Mount Meru Climb
A thrilling hiking adventure in the pristine wild
Magnetized by Mt Kilimanjaro, the hikers often overlook Mt Meru, the second highest peak of Tanzania. Towering over Arusha National Park, Mount Meru offers both an excellent warm-up exercise for Kilimanjaro, in addition to being a stunning trekking experience in the wild by its own right.
Mount Meru trekking is a real adventure. The slopes of this dormant (yet active – the last eruption was in 1910) volcano offer fascinating panoramic vistas and bustling wildlife around.
This volcano was “born” around 500,000 years ago, and its very first eruption virtually exploded its eastern side, creating its, peculiar appearance. In addition to that, Mt Meru has one of the deepest craters – over 1,500 meters!
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 Altezza 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.
EXCELLENT PREPARATION FOR KILIMANJAROClimbing 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 or too much coffee
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.