Climbing Mt Meru Tanzania
Found 40 kilometres southwest of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano that stands in the Arusha National Park.
The second highest mountain in Tanzania, Mount Meru is the centrepiece of the Arusha National Park and climbing it can be undertaken as part of a Tanzania Safari. Not only will you have the opportunity to see the park from a higher altitude and attempt to reach the summit of an active volcano, but you may also come across buffalo, elephants, leopards, monkeys and birds as you climb.
4 Day Trekking Tour Mount Meru
There are several different trekking tours that you can sign up with to get to the top of Mount Meru; however a 4 Day Trekking Tour gives you a real feel for the area, the chance to take in the stunning surroundings around you and comfortable accommodation where you can rest and recuperate after the day’s hiking. Though these can be expensive, having a guide and accommodation organised for you is much better than trying to navigate the mountain alone, getting lost and having to call for a rescue.
The 4 day trekking tours split the time into the ascent and descent. The first two days are spent climbing the first 2,000 metres from Momella Gate to Saddle Hut, where you will spend the second night, reaching the peak of the volcano on day 3. The first two days are fairly gentle with four – five hours walking on the first day and three to four hours walking on the second day. The third day is when inexperienced walkers and climbers will be pushed as there is ten to fourteen hours of walking in order to reach the summit and then descend back the Miriakamba Hut at 2,500 m, where you spend the first and third night of your trek. The fourth day is much gentler, with only two to three hours of walking that see you arrive back at Momella Gate.
- 4 Day trek as outlined
- Professional, English-speaking guide
- Mountain crew – this includes a cook and porters
- Park ranger
- Meals according to the itinerary
- Drinking water
- Overnight stays in mountain huts
- All national park fees
On a four day trek you are provided with lunch and dinner on the first day; breakfast, lunch and dinner on the second and third days and breakfast on the fourth day.
As with all climbs, it is advised that those who have a problem or fear of heights do not attempt the climb. As there are also a few unsecured climbing passages and some elements of the climb are slightly more technical than other mountain treks in the area, it is not necessarily an ideal mountain for beginners to climb. During the rainy season in April and May, visitors are warned not to attempt the climb at all due to adverse weather conditions and in heavy rain, thick fog and icy conditions, an attempt to reach the summit may not always be possible.
Park Fees Mount Meru
If you are not taking part in a tour and choose to climb the mountain on your own then there are mandatory park fees that must be paid before you enter the park. An official route, the Momella Route, is mapped out and the one that you pay to take. There are illegal climbs on the north and west slopes that can be attempted to avoid the fees but they are not advised due to the danger of coming across wild game, nor are they as picturesque as the Momella Route.
- Entrance – $25 per day – The park considers a “day” to be from dawn to dusk, not any 24-hour period. The park has a regulation stating that climbs of the mountain will take a minimum of 3 days with a recommendation for 4. However, it is possible to climb Mount Meru in one of two days if you are fit enough and an experienced climber.
- Hut – $20 per night – The Miriakamba Hut and Saddle Hut are the nicest huts on offer or you can camp close to the huts. Even if you have decided to camp instead of using one of the huts, you will still have to pay the hut fees.
- Rescue – $20 per trek
- Guide – $15 per day – Guides are mandatory for the Momella Route to protect you from any wild game you might come across such as elephants or buffalo. You can arrange for them at Momella Gate and all fees are paid to the park, you should not pay your guide directly, though you may want to tip them at the end of your climb.
Things to take with you to climb Mount Meru
Like any climb you attempt, should be well-prepared for however long your trekking tour will last. Climbing an active volcano requires appropriate clothing and supplies to be packed before you set off.
- Hiking Boots –mountaineering or rock climbing boots aren’t necessary for climbing Mt Meru, however, if you have them, there is no reason not to take them. For those without, hiking boots are more than sufficient for making the climb, though ensure that they are robust and no failing apart as your feet will need the protection.
- Layers – Temperatures will fluctuate as you climb and having some extra layers or even a space blanket will come in extremely useful.
- Water – Make sure you have plenty of water with you; if you are taking a Tanzania Safari tour up the volcano a lot of the tours provide the supplies you will need.
- Sleeping bag – It is advisable to bring your own sleeping bag with you whilst attempting the climb as they are not provided by the tour operators.
- Sunblock – One of the biggest dangers that most people don’t think about is the increase in solar radiation at higher altitudes, having sunblock, not sun cream or lotion, will ensure that your skin is protected for the duration of your climb.