Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

At a height of 4,566 meters (14,980 ft), Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located in Arusha National Park, 70 Kilometres (43 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania. Typically Mount Meru Climb takes four days, but it can be done in 3 days to complete a trek to the Summit.

It is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the fifth-highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition. Climb Mount Meru, second highest Mountain in Tanzania, is great with no traffic and amazing wildlife experience as you hike past wild animals.

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

Mount Meru Climb Key facts

1. Tanzania’s second tallest mountain at 4,566m
2. Abundant wildlife sightings on day 1 of the climb
3. Great acclimatization climb before tackling Kilimanjaro
4. Ascent and descent via the Momela route over 3 days
5. Dormitory-style hut accommodation

While Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa gets the bulk of the attention when it comes to climbing in Tanzania, there are other peaks that are worth considering too. Most prominent amongst them is Mount Meru, which is found a short distance to the west of Kilimanjaro and serves as a great warm-up trek for those who have the time and are looking for an even bigger adventure. Mount Meru climbing is very rewarding.

Standing 4565 meters (14,980 feet) in height, Mt. Meru is a more approachable climb than Kilimanjaro and serves as a great stand-alone hike in its own right. Many trekkers choose to use Mount Meru as an acclimation hike prior to starting their trek up Africa’s highest peak. Doing so increases their chances of a successful summit on Kilimanjaro and can reduce the number of days needed to climb to the summit at Uhuru Peak.

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

Visitors to Mount Meru climb are more likely to spot wildlife along the trail, particularly in the early days of the hike. Often times a ranger will accompany trekking groups on the first day of the journey to ensure they make it safely to the first campsite.

From there, the route wanders up the north side of Meru’s volcanic crater, before approaching the true summit itself. At the top, the views are outstanding, particularly with Kilimanjaro gleaming tantalizingly in the distance.

Typically Mount Meru Climb takes four days, but it can be done in 3 days to complete a trek to the top as even on this lower peak, acclimatization is the key to success. All trekking groups take the same route up the mountain, which begins at Momella Gate.

Hikers will stay in a series of huts on their way to the top, with basic but comfortable accommodations located at two different campsites prior to the going to the summit, which is located at a place called Socialist Peak.

Mount Meru Climbing offers two advantages to travelers. First, it allows trekkers a chance to experience what it is like to climb Kilimanjaro on a smaller scale, providing a grand adventure for those who don’t have a lot of time in their schedule or don’t want to deal with the higher altitude found on Kilimanjaro.

But perhaps more importantly, it truly is a wonderful way to prepare for the larger challenges that they’ll face on Kilimanjaro, taking some of the mystery and acclimatization process out of the picture before ever stepping foot on the mountain.

Climbing Kilimanjaro offers Mount Meru 3 day or 4 day Climbs. However, clients from different parties and operators are often combined to walk with the armed ranger on the lower slopes.

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

Climb Mount Meru Itinerary

Climb Mount Meru Hiking. Below we have shared a 4 day / 3 nights Meru climb but you can do it in 3 days / 2 nights which we do not recommend due to long walking distance from Miriakamba Hut to the Socialist Peak and back all the way to Momella Gate.


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



Leaving early in the morning from your accommodation in Arusha or Moshi and driving to Momella gate in Arusha National Park. Driving takes about 3 hours from Moshi and about 1 hr from Arusha. At the gate you will clear your trekking permits, meet up with your porters, guide, cook and game ranger, and start climbing. You will pass open grassland which will give you a good opportunity to see buffaloes, warthogs and other grazers.

You will cross the Ngare Nanyuki River and continue climbing through mountain forest. There you will have chance to see many different kind of birds and black and white colobus monkeys. Finally, you will reach Miriakamba Hut where you will stay overnight.



Second day climbing is quite short but demanding. You will start early in the morning and ascent steeply through lush mountain forest full of birds to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. There you can see the crater. After 3 to 5 hours climbing, you will reach Saddle Hut where you will have lunch.

In the afternoon you will have another hiking to Little Meru (3794 m) for superb views before sunset. Then you will return to Saddle Hut for overnight. It is good to go to sleep early so that you get enough rest for the next day’s hiking.

DAY 3 : SADDLE HUT (3570 M) – RHINO POINT (3850 M) – PEAK ( 4566 M) – RHINO POINT (3850 M) – SADDLE HUT (3570 M) – MIRIAKAMBA HUT (2541 M)


You will start climbing between 1 to 2 at night. The route is very steep towards Rhino Point (3850 m) and from there towards the summit along very narrow ridge. You will reach the mount Meru summit, Socialist Peak, (4566 m) right at the sunrise.

The sceneries there are stunning; you will see Mount Kilimanjaro in close distance. After taking photos on the summit you will descent back to Saddle hut.
Note: On icy conditions or strong wind it is not necessarily possible to pass the ridge between Rhino Point and summit. You guide will decide if the conditions are not good enough to continue.


You will leave about at 8.00 in the morning and descent to Momella gate. You can choose longer or shorter route down.

On the longer way down you have very good changes to see wildlife and the ash cone. Once at the gate, it’s time to tip your porters, guide, cook and game ranger. After that your transportation back to Moshi will be waiting for you.

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking

Mount Meru is an active volcano with a height of 4566 m, located in Arusha National Park in Tanzania.

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.

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking


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 acclimatization 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 acclimatization.

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

3 Day Mount Meru Climb quick overview

Day 1: Arusha – Momella gate – Mariakamba Hut Drive 1 Hr, Hike Distance 10 km, 4 – 5 hrs, 1000m ascent, Altitude: 2516m

Drive to the Arusha National Park gate at Momella. For the first section of the climb through the lush forest, crossing the Ngare Nanyuki river to reach Miriakamba Hut at 8337ft/2541m for overnight stay. Dinner and overnight Mariakamba Hut.

Day 2: Mariakamba Hut to Saddle Hut
Hike Distance 4km, 2 – 3 hrs, 1050m ascent, Altitude: 3566m

Continue to ascend steeply through the pleasant forest glades and giant heather to reach Saddle Hut at 11,713ft/3570m.
From here it is possible to take a side trek to reach the summit of Little Meru 12,450ft/3794m and return to Saddle Hut in about 2 hours. Dinner and overnight Saddle Hut.

Day 3: Saddle Hut to Meru Summit to Momella Gate
Hike distance 5km ascent + 19km descent, 4 – 5 hrs ascent + 6-8 hours descent, 1000m ascent, Altitude: 4566m

An early start to reach Rhino Point and then on to the summit at 14,981ft/4566m to see the sunrise behind Mount Kilimanjaro, before descending back to Momella Gate to be met and transferred back to your hotel.
Drive 1 hr back to Arusha.

Mount Meru Cost

The price for a 3-day Meru climb is USD 950 Per Person and the price for a 4-day Meru climb is USD 1050 per person. You can climb Mount Meru all year round and you can pick and choose your own travel dates but we recommend you avoid the rainy season. The best time to climb Mount Meru is January to early March and June to October.

Mount Meru Climbing Safety

  •  Be open and honest with us at all time. We’re part of the same team and share the same goal – to reach the top and come back comfortably and safely.
  • Never pretend to feel well if you don’t before or during climb.
  • Make sure you are in good physical and mental health before attempting the mountain. We recommend a medial check prior to any climb.
  • Most people will experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness. Your guide is experienced in identifying and dealing with altitude sickness, but you should also educate yourself about the symptoms and prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Sickness (HAS), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
  • Should you experience any symptoms of AMS, immediate descent is the remedy on Mt. Meru and will be ordered by your guide.

Before Climbing Mount Meru

  • Start your physical preparation (hiking) at least two months before. Decrease efforts the last 2 weeks and rest the final days before the climb so your body can recover properly. We recommend long walks in different terrain, swimming and yoga.
  • Start practicing deep, deliberate breathing.
  • Make sure you are properly equipped.
  • You should bring some “comfort” food, such as chocolate and energy bars or energy drinks powder. You might need this for a boost on summit night.

During Mount Meru Climb

  • Be positive and prepared for any kind of weather and surface – rainy, foggy, snowy, dusty, muddy, loose surface.
  • Ascend slowly. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Take deep, deliberate breaths.
  • Communicate openly with your guide and follow his instructions at all times. He is the most experienced person on the mountain and there to assist you at all times.
  • At high altitudes, loss of appetite is common. Eat and drink properly even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Mount Meru summit day/night is tough. Steep ascent and sheer drops at some places, cold, wind and loose gravel surface will require your best efforts. Prepare yourself for this challenge and conserve mental and physical energy from the start. You will need it!
  • Don’t forget to enjoy! Feel connected to the mountain and feel the spiritual experience offered to you.

Items included

  • Transport to/from Arusha National Park
  • Overnight stays in mountain huts
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
  • Clean, purified drinking water
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters

Items not included

  • Airport transfers (can be included upon request)
  • Accommodation in Arusha (can be included upon request)
  • Tanzania Visa
  • Gratuity
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)

Climbing Mount Meru Hiking