MOUNT MERU 3 DAYS CLIMB
Day 1 : Mount Meru - Miriakamba Huts
Day 2 : Miriakamba Huts - Saddle Huts
Day 3 : Saddle Huts - Momella Gate
DAY 1 : Mount Meru - Miriakamba Huts
Momella Gate (1,500m/4,921’) –> Mariakamba Hut (2,514m/8,250’)
After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel in Arusha and transfer to Arusha National Park where you will do all the park entrance formalities at the Ngongongare Gate. After completing all formalities you will walk under the Momella Gate to begin your trek. You will walk over Ngare Nanyuki River and soon pass open grassland where you can see Buffalo, Warthogs, Giraffes and sometimes Elephants. You will continue with a steady climb through the Montane forest. In the afternoon you will pause for enjoy a picnic lunch and later continue through the less dense forest where you can spot birds and monkeys including the Black & White Colubus monkey. By mid afternoon you will have closer views of Meru’s towering cliffs and Ash Cone. You will arrive at the Mariakamba Huts for dinner and overnight.
The Huts are situated in an idyllic grassy glade and clients will reach in time to enjoy the afternoon sun and beautiful views over the surrounding plains between Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro. If clients are lucky they may see some animals walk through the Mariakamba Huts.
DAY 2 : Miriakamba Huts - Saddle Huts
Mariakamba Huts (2,514m/8,250’) –> Saddle Huts (3,570m/11,712’)
We leave the Mariakamba Huts just after breakfast and ascend steeply to the crater rim which is called Elephants Ridge (In Swahili; Ngongo wa Tembo). Follow a steep path through attractive open lush Montane Forest to reach the giant heather in the moorland near the saddle between Little Meru and Meru. A hot lunch will be ready for you when you arrive at the Saddle Huts. You will have the afternoon free to rest and enjoy the views, but energetic trekkers can make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3,820m/ 12,533’) for superb views just before sunset.
This camp offers a great view of the Kibo Peak. At this location which displays vast prairies and bushes, you will find them regrouped to face the cold and wind. At night, the sky is covered with thousands of stars and you can admire the famous Southern Cross and hear the distant cries of jackals. The next morning, you can not miss the presence of buffalos, or elands.
DAY 3 : Saddle Huts - Momella Gate
Saddle Huts (3,570m/11,712’) –> Summit (4,565m/14,977’)- Momella Gate (1500)
After an early start with tea and biscuits, you will leave for the summit at 02:00 hrs. By torchlight, you will follow the trail through bush land to the so-called Rhino Point (3821m) in which the path turns into a little more challenging trek with occasional light climbs. You will follow the north ridge to the summit on which you walk on ground alternating between lava ash and rock. After approx. 4 - 5 hours, you will have the summit and the Tanzanian flag in your sights. From the summit, you will be able to enjoy the sun rising above Kilimanjaro and the fantastic view of Mount Meru's crater with its steep sides and the "Ash Cone" in the middle. The descent follows the same route back to Saddle Hut (3550m) where you will take a well-deserved break and recuperate with hot soup and tea. Once refreshed, you will continue with the descent. During the early afternoon, you will reach Miriakamba Hut (2500m) - tired but happy. At this hut, you can rest a bit and think about the last stage that you have left. After the rest you will follow a 2 - 3 hour trek over the so-called 'Northern Route' back to Momella Gate. The descent is shorter than the ascent but there is still the chance to see elephants, buffalos, giraffes as well as the black and white columbus monkeys. At the gate, you will say farewell to your hiking crew and your driver will take you back to Arusha.