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You are looking to do your Mount Meru Climb? It doesn't matter whether you are climbing Mount Meru in preparation for big brother Kilimanjaro or you just want to tick the 5th highest peak of Africa of your list. Mount Meru in Tanzania is marvelous. Kilimanjaro is the popular guy in school but Mount Meru may well be way too cool for school. Mount Meru is a highly underrated mountain and if you want to climb a mountain in true African style, then you would be very happy climbing Mount Meru. In this blog post, we answer the most important questions for your Mount Meru climb. Also, we speak to Manase who has climbed Meru a few times and gather some insights and tips from him.

Updated in July 2022

When you climb Kilimanjaro, you are not going to see any wildlife. This is something that people only realize when they are already on their way to the rainforest on the lower slopes of the Roof of Africa. There is no wildlife on or around Kilimanjaro. Sure, some monkeys and snakes, but you are not going to see giraffe, elephant or buffalo. That is a completely different story on Kili's little brother, Mount Meru. Your trek to Socialist Peak will be packed with wildlife.

Is Mount Meru in Tanzania or Nepal?

When you're talking about Meru your either talking about a mountain in Africa or in Nepal. Talking about Africa then Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometers west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the country of Tanzania. At a height of 4,562.13 meters (14,968 ft), it is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day and is the fifth-highest mountain in Africa.

If you're talking about the Nepalese Himalaya's then Meru is the most difficult mountain in the world to climb. No one has successfully made the ascent up its Shark's Fin, a sheer wall of rock ascending 20,000 feet. is merely about trekking and hiking accessible mountains, so let's talk about Mount Meru in Tanzania!

Why climb Mount Meru (Tanzania)?

Manase Mwanga of Top Climbers Expeditions has climbed Mount Meru a few times and he always enjoys doing it again. "I love Mount Meru. It's much easier to climb the mountain, the huts are well equipped and you can do it in a long weekend if you want to." When you are climbing Mount Meru, you are likely to see a lot of wildlife. "That's right," says Manase. "Mount Meru is situated in Arusha National Park and that comes with a lot of wildlife. That is why we would never send you on to the mountain without an armed ranger. Arusha National Park may not be the place to spot all of the Big Five, but you will see elephants, giraffe, zebra and lots of buffalo. Even at an altitude of 3500 meters, you can still see buffalo."

Although leopard and cheetah are rare in Arusha National Park, there is a chance to spot those as well. You could also come across a hippo. The armed ranger is joining you on the climb to make sure that you will not be negatively surprised by any of the wildlife in the park and on the mountain. Although you can also see wildlife on Mount Kenya, it is pretty unique to be climbing a mountain in the middle of all the wildlife. This is one of the reasons why climbers like Mount Meru so much more than Kilimanjaro. In Kilimanjaro National Park the chances of seeing a lot of wildlife are slim.

Should I climb Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro?

If you have the time, you should climb both. But if you have to choose, which one would you go for? Mount Meru might not ring a bell to everyone, but if you have climbed Kilimanjaro, everyone will be listening to you when getting together for a birthday party. People will ask, did you see any elephant? No, you didn't. If you have climbed Mount Meru, it is likely that you will have seen Mount Meru. "That is so cool about Mount Meru," Manase says.

Although Mount Meru has a lot of drawcards, it is not Manase his favorite. "I prefer Kilimanjaro of course. There are so many different climbing routes. That makes Kilimanjaro different every time. Mount Meru is exciting as well and I like to come back for more everytime, but it is always the same way up and down to Little Meru and Socialist Peak. Get the best of both, and combine the two."

Mount Meru in combination with Mount Kilimanjaro

Socialist Peak on Mount Meru is 4,562 m high and Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro is 5,895 m high. The mountains are just 70 kilometers apart, so you can easily combine them. Climbing Mount Meru will help you with your acclimatization, Manase agrees: "It is a fantastic mountain to get used to climbing to high altitude in Tanzania. If you have the time, we can definitely recommend climbing Mount Meru before your attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. And why not? Within two weeks you can climb the highest and the fifth highest mountain in the world and you don't even need to travel extra for it." More and more people are making the choice to combine Mount Meru with the Roof of Africa. It is not only a great acclimatization for climbing Kilimanjaro. It also gives you some time to get used to climbing in Tanzania.

"People tend to rush to Mount Kilimanjaro. They arrive the day before their climb and already leave the country the day after. There is more to do and see in and around Moshi. Mount Meru allows you to see Arusha National Park, soak up some real African spirit by seeing wildlife and making more of your holiday.*

Looking to combine Mount Meru with Kilimanjaro? Check out our offers here.

What is the best season to conquer Mount Meru?

You can climb Mount Meru all year round. The huts are comfortable, you won't need to camp in the rain and it is not as cold as for example on Kilimanjaro. Of course, there's a best season for everything. The best season for your Mount Meru climb is between June and February with December to February being the best months for the best views of Kilimanjaro.

What to Pack for your Mount Meru climb?

When you are preparing for your Mount Meru climb it is important to have the right bags, the right clothes, the right shoes or boots, the right gloves, the right headwear, the right sleeping bag, and all the extras. If you are spending some extra time in Moshi or Arusha, then you can buy a lot of gear there, but don’t push your luck. Don’t overpack, don’t bring jewelry, don’t bring a classic towel, jeans, or cotton t-shirts. For Mount Meru, you can stick to the same packing list as for when climbing Kilimanjaro. You can find a packing list here.

What is the accommodation like while climbing Mount Meru?

"Accommodation on Mount Meru is really comfortable," says Manase. "It is way more comfortable than the huts on the Marangu Route on Kilimanjaro. There is electricity to charge your phone and camera, there are decent latrines. Trekking on Mount Meru is really comfortable."

Miriakamba Huts

The Miriakamba Huts, where you will stay for the first night are easily reached with 4x4 vehicles. This hut has rooms which can fit 4 people and there are comfortable bunks and well-equipped bathrooms.

Saddle Huts

You will stay at Saddle Hut the night before your push to Socialist Peak at 3500 meters. These huts are a bit more basic but have all the amenities which you also find at Miriakamba Huts. Even here, you can still encounter buffalo and other game.

Book your climb to the top of Mount Meru with local experts. Find the perfect trek for you here.

How do I prepare for my Mount Meru climb?

Fair enough, Mount Meru isn't Kilimanjaro. But if it wouldn't be standing next to Kilimanjaro, it probably would have gotten a lot more credit than it is getting now. Mount Meru is 4,565m high and the fifth highest peak of Africa. You can climb Mount Meru to warm up for your Kilimanjaro ascent, but don't think that Mount Meru is a walk in the park. You will need decent fitness when you want to do a Mount Meru climb. Take note of the following:

  • Aerobic fitness: You best get moving as soon as you have your mindset on your Kilimanjaro climb. With the right aerobic fitness, you will have an improved heart rate, healthy muscles, and great lung capacity. Do power walking, running, hiking, trekking, cycling and/or swimming. Don’t worry. you don’t need to train for a marathon. One hour, 3 to 4 times a week is plenty of exercise.

  • Endurance: When you are comfortable doing exercise a few times a week, you can fire it up by doing some longer sessions. The best thing you can do is walking long distances, at least once a week. If you can hike comfortably for a prolonged time, you are good to go.

  • Gear: Don’t use your backpack and shoes that you purchased for your Kilimanjaro climb for the first time after your land. Break them in and use this equipment when you are working on points 1 and 2.

  • Altitude: If you can, you can mimic the altitude by hiking and trekking in the hills and mountains. If you do not live in the right area for that, then don’t panic. The first two points are most important.

Know your body: This is perhaps the most important part. If you are questioning your physical capabilities, you should perhaps go see a professional for monitoring. It is important to know your body, so you can notice any warning signs when you are on your way to socialist peak.

What is a good itinerary for climbing Mount Meru in Tanzania?

If you want to climb Mount Meru, you ideally do it in 4 days. This will give you enough time to soak up the beauty of the mountain while at the same acclimatize and minimize the risks of altitude sickness. The following 4-day itinerary is based upon this itinerary by Top Climbers Expeditions. Manase Mwanga, who shared some insight earlier in this blog is the managing director of Top Climbers Expeditions.

Day 1: Momella Gate (1500m) to Miriakamba Hut (2500m)

You will depart the hotel at 0800hrs and head to the Momella gate which is the starting point of the trek. The drive to the gate is roughly an hour and a half. After the registration, you will start your trek accompanied by an armed ranger. Along the route, you will catch spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Momella lakes. You will encounter animals such as cape buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs, and bushbucks, to name a few. Your trek will end up at Miriakamba Hut where you will be spending the night.

Distance covered: 6km / 3.5mi
Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 2: Miriakamba Hut (2500m) to Saddle Hut (3500m)

Today’s trek takes you through the steep path along the ridge of the saddle. Amazing views of the Meru crater, the ash cone, and little Meru can be seen along the way. While trekking through the forest keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and the attractive wildflowers. Common animals include buffaloes and the black and white Colobus monkey. Your trek will end up at Saddle hut where you will be spending the night. After resting at the camp you will set off on an hour acclimatization trek to little Meru (3810m) then head back down to Saddle hut.

Distance covered: 6.5km / 4mi
Approx. time taken: 3 – 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 3: Saddle Hut (3500m) to Socialist Peak (4562m) to Miriakamba Hut (2500m)

You will wake up just after midnight for a light meal then start your final ascent to Socialist Peak at the top of big Meru. The trail to the summit is steep and you will be climbing through gravel and rocky ridges. While at the summit you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Meru crater and ash cone. Occasionally, animals such as Klipspringers and mountain reedbucks can be seen over the rocky terrain. After the summit, you will then descend to Miriakamba Hut where you will be spending the night.

Distance covered:19km / 12mi
Approx. time taken: 10 – 12 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut (2500m) to Momella Gate (1500m)

After breakfast, you will begin your final descent to Momella gate. You will be using the southern route to descend. During your descent, you will pass through the montane forest where you will pass the amazing Fig Tree Arch. Upon arrival at the Momella gate, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel back in Moshi town.

Distance covered: 14km / 8.5mi
Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Would you like more information about this package? Find more here!

Should I tip the guide after my climb?

Just as tipping is normal when climbing Kilimanjaro, tipping is also expected when you are climbing Mount Meru. You can make a difference in the livelihoods of your support staff, your ranger, your cook and your porters. A good tip will be appreciated. Your tip of between 80 and 120 EUR for the climb will be split amongst the crew. This equals about 90 to 130 USD. Your staff looks after you, make sure to also look after them.

How much does climbing Mount Meru cost?

There are several options when looking for your Mount Meru Climb. You can either climb Mount Meru in three or four days. Although you will be fine in three days, you ideally tackle the little brother of Kilimanjaro in four days. This will help your acclimatization and this way you will make most of your climbing experience. You can do a three climb for 700 to 900 EUR or 800 to 1000 USD. A four day climb can be done for 800 to 1000 EUR or 900 to 1100 USD. You can combine Mount Meru with climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho Route for about 2400 EUR or 2750 USD. The Machame Route is also possible. You can compare all the different options for your Mount Meru climb right here.

Where to book your Mount Meru climb?

The great thing about the internet is that you can find anything anywhere. The same goes for hiking and trekking providers. However, since there is so much on offer, it can be overwhelming to find a trekking operator of your liking. That is why does the selection for you.

We only join hands with the best hiking and trekking providers we can trust. You can rest assured that the trekking operators on are reliable.Find your perfect trek and conquer Mount Meru here!

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