Adventurous travelers who love the idea of climbing an African mountain but who don't want an extremely challenging experience will enjoy this four-day climb of Mt. Meru. Most days will include a few hours of hiking, while on the long summit day you'll start in the middle of the night and be rewarded by sweeping views over the plains towards Mt. Kilimanjaro. Spot wildlife in the lower lands, trek through a variety of vegetation zones, and afterwards, relax at the beautiful and historic Rivertrees Country Inn.

Highlights

  • Feel the achievement of summitting Mt. Meru and Little Meru
  • Enjoy spectacular views across to Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Spot cape buffaloes, giraffes, and warthogs
  • Rest in the lovely Rivertrees Country Inn before and after the climb

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tanzania Usa River
Day 2 Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut Arusha
Day 3 Miriakamba to Saddle Hut Arusha
Day 4 Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak - Return to Miriakamba Arusha
Day 5 Miriakamba Hut to Momella Gate - Return to Arusha Usa River

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

Rivertrees
Rivertrees Country Inn

Welcome to beautiful Tanzania! When you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, look for a guide holding a sign with your name on it. Your driver will take you to the Rivertrees Country Inn, approximately 45 minutes' drive from the airport.

Rivertrees is a historical coffee farm in the foothills of Mt. Meru. The cottages and surrounding gardens are spread over 10 acres. Bright and airy rooms welcome a sense of relaxation, as does the stream running through the property. The Inn is a perfect place for spotting birds and small mammals.

In the evening, there are many activities on offer. Soak in your own private tub, relax by the pool, stroll through the gardens, or enjoy a drink or meal in the traditional restaurant.

Day 2: Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut

Mt. Meru
Arusha National Park

Set out after breakfast for the Arusha National Park. Reach the climb registration gate mid-morning. Choose between one of two aptly named routes for your first day’s hike: the Mountain Trail or the Dirt Road.

The Mountain Trail: Pass through several different ecosystems during the three-to-five-hour mountain trail hike. The hike begins along a seasonal stream through open forest, home to cape buffaloes, giraffes, and warthogs. Continue climbing through the woodland. Reach Miriakamba Hut in the afternoon.

The Dirt Road: Hiking via the road takes four-to-seven hours, and also passes through several different vegetation zones. During the first part of the trail, walk through open grassland, where you can see buffaloes, giraffes, and warthogs. After the grassland, enter the montane forest and pass through Fig Tree Arch. Continue along the road until reaching Miriakamba Hut in the afternoon.

Miriakamba Hut offers spectacular views of the U-shaped Meru crater, the ash cone, and the towering cliffs that comprise the mountain’s crater walls. Toilet facilities, a water source, and separate kitchen and lodge facilities for the mountain staff are available. Solar panels provide electricity in the evening, and you can recharge your devices. Soda and beer are available for purchase. 

Elevation Gain: 3,330 feet (1,015 m.) — Momella Gate (4,920 feet/1,500 m.) to Miriakamba Hut (8,250 feet/2,515 m.) 
Hiking Time: Four to seven hours

Day 3: Miriakamba to Saddle Hut

Mt. Meru
The trail up Mt. Meru

After breakfast, leave Miriakamba Hut and walk along flat land before entering the montane forest. Continue hiking until you reach a brief opening in the woods, called Elephant Ridge. Arrive at Saddle Hut. Typically, the cloud cover of Arusha National Park burns off at about 10,500 feet (3,200 m.). Saddle Hut sits at 11,710 feet (3,570 m.).

Saddle Hut is very similar to Miriakamba Hut and is well-maintained, with separate facilities for mountain staff and tourists.

As a side trip, you may choose to summit Little Meru (12,532 feet/3,820 m.) in the afternoon to enjoy breathtaking views of Meru and Kilimanjaro. The hike takes one-to-two hours return. Due to its elevation, the summit of Little Meru will be cold, so we encourage you to bring a jacket, gloves, and a hat. 

Elevation Gain: 1,055 meters, 3,460 feet from Miriakamba Hut (8,250 feet/2,515 m.) to Saddle Hut (11,710 feet/3,570 m.)
Hiking Time: Three to five hours

Day 4: Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak - Return to Miriakamba

Mt. Meru
The hike to Socialist Peak

After a light breakfast at 1:30 a.m., begin the hike to Mt. Meru's summit, Socialist Peak. Begin with a steep climb up to Rhino Point (12,467 feet/3,800 m.). Descend and cross a small rock bridge, and then continue over a mix of rocky and sandy trail. The trail involves some rock scrambling, with steep drops to either side of the trail in some areas. Follow the green trail markers and your guide.

Reach the crater rim around dawn and continue to Meru’s peak. The views are spectacular all the way to the summit, offering close-ups of the crater's sheer walls, the ash cone, cloud formations, and the surrounding park. The hike to the summit is slow because of the sandy trail, high winds, and altitude. Bring energy food to snack on during the hike.

After taking photos, descend to Saddle Hut for brunch, and then down to Miriakamba Hut. 

Elevation Gain: 3,270 feet (996 m.) from Saddle Hut (11,710 feet/3,570 m.) to Socialist Peak (14,980 feet/4,566 m.)
Hiking Time: 10 hours

Day 5: Miriakamba Hut to Momella Gate - Return to Arusha

Mt. Meru
Mt. Meru's crater

The first task today is to descend to Momella Gate. The descent is fast, unless it has rained on the Mountain Trail (if it's wet, we recommend using the Dirt Road instead). Pass through scrubland, then descend into the montane forest, and finally into the open grassland. 

After reaching the gate, receive certificates for reaching the summits of Mt. Meru and Little Meru. Say goodbye to your national park guide and mountain staff, and return to Arusha. 

Return to Rivertrees Country Inn for dinner and for the night.

Elevation Loss: 1,015 meters, 3,330 feet from Miriakamba Hut (8,250 feet/2,525 m.) to Arusha (4,920 feet/1,500 m.)
Hiking Time: Two to three hours