Today Kim and I started our climb of Mount Meru. On the way to the trailhead (Momella Gate), we saw baboons, warthogs, zebras, buffalo, and dik dik. There was a blue monkey at the trailhead as well. Because of the danger from the wildlife, an armed ranger was required to accompany us for the hike up to Saddle Hut. You must book with a guiding service too; we went with Gladys.
We took the forest trail to the hut. Along the way we saw colobus monkeys, warthogs, blue monkeys, lots of birds, red dikas, and a giraffe which was on the trail. We had to wait for the giraffe to move before we could hike farther up the trail. We passed through the famous and spectacular fig tree arch along the way. The only real obstacle were the aggressive ants which bite hard as you pass through their territory. The hike was a pretty one through the rainforest.
We made good progress to the Miriakamba Hut where we spent the night.
We left the hut at 8 AM and headed for the Saddle Hut. This time we heard lots of colobus monkeys, but didn't see them. We did see a lot of birds though. We started in the rainforest, but the forest got more open as we headed higher and the plant life was really interesting. We started in the clouds, but eventually broke through them to find sunshine above the cloud deck. We also saw our first views of Kilimanjaro and had some good views of the highest summit of Meru as well.
We reached the Saddle Hut at about noon and took a rest before climbing Little Meru. The views were really spectacular as we were above the clouds and had some fantastic views of Kilimanjaro and Meru.
Toady we woke up at midnight in preparation for our climb of Mount Meru. The skies were mostly clear and the moon was close to full so it was a bright night where we didn't need a headlamp.
We headed up the mountain at 1 AM. We made pretty good progress up to Rhino Point (where there are some rhino bones on the summit), where the route became much more difficult. There are three sections of the route where there route had chains to hold on to, if you choose.
The route is pretty slow going and we reached the top at 6:45 AM, which was just after sunrise. The views across the clouds to Kilimanjaro were really spectacular. After enjoying the summit we headed down and we were at Saddle Hut by 11:00 AM.
After lunch we headed down to Miriakamba Hut seeing two types of antelope along as well as redbucks. bushbucks, and sunes along the way. There were many birds as well. We also saw a leopard track. We arrived at the Miriakamba Hut around 4:30 PM.
We asked the ranger if he knew the story behind the rhino bones on the summit of Rhino Point. He said yes and it was a very sad story. Rhino Point was actually named for two horn like formations seen on the mountain from the Miriakamba Hut. When the last known rhino in the park was poached, one of the rangers carries some of the bones up to Rhino Point and left them there as a memorial.
It was a beautiful morning. We were on the trail by 7:45 AM.
We took the shorter Ikitoni Trail back to the gate. In the forest we saw lots of hornbills, baboons, colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, sune, bushbucks, and many other birds. We took the shorter trail down through the Ikitoni Plain, taking a side trip to the spectacular Tululusia Falls where some of us (including me) took a cold shower.
After the waterfalls, we headed to the plain. In this clearing are of of animals such as baboons, many giraffes, zebras, warthogs, cape buffalo, egrets, etc. There were lots of animal skulls along the way as well and we saw a cool looking large caterpillar. We also saw several elephants near the gate.
Overall, the climb to Mount Meru was really spectacular even though it is mostly overlooked by trekkers in favor of Kilimanjaro.
climbed with 2 friends
Talked guide and ranger into a "two day" climb. Started walking at 1pm through jungle past buffalo, giraffe, warthogs and baboons. The sun went down before we made it to the high camp (summit huts), but the trail was well lit by a full moon. After a short sleep, I summitted a little after sunrise with a lot of wind above the saddle. Watching the sunrise on Kili was incredible. Afterwards I hiked all the way back to the Momella Gate.
If you are doing Kili and have the time, climb Meru!
yes....nice view from top
Post-Kili and safari climb with clients. Last section (above Saddle Hut) was more difficult than I expected, but only 5:45 to the top and 2:30 down. Not bad for having a bad cold!!!
Interesting hike. Wild giraffes, zebras, and buffalo on the lower mountain. Lots of interesting plants and trees higher up and a fascinating ash cone. Would be a much more effective acclimatization routine if more time were spent at the high huts, but an independant hiker has no control over the itinerary.
Really enjoyed this mountain. Highly recommend climbing Meru before Kili, it's worth it.
I climbed this mountain as a pre Kilimanjaro to my trip. It was an amazing hike.
Trekked in 26 hours (valley--top-valley). Amazing sunrise on top with Kili. Very cold and altitude sick couple of hours of "sleeping" before the final section.
From Saddle Hut.
The first three days of our honeymoon consisted of me dragging my wife up Meru :-) Amazing trek, and staring across to Kili in the distance with the Ash Cone below is an incredible view. The traverse was a bit hairy, and the altitude got me on the last 20mins, but well worth the effort and from what people have told me, a visually and technically better experience than it's bigger neighbour. Loved seeing the 30 mile shadow of Meru across the land when the sun came up. Hiking across the volcanic sand in the moonlight, above the clouds, was surreal and unforgettable.
It was really cold and we had high winds when we summited it. Went up and down in three days (booked four, but there was a shortage of park rangers). I'm glad we did this as an acclimatization for Kili, as we saw loads of wildlife we didn't get to see on Kili.
It was rainy the day before, but it cleared out for my summit. This is my new altitude record. Kibo was in a cloud halo, but still nice views.
Enjoyed this mountain immensely. Fun summit day.
Good weather, nice sunrise, perfect acclimatization before Kili
A great mountain in its own right. I was happy to skip the crowds of Kili and enjoy this mountain with only our group (my girlfriend and I, plus guides). In the four days that we were on the mountain we only saw one other person who was even planning on summiting. The quieter park (with a fair amount of wildlife) was far more our style than the stories that we've heard of Kili.
Fantastic mountain!!! From the giraffes and buffalo down below to the fun scrambling to the top. Hit the summit at 6:00 a.m. and waited for the sun to rise (spent close to an hour at the top). Lucked out with the weather.
Nice views from the top to Kilimanjaro, fantastic sunrise.
We started at 2:00 in the morning and reached the top at 7:00.
My second summit on Meru. Wonderful sunrise from the summit and great acclimatization for our Kilimanjaro summit afterwards.
Impressive climb of this beautiful peak. Amazing sunrise from the summit.
Very advisable climb previous to Kilimanjaro but it's a peak worthy in itself.