Climb Mount Meru in Tanzania: Kili's Little Brother

By Rintsje Bosch

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Climb Mount Meru in Tanzania: Kili's Little Brother
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Do you want to climb Mount Meru? 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 Ërick who has climbed Meru a few times and gather some insights and tips from him

When you climb Kilimanjaro, you are not going to see any large 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.  Bookatrekking.com is merely about trekking and hiking accessible mountains, so let's talk about Mount Meru in Tanzania!

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Why Climb Mount Meru?

Erick Nyarianga of Bookatrekking.com's Team Kili 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 Erick. "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.

Why Climb Mount Meru?

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," Erick says.

Although Mount Meru has a lot of drawcards, it is not Erick 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."

Should I Climb Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro?

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, Erick 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 Africa 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.*

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 Is the Best Season to Conquer Mount Meru?

Mount Meru Itinerary: From Day to Day

You can climb Mount Meru in either 3 or 4 days. If you want to make the most out of your stay on the mountain, we also advise to choose the longer itinerary. This also applies if you use Mount Meru as a warming up for Kilimanjaro.
Day
1

Meriakamba Hut

Duration: 03:15 h
Distance: 6.35 km
Ascent: 880 m
We drive from your hotel in Moshi to Arusha National Park (Momella Gate). After a short registration at the Gate, our walk will begin with full armed ranger escorting us, simply we can see along the way the wild animals including zebras, giraffes, monkeys, antelope, and often elephants along the route. Dinner and overnight night at Miriakamba Hut.

Miriakamba Hut

Info
Miriakamba Hut
Day
2

Saddle Hut

Duration: 04:00 h
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 1500 m
The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep climb. The walk will take us slowly along the ridge for a spectacular view of the Meru Crater and the impressive Ash Cone. After hot lunch at Saddle Hut, we can make a short climb to the summit of Little Meru (3,820m) for superb views just before sunset. Dinner and overnight night at Saddle Hut

Saddle hut

Info
Saddle hut
Day
3

Summit Day

Duration: 11:00 h
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 2514 m
We start early at around 1:30 a.m. to climb steeply to Rhino Point (3,800 m.) and on to Cobra Point (4350m). We reach the summit (4,566 m) on time for sunrise there is a possibility to see Kilimanjaro Peak above the clouds. The final part of the climb is along a spectacular narrow ridgeline between the sheer inner cliffs and the sloping outer wall of the crater. We take a short rest and brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to the Meriakamba Hut.

Miriakamba Hut

Info
Miriakamba Hut
Day
4

Meriakamba Hut to Momella Gate to Moshi

Duration: 02:33 h
Distance: 6.32 km
Descent: 880 m
We take a short and fast descent way through open grassland and mixed forest, with the possibility of seeing wildlife before reaching Momella Gate in the late morning. The returning transfer will be waiting at Momella Gate to pick you to Moshi.
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What Are the Huts on Mount Meru Like?

"Accommodation on Mount Meru is really comfortable," says Erick. "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.

Packing List for Your Mount Meru Ascent

The below packing list is exactly the same for your Kilimanjaro ascent. When you are combining Mount Meru with Kilimanjaro, this packing list is complete. When you are only in Tanzania to climb in Mount Meru, you must remember that you are staying in huts and that your ascent is 3 or 4 days. Remember that when you are packing :)
  • Technical Clothing

  • Headwear

  • Footwear

  • Handwear

  • Equipment

  • Accessories

  • Other

Where Can I Book My Mount Meru Ascent?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book your Mount Meru ascent and many other treks. Our guided options come with experts on the ground, and offer you a convenient, stress-free, safe, and educational way to explore the outdoors. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is this not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our blog posts:

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