Mount Meru is an active volcano located 70 kilometres (44 miles) west of Kilimanjaro. It reaches 4,566 metres (14,980 feet) in height but has lost much of its bulk due to an eastward volcanic blast about 8,000 years ago, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption about a century ago. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.
Mount Meru is the topographic centrepiece 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. At the summit, one can find a 2 m high flag of Tanzania in metal and also a milestone in concrete with “Socialist Peak 4562.13m” written.
Mount Meru is a stratovolcano – the main cone of the volcano has a caldera which is 3,5km in diameter. The route to the summit passes through Arusha National Park. Over 400 species of animals roam the lower slopes of the volcano; these include birds, rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, black and white colobus monkey and duiker. For this reason you are accompanied by an armed ranger.
Mount Meru is truly Africa’s most beautiful volcano and is an ideal climb for pre-acclimatization. The photographs from Meru of Kilimanjaro are stunning and all participants are encouraged to bring their cameras to take advantage of the stunning views. (weather permitting)
Two night’s accommodation in Moshi, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, experienced Tanzanian guides on the mountain, all porters, park fees, accommodation on the mountain, all meals as well as mountain rescue while doing the climb, 2 airport transfers, a suggested training program designed by Adventure Dynamics, access to Adventure Dynamics staff for expertise and recommendations.
International airfare, Visas $50 (obtained on arrival), insurance, inoculations (Yellow Fever is compulsory), tips for Tanzanian guides ($150 per person), drinks, personal items, hospitalisation and evacuation from Tanzania if required, any aviation fuel tax surcharge (beyond our control and advised by the Airline at short notice), any requested additional days on the mountain, any unforeseeable increase in Park permit and entrance fees, camping fees and/or any other associated park and government fees, additional meals, lunches, drinks, items of a personal nature.
Day 1: Depart for Kilimanjaro International Airport. Transfer to Moshi Town, overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Depart from your hotel in the morning for Momella Gate of Arusha National Park (1,500 m). After park entrance formalities we begin our hike, assisted by a park ranger. The track passes open grassland, providing an opportunity to see buffalo, warthogs, giraffe, zebra and other grazers. The trail continues as a steady climb through Montane forest. After lunch, the route continues through less dense forest, where there is an abundance of birds and black and white Collobus monkeys. By mid-afternoon, we can see towering cliffs and the 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. (4-6 hours walking). Night in a bunk house.
Day 3: The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep climb. We slowly ascend through lush Montane forest to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. From here we enjoy excellent views of the summit ridge and across the crater floor. The path continues through giant heather and other fascinating moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3,570 m), where lunch will be provided (3-5 hours walking). The afternoon is free to relax and to 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.
Day 4: We start early at around 2 a.m. to climb steeply to Rhino Point (3,800m), continuing along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m) at 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 west towards the Rift Valley, if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4,566 m) is an hour further on a good but steep path. The route back to Rhino Point in the 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 enjoy a rest and brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2,514m). It is about 10-12 hours walking. The descent can be very demanding on legs and knees and it is recommended that everyone ensures they have done sufficient training to cope with the impact on legs and muscles.
Day 5 : After a good night’s rest at Miriakamba Hut we take the direct route down 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 after 2-3 hours walking. Once you reach the end of the climb you will be transferred to your hotel for a celebratory dinner and a welcome shower.
Day 6: Return flight home