At 4,566 meters tall, Mount Meru is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. It is an active volcano (the last eruption was in 1910), situated within Arusha National Park, 70 kilometres (44 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro. About 250,000 years ago, a huge volcanic blast blew off the mountain’s entire eastern flank, creating a giant crater with a narrow and jagged rim. From the summit, this provides climbers today with stunning views of the Ash Cone in the crater several thousand meters below and of the breath taking Kilimanjaro in the background.
Mount Meru has many different vegetation zones. The lower slopes are characterised by open grassland, where it is common to see buffalos, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, zebras, antelopes, and a great variety of birds. The trek then enters into dense mountain rainforest and bushy terrain, subsequently turning into scrubland. The upper slopes are barren expanses of black volcanic ash and occasional massive boulders of lava, with steep cliffs leading the way up to the dramatic summit. Wild animals still roam at Meru’s higher altitudes, especially buffalo. For this reason, an armed ranger must accompany all groups, to ensure that the animals are kept at a safe distance. You will also be accompanied with a knowledgeable mountain guide, a cook, and porters to carry the gear.
Mount Meru has a single climbing route, with two comfortable sleeping huts. While it is possible to complete the climb in three days, we highly recommend four, to ensure adequate time for acclimatization and to truly enjoy the beautiful nature.
Many people planning to climb Kilimanjaro attempt Meru beforehand to help with the acclimatization and to get practice ascending at night in cold weather. If you plan to climb both mountains, we recommend resting at least one full day between climbs. There is also the option of going on a small safari between treks.
Although Meru is a shorter trek than Kilimanjaro and is not as high, in many areas the climb is steeper. The final route to the summit is the biggest challenge, especially when attempting this in the dark. That said, Meru does not require any technical mountain-climbing experience, though a good level of fitness with regular exercise beforehand is recommended.
Note: The gear required is the same as for climbing Kilimanjaro. We will provide you with a list of the needed items along with the itinerary we create for you and additional information about the climb. There will be a briefing upon arrival in Tanzania, as well as a personal equipment check. Any additional equipment you need can be hired.