Climb Mount Meru
Mount Meru is an active volcano of 4566 metres about 70 kilometres west of Mount Kilimanjaro and our trek is six days to reach the summit and come back. It is an excellent standalone trip or a prequel to climbing Kilimanjaro itself. Some people say that Meru is actually more challenging, and for sure it is much quieter. Therefore there is a lot more wildlife to be seen and the sense of remoteness and solitude is much stronger than on the more famous peak nearby.
The mountain is the centrepiece of Arusha National Park and 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. Trekkers have the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife as they approach and climb the mountain.
The ascent is quite steep in places and the route to the summit passes over a number of streams, moving through grasslands, tropical rainforest, alpine meadows, moorlands and desert uplands to snow and ice. The summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge, which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several hundred feet below in the crater.
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. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption about a century ago. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.
The entire climb and descent covers just over 35 kilometres
Day of Climb Start Level Daily High Point Sleep Level
Day One 1500m 2600m 2600m
Day Two 2600m 3600m 3600m
Day Three 3600m 4566m 3600m
Day Four 3600m 3600m 1500m
When to Climb – Peak seasons are traditionally January to March and June to October, and these are popular times to climb with temperatures in Moshi averaging 22 degrees C and summit temperatures around - 5 degrees C. The rains are in April, May and November but nowadays climate change has changed this pattern greatly. December is getting warmer again with clear skies.
Trip Dates: Our dates are totally flexible and we can work with your own plans. Since we have our own team in Tanzania all year round we can offer any dates you prefer. We do ask that there is a minimum of two people in your party otherwise there would be a single supplement for a solo climb. If you are planning on climbing Mt Meru as an acclimatiser before Mt Kilimanjaro then you should aim to arrive into Tanzania 4 days before the advertised Kilimanjaro arrival date.
Mount Meru fitness and experience
This climb involves some long days of trekking on moderate slopes over rough paths. We will also of course be ascending to altitudes where the effects will certainly be felt, and the itinerary is planned to allow acclimitisation time.
Because of all these factors you will need to be in reasonably good fitness and also in good health. This is from the point of view of safety but also enjoyment. You will have more energy and enthusiasm to enjoy your surroundings and the experience in general if you aren't finding the going to tough.
The most relevant aspects of fitness to work on are general cardiovascular fitness and leg, core and back strength. The best training is to replicate what you will do on the climb by doing long walks of 5 hours or more on undulating terrain with a light rucksack. Things like swimming, cycling, running, rowing etc for 40 minute or longer sessions are also good ways to build the right conditioning.
This is a non-technical trek of Mt Meru, but it offers a mountaineering experience all the same and high altitude to contend with. You will need to be fit and any regular hill walker will find this expedition within his or her capabilities. A training programme should include at least one hill walk a week with a small pack of around 10kgs, and regular visits to the gym or the swimming pool once a week for the final two months before departure. Age is not a limiting factor either; the secret of climbing Mt Meru is to go slowly and enjoy the scenery, drink well, eat well and sleep well. A regular, maintained pace will ensure proper acclimatisation.
The basic idea of the kit we will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move efficiently on the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night. There is a detailed list via the menu below-right but the main points to cover are:-
- BAGS - Large duffle ~90L (carried by porter) + Medium Daypack ~25L (carried by you)
- SHELL - Top and bottoms to keep off wind/rain
- INSULATION - Layered system to keep you warm- body hands & Head
- BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away sweat and to strip down to and keep the sun off when it gets hot
- FEET - Sturdy trekking Boots (not walking Shoes), flip flops or similar, footwear for city
- SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag and camping mat to get a good nights sleep at the huts
- EATING/DRINKING - Water bottles & favorite energy-snacks for during the day
- WASHING & MEDICAL - To allow you to wash and maybe stave off a headache or blister
Mount Meru itinerary
- Arrival on day one
- Climb period on days two to five (arriving back in hotel by mid afternoon)
- Depart on day six or go on four day/three night safari (Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara - lodge or camping or local hotel)
In the itinerary below, the following indicators apply: ST = Starting altitude, HP = High Point for the day and SL = Sleep Level
|1||1500m||n/a||Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.|
|2||ST: 1500m HP: 2615m SL: 2615m||1hr drive 4hrs walk||After breakfast we depart Moshi / Arusha at about 8:30am and drive to Momella gate. Here we meet our team and start the climb with a picnic lunch to the first hut called Miriakamaba hut. Dinner and overnight - Miriakamba hut|
|3||ST: 2615m HP: 3566m SL: 3566m||3.5hrs + 1hr||After breakfast we will proceed with a climb to the second hut called the Saddle. This is a steeper climb compared to yesterday and takes about 3 to 3½hrs. During the afternoon, we can climb little Meru peak if everyone is feeling well, which takes about an hour. Dinner and early to bed at the Saddle hut.|
|4||ST: 3566m HP: 4566m SL: 2615m||
5 /6 hr
|We wake up at mid-night and have a cup of tea and some snacks before starting our attempt of the main Meru peak. We leave the hut and first trek up through the heath-land to the lofty heights of Rhino point (3820m), which offers stunning views of the main summit. Our path then drops then drops down again in altitude along couple of short sections of via ferrata (non precipitous) along a rocky path that then climbs up and up around the stunning crater rim to the high point of Socialist Peak. The views from the top are amazing! As teh sun rises from the east, behind Kilimanjaro which is seemingly at an arms length away; the 360 degree views above a blanket of cloud is breathtaking!
After some time on the summit we make our descent back to the Saddle hut for brunch. After a rest we then drop out of altitude further back down to Miriakamba Hut where we spend the night.
|5||ST: 26156m SL: 1500m||2 / 3hrs||Leave Miriakamba and walk back down through the forest watching out for Colombus monkeys and visiting the stunning waterfalls. We then walk past the giraffes, zebra and buffaloo back to Momella gate where you'll be transferred to Arusha/Moshi.|
|6||n/a||n/a||Onward travel or if you are climbing Kilimanjaro we will have a rest and briefing day and start the climb the following day.|
Mount Meru cost from £1095.00
Based on a min of 2 travellers. For solo climbers or group prices please contact us.
*If you are also climbing Kilimanjaro with us we offer a further discount.
- 2 transfers from Moshi/Arusha to Mount Meru park gate -return
- 3 meals per day while trekking -Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian
- 4 days Mount Meru trek
- 3 nights accommodation in huts while trekking
- All park entrance fees and government levies
- English speaking mountain guide and assistant guides
- Porters and cooks
- All group Equipment
- Personal equipment (see kit list)
- Hotel accommodation before / after the climb ~ 2 nights at £70pps
- International Flights
- Airport transfers (£40 / $50 per vehicle one way) must be requested in advance through the office - pay in advance or cash in-country
- Vaccinations & Medications
- Additional drinks
- Lunch and dinners in Moshi
- Tips ($1500) paid in Tanzanian Shillings to Castro Capelo for distribution at exit gate
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider.
We include three support staff to each member plus one guide for every four members which is the Park requirement. We do not operate kitties and we use a very good hotel in town with which we have built up a strong relationship for the past ten years.
We advise you to take out your insurance as soon as possible to cover potential events that might cause you to cancel your trip.You need to ensure that you have a policy which covers trekking to 4600m as well as helicopter rescue and cancellation. Please see our Insurance advice page for more information.
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due four weeks before travel.
- Duration 6 days
- Numbers 2 - 15
- Altitude 4566m
- Distance 36km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Huts