TAKE ON THE VOLCANO OF MOUNT MERU
So it’s not as high as Mount Kilimanjaro, but Mount Meru has its own attractions – spectacular scenery and wildlife including elephant and buffalo, plus the chance to escape the tourist crowds of its bigger East African brothers like Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya or the Ngorongoro Crater. Within sight of Kilimanjaro in the Arusha National Park, Mount Meru boasts some of the tallest cliffs on the continent (over 1500m ) on the western side of the crater formed after a massive eruption over 500 000 years ago destroyed the volcano’s cone shape. Still considered an active volcano, with eruptions reported in the last century, it ranks as Tanzania’s second highest mountain (at 4562 metres) after Kilimanjaro and some claim it to be the fourth highest in Africa. An added bonus is the chance to also summit the Little Meru sub-peak at 3820 metres on this trek.
Two nights at Meru View Lodge and then three nights in mountain huts during the trek.
English speaking park ranger, guide, personal porters; meals; mineral water; park gate transfers; park and rescue fees; 3 nights in mountain huts.
- Like walking on the moon
- Escape the crowds
- Hike along crater rim
- Stay in mountain huts
- Amazing wildlife in lower slopes
- Airport transfer to hotel
Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to the Meru View Lodge in Usa River where you will have a preliminary talk in preparation for your trek and overnight.
Transfer to Arusha National Park’s Momella Gate (1500m). Start your trek with a hike through giraffe and buffalo territory into the acacia forest. After a 4 hour climb on the Southern Route, with a break for a picnic in the meadows near Maio Falls you will reach the Miriakamba Hut (2500m). Along the way walk through the ‘Arched Fig Tree’ which has grown into an arch over the path.
Follow a steep track with wooden steps upwards. As the altitude rises, it will be noticeably cooler and seem to get easier and the clouds seem to hang in the rainforest. Reach the Saddle Hut (3550m)at about midday after taking a break at ‘Mgongo wa Tembo’ (Elephant back) at an elevation of 3200m, and hiking through changing vegetation as rainforest becomes airy bush land. After lunch there’s the option of a 60 to 90 minute side trip to Little Meru (3820m) to enjoy wonderful views of the park and Kilimanjaro in the distance.
Leave for the summit at 02h00, following the trail by torchlight through bush land to Rhino Point (3821m) where the path becomes more challenging with occasional light climbs as you follow the north ridge to the summit on ground alternating between lava ash and rock. After 4 or 5 hours, you’ll reach the summit in time to watch the sun rising over Kilimanjaro and enjoy the fantastic view of Mount Meru’s crater with its steep sides and the “Ash Cone” in the middle. The descent follows the same route back to Saddle Hut (3550m) for a break and during the early afternoon, you will reach Miriakamba Hut (2500m) to overnight
Trek for 2 -3 hours on the ‘Northern Route’ back to Momella Gate with the chance to see elephants, buffalos, giraffes and black and white colubus monkeys. Transfer back to Usa River.
After breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for onward travel.
Note: The summit stage contains a few simple but unsecured climbing passages requiring a good head for heights and sure footedness. The summit climb may be called off in bad weather; climbs in the rainy season (April and May) not recommended.
(Depends on tour group size)
Single supplement $60
Minimum age 16 years
International and regional flights plus taxes and visa fees. Accommodation in Arusha. Alcohol & soft drinks. Personal items. Medical & travel insurance. Tips & gratuities. Lunch on Day 4 & all snacks.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
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