Mount Meru - 4 Days 3 Nights
Mount Meru - 4 Days 3 Nights
MTTZ004: MOUNT MERU 4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS MOUNT MERU CLIMB
Mt. Meru (4565m) is a young volcanic mountain which dominates the town of Arusha in northern Tanzania. Its slopes are steep - the upper ones covered in ash - and it last erupted in 1877. The lower slopes are heavily forested. The summit is the highest point of an elegant steep-sided crater rim, comparable to that of Longonot but breached at its lowest point on the east side. The final sections of the ascent provide airy walking with dramatic views - west down steep, forested slopes to the plains below and east down a 1000m precipice dropping to the crater floor where a smaller volcanic cone lies at the base of a cirque of cliffs - the Ash Cone. Extensive forests cover the gentler east slopes; this area falls within the Arusha National Park which can be divided into the Momela and Ngurdoto sections. Together they are endowed with 48km of fine game-viewing roads set in magnificent scenery. The first recorded ascent of Mt Meru was made by Franz Jaeger in 1904. Renamed "Socialist Peak" by the Tanzanians, it is unfortunate that this beautiful mountain has "Big Brother" so close by. Those with time and money to spare are however strongly advised to pay a visit at least to see the magnificent lakes and game-filled forests. An ascent would provide excellent opportunities for acclimatisation before a visit to Kilimanjaro.
Since the entire mountain: lies in the Arusha National Park, entry is subject to the normal park, rescue and hut fees which for a 3-day trip would add up to about $250 (2003). The park provides a ranger; it is not normal to use porters but these are available if requested at the park gate. It is usual to use both huts on the ascent, though it is possible to descend quickly on the third day. The huts are near water and provide mattresses.
The weather on Mt Meru is drier than that on Mt Kenya and subject to a similar rainfall pattern as encountered on Kilimanjaro. The higher tracks on the mountain could be tackled by high clearance cars in dry conditions; in the wet 4WD is essential. Either way rangers may recommend leaving a vehicle beside the Ranger's house at the park gate. This does add several hours walk, but the terrain is beautiful and game plentiful. Near the park gate the once luxurious Momela Game Lodge is rather run down. Camping is also possible. Petrol and garage facilities are available in Arusha 30km away.
Day 01: Depart from your hotel in the morning for Momella Gate of Arusha National Park (1,500 m.). After park entrance formalities, we begin our hike, guided by a park ranger. The track passes open grassland, providing an opportunity to see buffalo, warthogs and other grazers. The trail continues as a steady climb through Montana forest. We take lunch near a giant Fig Tree arch. After lunch, the route continues through less dense forest, where there are an abundance of birds and black and white colobus monkeys. By mid-afternoon, we can see towering cliffs and the Ash
Cone. We reach Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m.), situated in an idyllic grassy glade, in time to enjoy the last of the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains towards Kilimanjaro. (4-6 hours walking).Dinner and Overnight at the hut.
Day 02: The walk from Miriakamba Hut to the saddle below Little Meru is a short day but a steep climb. We slowly ascend through lush Montana forest to reach the halfway point of Elephant Ridge. From here we enjoy excellent views of the summit ridge and across the crater floor. The path continues through giant heather and other fascinating moorland vegetation to reach Saddle Hut (3,570 m), where lunch is will be provided. The afternoon is free to relax and to enjoy the views. The more energetic can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820 m) for superb views just before sunset. (3-5 hours walking).
Day 03: You will start early at around 2 a.m. to climb steeply to Rhino Point (3,800 m.), continuing along an undulating ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4,350 m) at sunrise. The views are stunning: the cliffs of the Crater rim, the Ash Cone rising from the Crater floor, Kilimanjaro floating on the morning clouds and west towards the Rift Valley if the weather is clear. The summit of Socialist Peak (4,566 m.) is an hour further on a good but steep path. The route back to Rhino Point in the morning light, on a narrow ridge between the sloping outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall, is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. We enjoy a rest and brunch at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m, 10-12 hours walking). Miriakamba Hut Note: The ridge between the summit and Rhino Point is not suitable for those suffering from vertigo. In icy conditions or in strong winds, it may be impossible for anyone to progress beyond Rhino Point.
Day 04: Breakfast. You will take the direct route down through open grassland and mixed forest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. This trail has excellent views back
towards the crater and over the plains of the National Park. We should reach Momella Gate by late morning (2-3 hours walking). Once you reach the end of the
climb you will be transferred to your hotel.
* Gloves, Sun glasses, Sleeping bag, Hats , Rain suits,
* Warm Jacket, Heavy boots, Scarf's, Rain Trousers.
* Price is exclusive of first and Last Night accommodation in Nairobi.
You can hire some of the equipments available at a reasonable cost