Beautiful area. REally a waste to only use 3 days, 4 is much better and 5 would be even better option. Lots of giraffe and buffalo on the walk-in and an elephant on teh way down.
Summit day can be long as there are many ups and downs and it is a long way. Would be crazy to go all the way down that day, what's the point?
Some scrambling will make this tougher than Kili for some, very recommended.
Really great trip and awesome view over Kili.
Great views, lots of wildlife, and an impressive summit! Thought there were a lot of people until we got to Kili - not even close!
Climbed as an acclimatization trip before Kilimanjaro. Nearly collided with a giraffe nearby the Miriakamba huts when doing a short walk on my own in the late afternoon! In fact, climbing Mount Meru is a fantastic experience, lots of wildlife around, beautiful sunrise view on Kilimanjaro from the top of the Socialist Peak!
Climbed Meru in 3 days in June 2006. My fiancee and I summitted just before a gorgeous sunrise. two other small parties up to the summit that day. Meru was very quiet -- only encountered two other small parties on the way down the previous two days. We had our own room to ourselves at the huts. Unfortunately it rained the whole second day from Miriakama to Saddle Hut, but we popped out into the sun at Saddle Hut to a nice view of Kili over the clouds. I haven't been to Kili, but I can't imagine it's better than this. We shlepped a tent all the from the US thinking that we'd camp outside the huts, but (1) the huts were empty, (2) the huts were nice, and (3) despite what some may tell you, including this website, camping is very seriously discouraged if not prohibited. Maybe it was the fact that everyone was home in Europe watching the World Cup, but I have a hard time seeing the huts would get full on Meru. It was very cold and breezy the morning of the summit, and there was frost on all the rocks for the top 200-500 meters, which made things a bit slippery and very cold. The walk back down from the summit to Summit Hut after sunrise was the most gorgeous and stunning part of the whole hike.
Started at 2am and summitted at around 5:45am. Spectacular sunrise and great views to Kili! The view was so nice I hiked up to Rhino Point the next morning to see the sunrise again!!
It was my first four-thousender. We started to climb at night and it was really marvellous.
We took 4-days, which seemed perfect! The approach hike to Miriakamba Hut was full of eye candy, we saw many different wild animals along the way. Day 2, we hiked up to Saddle Hut, then preceeded up to Little Meru for a day hike. Summit day was a bit longer & tougher than I expected, with a dicy section of sloping rocks, down low. The trail followed very near the crater rim for most of the way, which made for some wonderful views! Great mountain & excellent warm-up, for Kilimanjaro!
I woke to rain and lightning at 11:00pm with occasional beautiful "pools" of stars open in the otherwise cloudy covered sky. The rain stopped at 12:40am and we started the hike at 1:55am. We were treated to lightning shows all night. Think of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" nebula scenes but in blue and white. Above 13,400 we had small coating of snow to the summit - a consistent 0.5 inches. My guide Boniface George and I were the only ones on the summit this day and we made it to the top just as the sun was coming up at 6:15am. Beautiful but with clouds. It's kind of weird that my Kili and Meru summit times were the same.
I also hiked up Little Meru the day before. This reminded me of my recent Mount Manuel hike "except for that it's not raining" I told myself. Sure enough, shortly before reaching the summit it started raining, just like on Manuel ;-)
See my SP Trip Report for a more verbose description :-)
Incredible experience, a long ridge in the night with the only light of the full moon