The second tallest peak in Tanzania is well worth a climb in its own right and is frequently used for acclimatisation and as a warm-up climb for Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru is regarded as Kilimanjaro’s smaller brother, although it is nevertheless the fifth tallest peak on the African continent.

Why Climb Mount Meru

There are several reasons to include Mount Meru into your Tanzania adventures list. Regrettably, this volcano is often outshadowed by Kilimanjaro – located in the immediate vicinity, it attracts more international hikers, thus making it a secondary hiking destination or a warm-up exercise. The majority of hikers, however, ignore it altogether.

We, at Kilimanjaro Heroes Adventures, firmly believe that Mt Meru hiking is a great adventure by itself because of these reasons:

Reason 1 - Stunning scenery

Mount Meru features incredibly captivating scenic vistas. The trek to Socialist Peak (4566 m/14,980 f), traverses several climatic zones, offering diverse landscapes and unparalleled scenes for wildlife photography.

The views from the summit area of Mt Meru are truly rewarding – valleys, forests and meadows, all buried in lush verdure, and magnetizing view of the Kilimanjaro peak looming on a horizon will surprise even the most seasoned travellers.

Reason 2 - Rich wildlife

Nestled in Arusha National Park, Mount Meru is one of the few mountains of the world still densely inhabited by the wildlife, which freely roam on its slopes. The hikers are likely to experience multiple encounters with different animals, including buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, giraffes and, with some luck in your pocket, even elephants.

Reason 3 - No crowds

Meru is not yet popular among hikers. During the high season, on the popular routes of Kilimanjaro (Marangu and Machame) there is a chance of “traffic jams”, something that you will never experience on the trails of Meru. For those who are seeking reclusive, tranquil hiking in the wild, Meru is a great choice.

RANGER ESCORT REGULATIONS

The rules of Arusha National Park prescribe that all groups climbing Mount Meru must be accompanied by an armed ranger. Distribution of rangers to climbing groups is managed by the administration of Arusha National Park. During busy times, the park may assign only one ranger to several groups doing the climb at the same time. The ranger will have to keep the pace of the slowest climber. Although we will make every effort to negotiate a private ranger for your group, at this point no mountain tour company is in the position to guarantee it.

Mount Meru climb is a truly unforgettable one-of-a-kind adventure. To enjoy it to the full, please be prepared for the possibility of the arrangements described above. This applies only to Meru climbs, but not to Kilimanjaro.

EXCELLENT PREPARATION FOR KILIMANJARO

Climbing Mount Meru is by far the most proven way to gain acclimatization for your Kilimanjaro adventure. As we explained in our article about the importance of high altitude acclimatization, it is the adaptation of your body to the heights (not your physical strength and stamina) that is critical for the Kilimanjaro success.Practically, the longer you stay at high altitudes, the better your body adapts. Thus, hiking Meru before Kilimanjaro is a good extra acclimatization boost for you, hugely elevating your Uhuru chances! In addition, Mt Meru trekking gives good insights into what it takes to be a member of a true mountain expedition. A minor of version of Kilimanjaro, it gives a glimpse into the “main mount” challenge, showing you what the future adventure will be like.

Reason 4 - Mount Meru hiking tour is affordable

In contrast to other hiking adventures, Mt Meru climb is quite an affordable activity. Because no tents are necessary (overnight stays on Mt Meru are in huts), the number of crew is small, reducing the travel costs. Therefore, for those with shrinking budgets, Meru can become a good and affordable alternative.

Reason 5 - Excellent addition for the safari tour

The wildlife of Tanzania is what attracts most of the visitors to the country. Tanzania has been voted the best destination for wildlife viewing several years in a row.

At the same time, flying over half of the world surely justifies having more diverse experiences. Thus, pairing your safari tour with a Meru climb may be an excellent idea to get the best of Tanzania.

Mount Meru Expedition – Essential points

The key features of Mt Meru expedition:

You do not need special alpine skills or experience to take part. Together with Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is a “hiking”, not climbing “mountain”. Neither ropes, nor ice axes or helmets are necessary – the trekkers reach the Socialist Peak (4,562 m/14,967 f) on foot, and for the majority of them, Mt Meru is the first mountaineering experience.

Ordinary fitness level is ok. Meru hiking does not require anything special – as long as you can comfortably walk up to 10 km/6 miles per day, you can do it. Trekking level there is moderate.

Acclimatization to altitude is important! Do not take it lightly – the altitude of Mt Meru is serious enough to be the cause of altitude sickness. Follow these fundamental rules acclimatization:

  • Hike slowly (recommended pace is two times slower than your ordinary one)
  • Drink much water (3-4 liters per day)
  • Listen to your guide
  • Do not drink alcohol

The combination of these simple principles will make your Meru climb enjoyable, safe and successful.

The crew will take care of everything. Under the TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority), a qualified guide should accompany the hikers. The team of porters and cooks are responsible for carrying your luggage, camp organization, food preparation, etc.

Under the local customs, in order to promote employment, half of the porters crew should be hired from the Meru tribe, which live in the foothills of Mount Meru.

Overnight stays on Mount Meru are in huts only. In contrast to Kilimanjaro, where tented camping options are available on all routes but Marangu, on Mount Meru one should be ready to stay in huts only.

An armed ranger will be accompanying your party up to the summit camp. In order to make your stay in the wild safe and protect the animals from poachers, an armed ranger will be hiking with you up to Saddle Hut Camp (see itinerary below).

Mount Meru Climb – day-by-day itinerary

There is only one route leading to Socialist Peak – “Momella”. Three and four day hiking are available

3-DAY Vs 4-DAY HIKE:

HOW TO CHOOSE? If the schedule allows and you have not gained acclimatization on other mountains before (meaning that you have successfully climbed anything above 4,000m/13,123f and did not get affected by altitude sickness), we always recommend choosing a longer option. The more time you spend on Mount Meru – the more effectively your body adapts to the altitude, making the whole experience less stressful for it.

The Momella route approaches Mount Meru from the eastern face, moving up through the northern ridge to the peak.

The total trek distance is 45 km/27 miles.