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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 clouds'!

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.