro (at 4 days) and you are accompanied by an armed game ranger due to the presence of wildlife on the lower mountain slopes where hikers are more likely to see elephants, giraffes, and buffalo!
This isn’t a technical climb but there are far more exposed ridges than on Kilimanjaro. The Momella route is the only route up Mt Meru and the hiking trail follows the Northern Route, passing through game lands, rainforests, and open bush, as well as covering some challenging rocky terrain near the top.
There are huts for the overnight accommodation on the hike. For the first scenic leg of the hike, an armed park ranger accompanies you through the game territory, helping to spot any roaming giraffes and buffalos in the area. The hike from Momella Gate (1500m) takes about 4 to 6 hours to get to Miriakamba Hut (2500 meters).
On the next stretch of the hike, you reach the Saddle Hut (3500 meters) after 3 to 5 hours of hiking. While here you can take an optional one and a half-hour walk to Little Meru at 3820 meters. The Little Meru peak offers fantastic views of Mount Kilimanjaro some 80 kilometers away, as well as over Arusha National Park.
Finally, the summit walk starts in the early hours of the morning so that you can walk upon the volcanic ash whilst it is still frozen. Hikers reach Mount Meru Summit (4562m) as the sun is rising and have spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and of the Mt. Meru Crater.
You begin to descent along the same path stopping at the Saddle Hut to regain energy and have some refreshing hot soup and tea then continue with the descent reach the Miriakamba Hut 2500 meters.
The final stretch of the descent takes 2 to 3 hours to reach Momella Gate (1500m) and say goodbye to the team of local porters before departing Arusha National Park to Arusha town where you celebrate summiting Mount Meru.
Climb Mount Meru FAQ's
Where is Arusha National Park/ Mount Meru and How big is it?
Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town
Size: 552 sq km 212 sq miles).
How to get to Mt Meru in Arusha National Park
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.
NOTE: Mountain climbing permits duration time is 12 hours.
What to do in Mount Meru
Forest walks, numerous picnic sites; 3 or 4 days Mount Meru climb offers a good acclimatization for trekking Kilimanjaro.
When to Climb Mt Meru
The best time to climb Mount Meru is from the months of June through to February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December to February.