Mount Meru Trek
At 4,556m, Mount Meru is the fifth highest
mountain in Africa. Hiking is only allowed
if accompanied by an armed guard. The climb
is superb, giving the best views available
of Mount Kilimanjaro. Because of the low
density of tourism, the chances of seeing
forest animals and, especially, primates
like black and white colobus monkeys, are
far better than on Kilimanjaro.
We began our trek from Momella gate (1500m).
The track passed some open grassland where
trekkers often see Giraffe, Buffalo, Warthog,
Elephants, etc. It then continues as a steady
climb through montane forest across the Ngarenanyuki
river and past the Fig tree arch. Then the
trek continues through less dense forest,
where there are a lot of birds and monkeys
including the black and white colobus. With
views of the towering cliffs and the Ash
Cone, we saw Miriakamba hut (2514m), situated
in a grassy glade. Upon arrival we enjoyed
the last of the afternoon sun and beautiful
views over the surrounding plains towards
Kilimanjaro. The trek is about 10Km and takes
about 4 or 5 hours walking. The ascent is
1,014 m. (However, due to illness, our vehicle
took us part way up the track).
The steep sustained climb to the saddle below
Little Meru is 4km and takes 2 to 3 hours.
Starting through attractive, open and lush
montane forest, the path continues beyond
the halfway point of Elephant ridge and carries
on uphill through the giant heather, ‘brocolli
fields’ and other moorland vegetation until
we reached Saddle hut (3570m) for lunch.
In the afternoon we trekked to the summit
of Little Meru (3820m) and enjoyed the extremely
scenic views of the Meru Summit, the top
of the ashcone and the crater horseshoe,
as well as the great dome of Kilimanjaro.
The return trek is about 2 hours.
On both mornings we woke to a wonderful sunrise
and it is absolutely spectacular looking
across to Mount Kilimanjaro. The whole of
the valley below us was beneath a sea of
white fluffy cloud. Only Mount Meru and Mount
Kilimanjaro were in sight above the clouds
- talk about having our 'heads in the
The return trek to Momella gate is 9km (5hrs).
We stayed at KIA Lodge overnight (near the
airport) for our early 6am departure to Nairobi and then a change of flight to
arrive in London at 16.05.