Day 1: Arusha – Momela Gate (1,500 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m)
In the morning you will be picked up from JRO and after a briefing about your upcoming trek start the scenic drive to Arusha National Park. Arriving at the gate, your guide will complete the registration forms and gather the hiking team before you will start your journey up Mount Meru accompanied by an armed park ranger. Walking through the grasslands towards the acacia forest on the southern route, you might spot giraffes and buffaloes lazily grazing on the lush vegetation. After roughly 2 hours you will reach the Maio Falls, where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic lunch. Thereafter the journey continues through the “fig tree arch”, an unusual tree formation created by the wild fig Ficus Thonningii. Another two hours of hiking takes you to Miriakamba Hut where afternoon tea and snacks await you. The night will be spent at the Miriakamba Hut.
Day 2: Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m) – Saddle Hut (3,550 m)
After breakfast you will continue on wooden steps along a steep track. The shift in altitude brings about a noticeable drop in temperature and walking may seem easier. The low hanging clouds often shrouds the rainforest in mist, creating a moody atmosphere in the lush vegetation. Your uphill trek will take you to “Mgongo wa Tembo” (elephant back) at a height of 3,200 m after approximately 2 hours, where you can take in the scenery and rest, before heading onward to Saddle Hut (3,550 m). On the way you will see the vegetation changing from rainforest to heather and moorland. After reaching Saddle Hut you can opt to hike to Little Meru (3,820 m), a 1 to 1½ hours hike from where you will have a fantastic view over Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro about 80 km away. A warm meal and an early night awaits you back at Saddle Hut as your wake-up call will be just after midnight
Day 3: Saddle Hut (3,550 m) – Socialist Peak (4,562 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m)
You will be awakened with a small snack and warm tea, after which you will start your final ascent. Headlamps light your way as you follow the trail through bush land to Rhino Point (3,821 m). The path becomes more challenging and occasionally climbing will be required. Following the crater rim, you will walk on frozen volcanic ash and rocks, before reaching the summit, Socialist Peak, in about 4 – 5 hours. Standing at the peak you will enjoy the breath-taking view of the sun rising above Mt Kilimanjaro as well as have a fantastic view of Mt Meru’s crater with its steep sides and the “ash cone” in the middle. After taking a few deep fresh breaths you will start your descent on the same route back to Saddle Hut (3,550 m) where you can recuperate with hot soup and tea. Once rested, you will continue the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m). Tired and happy you will have your evening meal and doze off with the views of the day filling your thoughts.
Day 4: Miriakamba Hut (2,500 m) – Momela Gate (1,500 m)
After breakfast you will start your final stretch on the so-called “northern route back to Momella gate. On this 2 to 3 hour trek you will once again have the chance to see giraffes, buffalos, elephants as well as the black and white colobus monkeys. Arriving at the gate you will say farewell to your hiking crew and be taken back to Arusha/JRO.
End of Services
Though often ignored in favor of its big sister Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is a worthy trekker’s paradise. This massive volcano towers over 3,000 meters above Arusha town, which lies at the foothills on its south side. The mountain endured a violent explosion in the distant past, and in its wake the explosion left towering cliffs in a gaping U shaped ridge facing east towards Kilimanjaro. The crater stands today in a protected amphitheater of sorts, thousands of feet below the summit rocks. The craggy top lies at the westernmost point of the summit ridge and juts boldly into the sky at 4566 mt. (14,979 feet). From the top, one can look out at Kilimanjaro from the highest perch possible…. Perhaps there is no better vantage point to gaze at Africa’s tallest mountain, approximately 80 kilometers to the northeast. The trail to the summit follows the northern rim of the natural amphitheater which forms Meru Crater. The trail skirts the ridgeline, and above the Saddle (between the summit and Little Meru Peak (12,533 ft / 3,820 mt.)), the route is quite steep, with sections of rock scrambling and sheer drops on one side.