Mt. Meru

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Mt. Meru

Eclipsed by the majestic dome of its near neighbor Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru has never gained its rightful place as a major tourist attraction in the Northern circuit. But to anyone visiting Arusha, the jagged profile of this grand volcano, rising from densely forested flanks, inevitably sends a fascinating, challenging call.

Once a volcano cone, Mount Meru lost its top and its entire eastern side in a gigantic explosion perhaps million years ago that left the asymmetric walls of a cardera or crater that now constitutes the main mass of the mountain. Rising inside the cardera is an ash cone, the result of post explosion volcanism. Viewed from the crater rim, its bare slopes are a reminder of the recentness of apocalyptic activity. The latest eruption of Mount Meru was a lava flow believed to have occurred in 1879.

Recurrences are certainly not ruled out, as steam vents and hot springs attest to the life of fires below. Making it to the peak, you find yourself emerging on a prominent rocky knob (4566m) with a spectacular view. To the south, you look straight down to Arusha town, southwest you’ll see the Masai Steppe, to the east the Shira plateau and Kibo,  northwest, the Natron Badlands.

The climb up Meru is nowhere difficult or technical, but the altitude may well affect some people adversely. For the 3 or 4 days invested in the climb, Mount  Meru will yield a rich reward of scenery, wildlife, flora and geology. She will also provide the radical changes in environment that refresh the spirit and the physical challenge that renews the body. Whether as a warm up for the trek of Kilimanjaro, as a weekend trip for a visitor to Arusha or in combination with an extended visit to the varied and beautiful National Parks in Arusha, Mount Meru will reward her visitors.

Tour no. VE-106:  3 days / 2 nights. Accommodation in huts.

1     Depart Arusha for Arusha National Park. Begin the trek from Momella gate,
crossing the Ngarenanyuki river and past the Fig tree arch to Miriakamba hut (2514m) for overnight. The trek covers about 10kms and takes 4-5 hours. Overnight at: Miriakamba Hut
2     The day is spent trekking for about 2-3 hours, a distance of about 4km to
Saddle hut (3570m). From here you can choose to either:

Trek to the summit of Little Meru (3820m) in 2-3 hours (return).
Extremely scenic views of the Meru Summit, the top of the ashcone and the
crater horseshoe as well as the great dome of Kilimanjaro can be seen here.

Trek to Rhino point, views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are great and you can also see down into the Meru crater to the base of the ashcone and across the floor of the crater.This takes 2 hours return.

Or just rest at the Saddle hut….
Saddle Hut
3     Depart Saddle hut at around 0200 in time to reach the summit to see the sun rise behind Kilimanjaro and to try to avoid the late morning mist. The trek to the summit is along a very narrow ridge for about 5km (4-5 hrs) to Saddle hut, and a further 9km (5-6 hrs) to Momella gate. Here you will be met and transferred to Arusha.

End of tour!

Tour no. VE-106: 4 days / 3 nights. Accommodation in huts.

1     Depart Arusha for Arusha National Park. Begin the trek from Momella gate,
crossing the Ngarenanyuki river and past the Fig tree arch to Miriakamba hut (2514m) for overnight. The trek covers about 10kms and takes 4-5 hours. Overnight at: Miriakamba Hut
2     The day is spent trekking for about 2-3 hours, a distance of about 4km to
Saddle hut (3570m). From here you can choose to either:

Trek to the summit of Little Meru (3820m) in 2-3 hours (return).
Extremely scenic views of the Meru Summit, the top of the ashcone and the
crater horseshoe as well as the great dome of Kilimanjaro can be seen here.

Trek to Rhino point, views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are great and you can also see down into the Meru crater to the base of the ashcone and across the floor
of the crater.This takes 2 hours return.

Or just rest at the Saddle hut….
Saddle Hut
3     Depart Saddle hut at around 0200 in time to reach the summit to see the sun rise behind Kilimanjaro and to try to avoid the late morning mist. The trek to the summit is along a very narrow ridge for about 5km (4-5 hrs) ; the descent takes 4-5 hrs (9km) to Miriakamba hut for overnight.
Miriakamba Hut
4     After breakfast, depart Miriakamba hut for Momella gate, this takes about 3-4 hours. Optional game drive before transfer to Arusha.

End of tour!

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