6 days from £1735pp plus international flights.
Often overlooked in favour of Kilimanjaro, Meru certainly merits attention. This trip gives you the chance to ascend the summit, an impressive 4,566 metres, observing game on the crater floor, crossing streams, traversing meadows and edging along narrow ridges.
Meru is not an easy option. This climb has steep and vertiginous sections and involves some scrambling over rocks, but the sweeping views from the top and the overwhelming sense of achievement make the effort pale into insignificance. The early part of the route is through lush forest. It's here you're likely to see wildlife such as elephants, buffalo, waterbuck and giraffe as well a variety of birds. You'll get occasional views of the summit, reminding you of your ultimate goal. Higher up the going gets tougher and you'll need a good for heights, so this is a climb for experienced hikers.
This trip gives you 3 nights on the mountain, which means that you don't have to start the summit attempt at an ungodly hour and can climb largely in daylight. You'll be staying in mountain huts operated by the National Parks service. These provide basic but clean accommodation, which is just what you need. We've also included a night at a comfy hotel in Arusha at either end of the climb, for that all important downtime.
And you're not on your own. You'll have an experienced team consisting of a guide, porters, a waiter and a cook. The last will prepare tasty and nutritious meals, giving you the necessary energy to propel you on their way. You'll also be accompanied by an armed ranger, as you will be passing through areas where game is present and your safety is paramount. With all this backup you'll stand the very best chance of success - you really will feel on top of the world!
You'll be met at Kilimanjaro International Airport today and transferred to your hotel in Arusha, a drive of about 45 minutes. The rest of the day has been left free, so you can take things easy after your journey. You can stroll round the hotel's lovely gardens and go for a swim in the outdoor pool. From Arusha you can see Mount Meru, a reminder of the adventure to come in the next few days.
Following breakfast you'll be driven to the Momella Gate, which takes about 90 minutes. Here you'll meet your guide, the armed ranger and porters who'll accompany you on the climb. The guide will take care of the necessary paperwork after which the trek begins. A gentle uphill trek though woodland will bring you to the Itikoni clearing where you may see buffalo, giraffe and elephant grazing. Crossing a stream you'll head up more steeply on the crater rim before arriving at Miriakamba Hut (1,500m). Total trekking time is 4-5 hours. Your cook will prepare a nourishing dinner and you'll probably welcome an early night. Full board.
After breakfast you'll set out for the short (2-3 hour) trek to Saddle Hut. The scenery is varied, with trees and shaded mountain glades. From Mgongo wa Tembo (elephant ridge) you'll be able to see Meru crater and the cliffs below the summit - an inspiring sight! Your trek continues along a pass between the low slopes and peak of Little Meru and ends at Saddle Hut (3,750m). This afternoon there's an optional hike to the summit of Little Meru rewarded by fine views. Full board.
It's an early start to this exciting day as you're woken at 5am, setting out about an hour later. The first 4-5 hours take you along a narrow ridge between the cliffs and sloping outer wall. It's hard work but you'll see the sunrise over Kilimanjaro on the way, a beautiful sight. Arriving at the summit you'll have time to savour your success before retracing your route back to Saddle Hut for a well-earned rest, then further down to Miriakamba where you'll enjoy dinner and a great night's sleep. The total trekking time today is between 8 and 11 hours. Full board.
After a more leisurely breakfast you'll continue down through pretty meadows and past burbling streams, back to the Momella Gate. This will take about 3-4 hours and is followed by a picnic lunch. Bidding farewell to your faithful team, you'll enjoy a game drive before heading back to your hotel in Arusha. Here you can enjoy a refreshing shower and change of clothes. It's time to relax, buoyed up by your sense of achievement, maybe enjoying a chilled beer, or two. Breakfast, lunch.
You'll enjoy breakfast at the hotel and later you'll be driven back to Kilimanjaro International Airport in time for your onward flight. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1735 (ex. international flights)
5 nights accommodation on a twin-share basis - 2 nights at a hotel and 3 nights in mountain huts; meals as indicated i.e. full board on the mountain, breakfast at the hotel; services of a guide, armed ranger, cook, waiter and porters on the mountain; return private road transfers from Arusha to Momella Gate; park fees; campsite fees; emergency rescue fees; staff are supplied with comprehensive safety equipment.
International flights and taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks in Arusha; bottled drinking water on the mountain; sleeping bag; tips; personal expenses.
Getting there: This climb starts and ends in Arusha. It is best to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. Flights will cost from £750-950 depending on season and availability.
Departure dates: This is a tailor-made itinerary and can begin on the date of your choice.
Find the best time to visit Tanzania
Time: GMT +3 hours
Flight time: Flights from UK to Tanzania take about 9 hours direct or 10-11 with a brief stopover en route if from Europe.
Language: Kiswahili and English are Tanzania's official languages. Although most people in the cities speak some English, a few phrases of Kiswahili are useful in more rural areas.
Visas: Most nationalities require a Tanzania visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.
Health: Most nationalities require a Tanzania visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
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Telephone: 01473 890499