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Mount Meru General Info

Please refer to the General Information Pages for Kilimanjaro. This information also applies to Mt Meru.

Mount Meru Introduction

Mount Meru, situated east of the Great Rift Valley and about 40 km southwest of Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania's Arusha National Park, is considered an active volcano and is the country's second highest mountain. It is also considered the fourth highest mountain in all of Africa by some (after Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and the Rwenzoris).

500,000+ years ago, Mount Meru erupted in a tremendous explosion that destroyed it's cone shape and resulted in a horseshoe crater with the eastern side removed. The resulting mountain has its summit on the west side with it's inner walls rising over 1,500m from the crater floor, making them among the tallest cliffs in Africa. In the past 100 years, eruptions have been reported as the Ash Cone continues to build inside the crater. The first ascent is still in dispute and credited to either Carl Uhlig in 1901 or Fritz Jaeger in 1904.

Although this is a spectacular mountain with amazing scenery and wildlife, it's location in East Africa means that most international visitors will visit Mount Meru as a secondary trip in conjunction with their primary destination, usually Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, or the Ngorongoro Crater.

Before Mount Meru was included in Arusha National Park in 1967 it was also possible to reach the summit via the North and West Slopes, however, use of these trails to enter the park (and reach the summit) is now illegal.

It is, however, legal to climb the inner Ash Cone but the park only recommends this for researchers and issues a special permit for this activity.

Trekking

Mount Meru is a serious 3-4 day trek and is often used as a practice run for Kilimanjaro. A guide/ranger is mandatory on every trek because of the significant numbers of buffalo commonly encountered. There is one official route up to the summit  and it is well marked and huts along the way offer simple, comfortable beds. Unofficial routes on the west and northern sides of the mountain are illegal.

Guides and Porters

Guides are mandatory for every trek up Mount Meru, they are armed and are there for your safety to protect you from the abundant wildlife. Porters will carry up to 15kg each.

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. Both huts offer wonderful views.