Trekking Mount Meru, Tanzania

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Just got back from Tanzania where we spent four days walking up Mt Meru before our safari.  If Meru was positioned anywhere else it would be a major trekking destination, but it has the misfortune to be situated 50 miles from its more famous big sister – Kilimanjaro, which attracts all the headlines and most of the visitors.

For Meru this is a pity, as it’s a stunningly beautiful mountain, more wildlife on its lower slopes than Kili, a lovely forest trail up the mountain and a more varied ascent to the summit, along a sometimes quite tricky path, with a bit of scrambling and a real pull to the top.  For those that do get up here, they’re rewarded by phenomenal views down into the Ash Cone, the sheer, rocky eastern face of the mountain the Masai call Ol Donyo Orok – the Black Mountain, and great views of Kili and across the Masai Steppe and into Kenya.

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We started at 5,000 feet, walking up a trail with colobus monkeys above and the crimson flash of turacos flying between the trees of the ancient nuxia and juniper forest, it’s a hugely atm0spheric place, festooned with lichen and mosses and you half expect an elf or goblin to appear from behind every tree!  Our first hut was Miriakamba Hut at around 8000 ft with fantastic views of the top of the mountain as the cloud lifted.

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The following day it’s a full morning’s hike through more beautiful hagenia forest up a good trail to Saddle Hut, from where you can take an acclimatisation walk up Little Meru in the afternoon, before an early night and a good meal prepared for you  by your cook, in readiness for the hardest day of all.

From Saddle Hut it’s the big push to the summit, done at night with a headtorch to reach the 15,000 ft peak at sunrise, and a huge sense of acheivement at the top.  Fron there it’s downhill all the way and you see the path that you ascended at night – good thing it was in the dark!  Congratulations Joyce, Nick and Shelly for summiting in style!

The final day is a different route down, stunning scenery and a lovely path.  Meru is a great alternative to Kilimanjaro, yes, it’s lower and it’s not the highest in Africa, but in many ways it’s more beautiful and it has the attraction of fewer people – so don’t tell everyone!

If you want to discuss a trek up either Meru or Kili, perhaps in combination with a Tanzanian safari, do get in touch at

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About ajourneyintoafrica

I’ve both lived and worked in Africa in the safari industry and now have over 32 years of safari experience. I first visited Africa as an 18 year old, when I developed a huge interest and love for the continent. I led my first safari in 1986, after gaining an environmental science degree from London University, and have always been captivated by Africa’s animal and bird-life, by its huge horizons and wide open spaces, and by its people and cultures.

One response to “Trekking Mount Meru, Tanzania

  1. What a beautiful place! Your photography and writing are great Andrew, can’t wait to read more.

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