TANZANIA

4-Day Mt. Meru Trek

Located in Arusha National Park, trekking Mt. Meru is usually overlooked in favor of its bigger neighbor, Mt. Kilimanjaro. However, the sheer beauty of this hike makes it an attractive option for the discerning traveler. The landscape is particularly scenic, with the early parts of the trail passing through lush rainforests of fig trees, and the rest of the mountain's terrain ranges from jungle to forest to plains. Colubus monkeys scamper high in the canopy, and other wildlife sightings may include elephant, reticulated giraffe, zebra, dik-dik, lion, and cheetah.

As you trek higher, the cloud forest clears in the late afternoon to reveal striking vistas of Kilimanjaro and the volcano chain on the edge of the Rift Valley. The last distance before the summit passes over the crater ridge – an exhilarating experience, and not one for the faint-hearted.

Accommodations include the Miriakamba and Saddle huts while on the trek. Sleeping bags are available for rent. Porters' payment is included in tour fee.

Activity Level:

Vigorous. Recommended for fit travelers with basic hiking skills. Hiking 5-8 hours daily. Altitude is 14,980 ft.

Day 1: MIRIAKAMBA HUT

Altitude: 4,921' to 8,530'; Hike time: 3.5 hrs

Drive to Momella gate. Start the climb through well-developed woodland where there is a good chance of seeing large animals such as giraffe or water buffalo. Continue into the forest zone to the first hut for a picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight at Miriakamba Hut.

Day 2: SADDLE HUT

Altitude: 8,530' to 11,811'; Hike time: 3 hrs

After breakfast, proceed with a climb through forest and a moorland zone. Keep your eyes out for the black-and-white colobus monkey. Enjoy lunch at the Saddle hut. During the afternoon, hike the optional Little Meru peak (12,533 ft) and back, taking about an hour each way. Dinner and overnight at Saddle Hut.

Day 3: SUMMIT SADDLE HUT

Altitude: 11,811' to 14,980' (summit) then down to 11,811'; Hike time: 6-8 hrs

Wake up between midnight to 4 a.m. and have a cup of tea before starting big Meru peak. Proceed to the summit, crossing rocky paths, and back to Saddle hut for a full breakfast and lunch. The day will be spent resting. Lunch, dinner and overnight at Saddle Hut.

Day 4: MOMELLA GATE

Leave Saddle hut and descend down to Momella gate via first hut (Miriakamba) where you will be transferred to your hotel.

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