+255 623 735 252 info@amkaafrika.com
+255 623 735 252 info@amkaafrika.com

Mount Meru

Mount Meru is an active volcano of 4566 metres about 70 kilometres west of Mount  Kilimanjaro and our trek is six days to reach the summit and come back. It is an excellent standalone trip or a prequel to climbing Kilimanjaro itself. Some people say that Meru is actually more challenging, and for sure it is much quieter. Therefore there is a lot more wildlife to be seen and the sense of remoteness and solitude is much stronger  than on the more famous peak nearby.

The mountain is the centerpiece of Arusha National Park and its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards. Trekkers have the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife as they approach and climb the mountain.

The ascent is quite steep in places and the route to the summit passes over a number of  streams, moving through grasslands, tropical rainforest, alpine meadows, moorlands and desert uplands to snow and ice. The summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge, which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several hundred feet below in the crater.

How high is Mount Meru?

Mount Meru is 4,566 meters high.
Mt Meru is the fifth highest mountain in Africa (depending on your definition). Its rim lined crater extends down 1,500 meters to the crater floor making it one of the tallest cliffs in Africa.

When was Mt Meru first climbed?
Although the first accent of Mt Meru is still disputed, it is widely accredited to either Fritz Jaeger in 1904 or Carl Uhlig in 1901.

Why Climb Mount Meru?
Even with its incredible views, scenery and wildlife, Mount Meru is often overlooked due to its  close location to the far more popular peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.
But there are three main reasons why we think climbing Mount Meru is a great idea.

1. Walk with wildlife
When do you get the opportunity to do a walking safari whilst hiking a major African peak? Lying within Arusha National Park, the lower reaches of Mount Meru are amazingly rich in  wildlife. You are almost certain to see monkeys, warthogs, buffaloes and a wide array of birds and, if you’re lucky, elephants and giraffes!
Because of the abundance of wildlife on and around Meru, it is compulsory to be accompanied by an armed ranger on your trek at all times.

2. Excellent acclimatisation for Mount Kilimanjaro

Mt Meru offers a great way to prepare for Kilimanjaro as it gives you a little taster as to what to expect on the bigger mountain.

3 . Stunning scenery
Mount Meru features incredibly captivating scenic vistas. The trek to Socialist Peak (4566 m/14,980 f),  traverses several climatic zones, offering diverse landscapes and unparalleled scenes for wildlife photography.
The views from the summit area of Mt Meru are truly rewarding – valleys, forests and meadows, all buried in lush verdure, and magnetizing view of the Kilimanjaro peak looming on a horizon will surprise even the most seasoned travellers.

4.Rich wildlife
Nestled in Arusha National Park, Mount Meru is one of the few mountains of the world still densely inhabited by the wildlife, which freely roam on its slopes. The hikers are likely to experience multiple encounters with different animals, including buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, giraffes and, with some luck in your pocket, even elephants.

5.No crowds
Meru is not yet popular among hikers. During the high season, on the popular routes of Kilimanjaro (Marangu and Machame) there is a chance of “traffic jams”, something that you will never experience on the trails of Meru. For those who are seeking reclusive, tranquil hiking in the wild, Meru is a great choice.

Most importantly though is that Mt Meru can help you acclimatize for Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, people who attempt speed ascents on Kilimanjaro, almost always acclimatize on Mt Meru.
Do not underestimate Mount Meru though. It is certainly high enough to bring on altitude sickness. At a height of 4,566m, Meru is a tall mountain in its own right and forces your body to make changes to adapt to the altitude. Please click here for a full guide on how to deal with acclimatization.
Similar to Kilimanjaro, you trek the summit at night, reaching the peak just before sunrise. You then descend an amazing 2000m on the same day! All these similarities allow your body (and your mind) to prepare for Kilimanjaro.

3. No Crowds on Mt Meru

Another bonus of climbing Mount Meru is the lack of crowds that can sometimes plague Mount Kilimanjaro. As its little known brother, Mt Meru is a fantastic way to avoid this and get stuck into a peaceful trek.

When should I climb Mount Meru?
Generally we recommend hiking between June and February. March, April and May are best avoided as these are rainy months in Tanzania.

What are the Mount Meru Hiking Routes?

Unlike Mount Kilimanjaro, there is only one official route to the summit of Meru – the ‘Momella route’ (see Kilimanjaro's routes). 
Although there is a 3 day (8.7 mile) option, we discuss the longer and more common 4 day (11.8 mile) Mount Meru hike below.

Day 1

Momela Gate 1500m “ Miriakamba Hut 2514m
Hiking Time: 4 -5 hours
Distance: 10km
From the Momela Gate cross the Ngare Nanyuki River and follow the track into the forest. The sacred Fig Tree Arch is reached after an hour. After reaching Miriakamba, you can walk to Meru Crater Floor (a 2 to 3 hour return trip) either in the afternoon of Day 1 or before the start of Day 2. The path across the floor leads to Njeku Camp (an old forest station) and Njeku viewpoint on a high cliff overlooking a waterfall, with excellent views of the Ash Cone and the entire extent of the crater.

Day 2

Miriakamba Hut Saddle Hut 3570m
Hiking Time: 2 and 3 hours
Distance: 4km
From Miriakamba, the path climb steeply up through pleasant glades between the trees to rich Tope la Mbogo (Buffalo Swamp) after 45mins and Mgongo wa Tembo (Elephant Ridge) after another 30mins. Continue through some open grassy clearings and over several stream beds (usually dry) to Saddle Hut. From Saddle Hut, you can walk up to Little Meru 3820 meters in about an hour on a clear path. Allow 45minutes to get back to Saddle Hut.

Day 3

Saddle Hut “ Miriakamba Hut (2514m) Summit Day
Hiking Time:  11hrs
Distance: 10km
Start ascends early morning 2am to 3am to reach the summit 4566meters in time to the sun rising from behind Kilimanjaro. This is 5km climb up 996m to the peak, followed by descent to Miriakamba Hut for the evening.

Day 4

Miriakamba Hut “ Momella Gate (1500m)
Time: 2 and 3 hrs
Distance: 10km

Descend using the same route that you used to climb the mountain.

Alternatively: Some groups combine the third (summit) day and the fourth (descend) day. This is entirely possible, but does mean that the summit day is very lengthy, since you must descend right off the mountain in the same day.



You’ll be picked up from your Arusha hotel and transferred to the Momella Gate of Arusha National Park, where you’ll go through the necessary pre-climb formalities.

Today’s hiking takes you across the open grasslands of the park in the company of an armed ranger. As you’re inside a national park, you’ll have an excellent chance of spotting game such as elephants, giraffes, buffalo, monkeys, and much more during the day.

In the afternoon, you’ll begin to climb into the rainforest, where you’ll overnight in the Miriakamba huts.


You’ll pass from the lush rainforest and into the more spartan heath zone today, with giant clumps of heather and other moorland scrub dotting the terrain.

Hiking along the ridge of the Mount Meru Crater, you’ll have breathtaking views of both the crater and the Ash Tray.

For those with a little extra energy, there’s the option to ascend to the peak of Little Mount Meru for a panoramic view of Arusha and its surrounds.


You’ll be up very early today. Around midnight, in fact!

It’s a steep trail that separates you from the summit of Mt. Meru and your trail takes you via Rhino Point and Cobra Point through volcanic terrain before you finally reach Socialist Point.

From here, you’ll experience a stunning sunset via of Arusha and the surrounding landscape before beginning your descent back to the Momella Gate.


Note: Although the summit stage has some easy climbing passages, these are not secured. Surefootedness and a good head for heights are required. In bad weather conditions (heavy rain, dense fog, and icing of the rocks) the accompanying ranger may choose to abort the ascent. An ascent during the great rainy season (April / May) is not recommended.

Prices / included services

Pricing for the Mount Meru ascent 3 days (per person)

1 Person

2 Persons

3-4 Persons

5-6 Persons

7 Persons and more

1210 USD

830 USD

700 USD

650 USD

600 USD

Pricing for the Mount Meru ascent 4 days (per person)

1 Person

2 Persons

3-4 Persons

5-6 Persons

7 Persons and more

1410 USD

980 USD

860 USD

800 USD

760 USD

Single accommodation is not possible on this tour, as the overnight stays take place in mountain huts with multiple occupancy.

Services included: 

  • Mount Meru trekking according to the itinerary
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Mountain crew (cook & porters)
  • Overnight stays in mountain huts
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water, tea & coffee
  • All national park fees
  • Transfer from the hotel to the National Park gate and back

Not included services:

  • Alcohol and soft drinks
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance


Speak to Someone who Knows Africa?

We’ve been working in Africa for more than 10 years. How’d we get here? By redefining the way travelers see Africa . Check out how we’re creating the future of your Adventure here in Africa


This climb involves some long days of trekking on moderate slopes over rough paths. We will also of course be ascending to altitudes where the effects will certainly be felt, and the itinerary is planned to allow  acclimatization time.
Because of all these factors you will need to be in reasonably good fitness and also in good health. This is from the point of view of safety but also enjoyment. You will have more energy and enthusiasm to enjoy your  surroundings and the experience in general if you aren't finding  the going to tough.

The most relevant aspects of fitness to work on are general cardiovascular fitness and leg, core and back strength. The best training is to replicate what you will do on the climb by doing long walks of 5 hours or more on undulating terrain with a light rucksack. Things like swimming, cycling, running, rowing etc for 40 minute or longer sessions are also good ways to build the right conditioning.

If you have any questions about the level of fitness required or suggested ways of achieving it then please do feel free to call or email us for individual advice. 


This is a non-technical trek of Mt Meru, but it offers a mountaineering experience all the same and high altitude to contend with. You will need to be fit and any regular hill walker will find this expedition within his or her capabilities. A training programme should include at least one hill walk a week with a small pack of around 10kgs, and regular visits to the gym or the swimming pool once a week for the final two months before departure. Age is not a limiting factor either; the secret of climbing Mt Meru is to go slowly and enjoy the scenery, drink well, eat well and sleep well. A regular, maintained pace will ensure proper acclimatization.