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Mt Meru climbing

Mt Meru Climbing

Few people, great adventure – the mountain trek for nature lovers

Mt Meru climbing & trekking tours

Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second-highest mountain, often overshadowed by the eminent Mount Kilimanjaro. For nature lovers, though, beautiful Mount Meru offers an unforgettable adventure with its abundant wildlife and stunning views. It is more than just a place for a warm-up trek for Kilimanjaro. It is an overlooked mountain, deserving of a trek in its own right.

Trekking Africa’s fifth-highest mountain is an authentic and memorable experience. On the first day of a Mt Meru climbing tour, you can witness an array of wildlife in the dense forest. Look out for giraffes, buffaloes, baboons, colobus monkeys and antelope. As a bonus, as fewer people trek this mountain, it offers a more tranquil adventure. Moreover, you can complete the trek in just four days, leaving ample time to enjoy a safari or beach retreat afterwards.

At 4566m, this stratovolcano in Arusha National Park is as challenging as Mount Kilimanjaro. The summit stage contains a few manageable climbing sections. You do not need to be a mountaineer to trek Mount Meru. But you have to be fit and healthy with a solid determination to reach the top.

A mountain guide with years of experience trekking this mountain will accompany you. On day one, a park ranger will also walk with you to avoid close encounters with wildlife in the forest. Porters will carry all the heavy equipment, and a cook will prepare all your meals. At night, you will stay in basic huts located at two campsites.

The Momella route is the only path to the summit, and it is a fascinating trek. After passing through the forested band of trees, you enter a heathland, followed by an alpine desert. Once you reach the summit, the views from the crater rim are incredible. You can see the stunning Ash Cone and majestic Mount Kilimanjaro a short distance away.

Best Mount Meru trekking tours



Trek Mount Meru in four days and stay at two campsites: Miriakamba Hut and Saddle Hut.

At both campsites, there is a main building where meals are served. A selection of wooden huts accommodates four to six people, dormitory-style. The huts have electric lights, mattresses, cold running water and basic toilets but no heating. A warm sleeping bag with a temperature rating of ‑12 °C is required; you can hire one from us. Showers are unavailable. However, our mountain team will prepare warm water in a bowl for you to enjoy a morning wash.

While there are electric lights, there is no electricity supply at the mountain huts to recharge batteries. At high altitudes with cold temperatures, batteries drain quickly. We therefore recommend bringing one or two fully charged power banks with you to charge your devices.

Mt Meru mountain huts

On a Mt Meru climb you will overnight in shared basic mountain huts.

Water drinking bottles hiking

Before climbing Mt Meru, we send you a detailed packing list.

hikers taking a break

You can hire equipment such as sleeping bags and walking poles from us.

What to expect on a Mt Meru trekking tour?

Before commencing the trek, our Trekking Operations Manager will thoroughly brief you about the safety procedures and route. It is an excellent time to ask questions. As standard practice, your trekking gear will be inspected to ensure your comfort and safety on the mountain. If you require extra equipment, you can rent it from us.

When trekking the mountain, you need a smaller day backpack with the basics such as suncream, water, snacks, and rain clothes. Our porters will carry all the other equipment, food, and luggage ahead of you.

Our mountain guides have climbed the mountain dozens of times and are responsible for your safety. They are experts at reading the weather and how the trekkers in the group are faring. If someone is injured or suffering acutely from altitude sickness or if there is extreme weather, they will call the climb off.

Our incredible cooks prepare breakfast, lunch, hot drinks, snacks, and a three-course dinner. Water from mountain streams is boiled before you drink it.

Which routes can I take on Mt Meru?

The Momella route is the only pathway to the summit of Mount Meru. It derives its name from the eastern Momella Gate, which marks the beginning of the trek.

Having been registered at the gate by your guide, you will traverse the southern loop of the route through the forest, where you can spot colobus monkeys, buffalo, giraffes, and many other species. Along the way, you will pass through the heart of a massive fig tree, Malo Falls, and Kitoto viewpoint before reaching Miriakamba Hut, where you will spend your first night.

The second day of the trek takes you through a diverse heathland and moor landscape. As you continue climbing, you will enter the alpine desert zone before arriving at Saddle Hut.

On day three, you will pass Rhino Point to reach the crater rim. The views are spectacular as you follow the horse-shoe-shaped crater rim to arrive at Socialist Peak. After reaching the peak, you will retrace your steps back to Saddle Hut before continuing your descent to spend the night at Miriakamba Hut.

On the fourth and final day, you will descend via the northern section of the loop and conclude your trek at Momella Gate.

What does a typical day look like?

On the first morning of your Mt Meru climbing tour, you will be driven to Momella Gate in Arusha National Park. You begin the exciting four to five hours through the forest from here. It is an exhilarating day. You climb 1000m with wildlife all around you. At Miriakamba Hut, you enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the first night on the mountain.

On day two, the trek starts after a hearty breakfast. You enter the heath and moor landscape and steadily climb 1050m to Saddle Hut in three to four hours. From there, you can choose to hike to and from Little Meru if you feel energetic.

Day three is the longest day on the mountain. At midnight, you set off for the summit. After four to five hours and climbing 1012m, you reach Socialist Peak to watch the sunrise. Having enjoyed this unique experience at the summit, you return to Saddle Hut to rest and nourish yourself before continuing down the mountain to Miriakamba Hut. After ten to fourteen hours of trekking and descending 2062m, you enjoy another scrumptious evening meal before falling deeply asleep.

On the final day, you trek another 1000m through the forest to arrive at Momella Gate within two to three hours.

When is the best time to climb Mt Meru?

Mount Meru is trekkable almost all year round. However, the dry season, from June to October, is the best time to trek Mount Meru. Generally, the weather is perfect for a trek, safari, and beach retreat. Another good trekking period is during the short dry season, from January to February. Unlike Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru usually does not get busy even during the high season – an exclusive experience.

Tanzania experiences two rainy seasons. The long rains happen from mid-March to mid-May, and the short rains from November to December. Trekking Mount Meru may not be possible in April, May, and November due to heavy rain creating dangerous conditions.

How fit do I need to be to climb Mt Meru?

The summit of Mount Meru is more than 1300m lower than Mount Kilimanjaro’s. Therefore, you will be less prone to altitude sickness on Mount Meru than on Mount Kilimanjaro. However, the crater rim and summit are more technically demanding than on Mount Kilimanjaro. Do not let this put you off, though, as it is still an achievable challenge.

In terms of fitness, you need to be fit and healthy enough to trek for four to five hours each day. You will also need the added stamina to hike for up to ten to fourteen hours on the day you ascend to the summit. A strong will to succeed is also essential.

Other things to know before you go

Planning guides

Once you have booked your trek with us, we will send you pre-departure information to help you prepare for your trek, one of which is a comprehensive packing list.

Tipping the mountain crew

Tipping the mountain crew, who play a vital role in helping you reach the summit, is customary. If you feel that the team’s effort deserves recognition, offering a tip would be a kind gesture appreciated by the mountain team. We will provide instructions on how much to tip, when, and how to do it.

Emergency services

The mountain rescue services in Tanzania are less advanced than those in Europe. What’s more, helicopters are rarely used. It is, therefore, crucial to obtain comprehensive travel insurance that includes rescue and repatriation coverage.

Age restrictions

Children under ten can trek to Miriakamba Hut. Ten to sixteen-year-olds can go as high as Saddle Hut, whilst those over sixteen can hike to the summit. A parent must accompany all children. There is no upper age limit, but it is recommended that those over sixty should have a medical check-up before trekking Mount Meru.

Combined trek, safari, and beach retreat

A popular combination of Tanzanian activities includes trekking Mount Meru followed by a safari or hiking Mount Meru followed by a beach retreat. Get in touch with our team to get trip suggestions for the whole package.

Rain forest trail
Amazing trek to the 4,566 mt summit of Mt Meru. Not an easy walk but beautiful amidst different scenery, some of them fairy-tale like. We were well looked after by our ranger and Tanzania-Experience made sure that everything was taken care of. I will definitely by back to this beautiful country and its cheerful people that are so proud of their country and take so much care of their natural environment. I will surely use Tanzania-Experience again!
Christina | UK
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Arno Snellenberg Tanzania Travel Expert
Tanzania-Experience safari vehicle

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