TREKKING MOUNT MERU

Difficulty: Difficult

PRESENTATION OF THE CIRCUIT

Mount Meru is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent and dominates the Arusha National Park with its huge cliffs. The mountain is often used as a warm-up climb in preparation for the Kilimanjaro. However, the technical requirements are greater on Mount Meru than on the Kilimanjaro Routes. On the four-day trekking, you are more than likely to see giraffes, buffalos, antelopes and baboons;

At 4566m, Mount Meru is  the second highest mountain in Tanzania. About 250 000 years ago, a massive volcanic blast blew away the entire eastern flank of the mountain and left it with the characteristic and distinctive appearance it has today. The Mt Meru ascent passes through many different vegetation zones.

The dry forest of the lower region gives way to a dense mountain rainforest, which then turns into a scrubland. Towards the top of the mountain, the vegetation consists of heather and moorland and is then finally replaced by the stunning baron alpine deserts. As the flora changes the wildlife does so too, which is diverse and equally impressive. During the ascent, you will regularly come across large game such as elephants and buffalos but you may also come across leopards. Due to this, it is obligatory to be accompanied by an armed park ranger on your tour.

ITINERARY

In the morning, you will be collected from your hotel and after a 45-minute drive, you will arrive at the Arusha National Park Gate. At the national park gate, your guide will complete the obligatory entry forms and whilst he does so, you can peruse the information boards of the national park.

Once the formalities have been completed and the hiking team consisting of porters from the surrounding villages is formed, you will then be driven a little further to Momella Gate. An armed park ranger will accompany you while you start your hike and get a first glimpse of the wonderful giraffes and buffalos. Once you have left the buffalo herds and giraffes behind, you will enter the acacia forest in which you will follow the Southern
Route. After a steady 2-hour climb, you will reach Moio Falls and some picturesque meadows that are a perfect place for a picnic. After a rest, you will again be on your way and soon reach the well-known ‘Arched Fig Tree’. Here your park ranger will tell you about the formation of this tree and how it gained its shape forming an arch over the path. After another 1½ – 2 hours, you will reach the Miriakamba Hut. Evening meal and overnight stay at the Miriakamba Hut. Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

In the morning, you will leave the Miriakamba Hut behind and follow a steep track with wooden steps upwards. Due to the gain in height, it will be noticeably cooler than the previous day and due to this, the hike will seem to get easier. The clouds also often hang in the rainforest and dip the lush vegetation in a moody atmosphere.

After approximately 2 hours, you will reach the vantage point ‘Mgongo wa Tembo’ (Elephant back) at an elevation of 3200m, where you will enjoy a well-earned break. After another hike in which the vegetation changes from rainforest into an airy bush land, you will reach Saddle Hut (3550m) at midday for a relaxing lunch break.

During the afternoon, you have the option of a side trip to Little Meru (3820m) which takes approx. 1 – 1 ½ hours and from where you can have wonderful views of Arusha National Park and of the Kilimanjaro (approx. 80 km away). Back at the hut, a warm dinner is waiting for you before you will have the final preliminary talk in preparation for the following day’s climb to the summit. Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

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 towards 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 long 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 relax and think about the last stage that you have completed. Evening meal and overnight stay at Miriakamba Hut (2500m). Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

After breakfast, 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. Breakfast

“Life’s a climb, but the view is great..!”

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Clothing to have

• Sun hat or scarf
• Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
• Sunglasses with UV protection

• Under garments
• Hiking shorts
• Lightweight cotton long pants
• Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
• Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

• T-shirts
• Light and expedition weight thermal tops
• Fleece jacket or pullover
• Fleece wind-stopper jacket (optional)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
• Down jacket

• Lightweight gloves
• Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)

• Thin and lightweight inner socks
• Thick and warm wool hiking socks
• Hiking boots with spare laces
• Camp shoes (sneakers / sandals
• Gaiters for protecting you from the stones entering your shoes on the summit night

Personal small first aid kit

• Pain Killers (Ibuprofen)
• Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you are climbing Kilimanjaro – Paracetamol
• Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
• Compeed Blister Pads
• Imodium / Loperamide anti-diarrhea tablets
• Any medication you normally use
Dioralyte sachets or similar re-hydration packs.

Note that your guide or safari liaison will carry a more comprehensive medical kit containing additional Acetazolamide, Ibuprofen, Anti-inflammatory gel, bandages, Loperamide, Amoxicillin, Oral Dexamethasone, and several other items.

Miscellaneous

• Headlamp with spare batteries
• Camera and film / digital camera & spare memory cards & charger / batteries
• Day pack 30-40 litres for personal use while on the mountain /safari
• Rack sack or duffel bag to contain everything you will need while on the mountain / safari
• Sleeping bag rated to – 10C if climbing Kilimanjaro with us / +5C if only doing safari
• Sleeping mat
• Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside your rack sack
• Trekking poles
• Water bottles
• Water purification tablets / Iodine drops
• Binocular
• Ear plug – cause there’s some in the camp are snoring
• Spare contact lenses and fluid – if worn /watch
• Reading book
• Journal and pen  Toothbrush and toothpaste & deodorant – Flat packed wet ones / travel wipes
• Medium sized quick drying towel
• Multipurpose soap
• Face and body moisturizer
• Small mirror
• Hairbrush / comb
• Tissue / toilet roll
• Hand sanitizer
• Lip bum with UV protection
• Vaseline to prevent chafing skin and heel friction blisters
• High energy snacks (Cereal bars, dried fruits and nuts
Mobile phone. There is signal reception in much of the national parks and safari areas. Note: It is a very good idea to unlock your phone before you come out so that a local SIM card can be used. This will make calls home very inexpensive.

Documents

• Passport (with additional 6 months’ validity after proposed trip return date)
• Tanzanian Entry Visa. (If flying to Nairobi and taking the bus to Arusha, Kenyan visas can be bought on arrival at Nairobi airport.)
• Air Travel Documents – Cash in US dollars in denominations of $10 and $20 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc)
• Credit Cards (recommended for eventualities only & obtaining extra cash from ATMs)
• Travel Insurance Documents
• Vaccination Certificates (where applicable) – Traveler’s Cheques are not recommend as they are subject to extremely poor conversion rates in Arusha.

Health

Malaria Tablets (if you choose to take these. Most will seek advice from their GP. Note: some anti-malarial courses need to commence several weeks before departure
Sun cream Note: some argue that most sun creams are carcinogenic and either organic sun barriers or loose fitting clothes that cover the skin are regarded by many as preferable.

INSCRIPTION

Prices

1 PAX : 1099$

2-5 PAX : 949$

6-10 PAX : 829$

Plesae note that the prices are an estimation. For any Price inquiry please contact us.

Includes

• Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and Park fees
• Transport to and from mountain’s gate
• 1 Night hotel accommodation before and after the climb
• All Kilimanjaro National Park entry fees, camping fees and climbing permit
• Kilimanjaro rescue fees ( Kilimanjaro Rescue Team )
• Emergency Oxygen Cylinder ( for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
• Basic first aid kit ( for use in emergencies only)
• Camping equipment’s ( tents, chairs and tables)
• Qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and chef
• Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by Kilimanjaro National Park
• Large portion of fresh, health and nutrition food based on three meals per day
• Acclimatization walk and coffee tour before the actual climb
• Water for washing up daily
• Airport pick up

Excludes

• International flights
• Tips, drinks and food in Moshi / Arusha town and all items personal nature
• South African passport holders do not require a visa for Tanzania, however, most other Nationalities require a visa for Tanzania
• Health requirements (yellow Fever Compulsory if traveling to Tanzania recommended)
• Highly recommended travel and medical insurance
• All mountain gears (winter closes) we can also arrange for hiring