Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometers west of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is Tanzania’s second highest peak standing at 14,980 ft (4566 m). Mount Meru is a beautiful, conically shaped volcano located in northern Tanzania in the heart of the Arusha National Park. Mount Meru is not an active volcano, its last minor eruption was over a century ago. On a clear day you can see Mount Kilimanjaro from Mount Meru, they are less than 50 miles apart. Often overlooked by tourists because its “only” the fifth-highest mountain in Africa, Meru is no substitute for Kilimanjaro for achievement-oriented travelers. Meru is less crowded, considerably less expensive than Kilimanjaro but steeper and almost as cold.
Mount Meru Momella Route:
Momella Route starts on the eastern side of Mount Meru and ascends along the northern rim of the crater to Socialist Peak, the summit. Miriakamba (2514 m) is the first hut, there are two routes to get here, a short steep route or a slower, more gradual climb. A 4-6 hour walk the next day takes you to Saddle Hut (3570 m) with good views of the crater. Day 3 will take you to the summit (5hrs) and back to Saddle Hut for lunch, most groups continue down to Miriakamba for the final night. The walk along the crater rim is considered to be one of the most spectacular sights in the world.
Mount Meru Accommodation:
On Mount Meru two huts provide accommodation, Saddle Hut (3570 m) and Miriakamba Hut (2514 m). It’s common to spend the first and third nights at Miriakamba and the second at Saddle hut. Huts fill up well in advance and it may be prudent to bring a tent to pitch if you’re planning to trek during the high season (December – February). Both huts offer wonderful views.
Getting to Mount Meru:
Most visitors fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport and get transport directly to the park from there, it’s 60 km (35 miles) from the airport. Arusha is the capital of northern Tanzania and is just a 40 minute drive away from the national Park. Shuttle buses from Nairobi (Kenya) depart daily. From elsewhere in Tanzania, you can catch a long-distance bus to Arusha or an internal flight.