Mount Meru is one of Africa`s most beautiful dormant strato volcanic cones and the second highest peak in Tanzania and the fifth highest mountain in Africa. It is located north-eastern side of Arusha region, about 70 kilometers west of Mount Kilimanjaro. It takes about one hour driving from Arusha to the momella gate.
Mount Meru is indeed perfect preparation for a Kilimanjaro climb. It offers you a taste of what you can expect on Kilimanjaro. It is recommended, if the time and budget allow, before climbing mount Kilimanjaro, better to do Meru first, as an acclimatization hike. This will help to increase your chances of a successful summit on Kilimanjaro. Climbing mount Meru offers to trekkers also different climbing challenges experience in altitudes, and this will help climbers to get used with the altitude and climbing challenges when they climb Kili. At height of 4,566m. requires your body to make changes to adapt the altitude. That height is certainly enough to bring on altitude sickness and climbing Mount Meru is also a challenging climb.Do not underestimate it!
While its last minor eruption in 1910, it is thought to have lost the bulk of its size in an eruption some 8,000 years ago, and its nutrient-rich soil support a wide range of flora and fauna. Millions years ago,a major eruption blew off the top of the volcano, giving it a horseshoe shape. Its summit collapsed around 7,800 years ago and much of the volcanoes bulk was lost.
What makes mt.Meru special, is the chance to see animals on foot and explore the Meru crater, a caldera with 3.5km.wide.The mountain is located in the middle of Arusha National Park, so the hike on the first day has a special charm. In the lowlands of the mountain, accompanied by a park ranger, you may see baboons, buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs, waterbuck, bushbucks, dikdik and other wildlife plus a huge diversity of birds. The ascent is quite steep in places and leads through various vegetation zones, from the grasslands into the rain forest and through the heath and moorland into the alpine desert.
Summiting mount Meru is technically more difficult than Kilimanjaro and requires a good condition. The last 1,000 meters are quite steep. However, climbing skills are not required. The mount Meru climb is recommended by us a 4 day tour. For experienced and fit mountain hikers, the tour is also suitable in 3 days.
Meru is far less crowded than Kilimanjaro, and was first summated in the year 1904, by Fritz Jӓger from Germany. Normally, after conquering this hike, you will have more than enough confidence in yourself, when you climb Kilimanjaro.