HIKING MT. MERU
The ascension to the volcano Mt. Meru is a perfect preparation for the conquest of Kilimanjaro. You can get used to the heights (around 15.000 feet) and it is possible to test out the equipment, so that you are able to correct and improve it on your rest day that lies between the climbing of Kilimanjaro. But the most important thing is to practice ascending at night, since it is not very pleasant to do this in the almost dark, when it is quite cold.
We recommend a three day tour. You will spend the nights in so called "Swiss" huts, which nobody would expect to find in Africa. Even to the top of the volcano animals roam, especially buffalo. At the foot of Mt. Meru you often meet with giraffes, elephants, wild hogs, antelopes, baboons and a great variety of birds. To ensure your safety the group is accompanied by an armed ranger. On the tour you will cross many different vegetation zones, as there is open grassland, mountain forest, swamp, giant heather and penurious rocks, therefore you have the chance to experience a combination of a walking safari with the conquest of a mountain.
Day 1: Drive to the Momela Gate (at height 4,900 feet). The route heads through open grassland passing wild flocks of many typical African animals. Its day's destination being the Miriakamba Hut (at height 8,100 feet). About 3 Hours walk.
Day 2: Ascent through giant heather to the Saddle Hut (at height 11,500 feet). Climbing the top of the Little Mt. Meru (about one hour) is possible (at height 12,500 feet). About 3 Hours walk.
Day 3: About midnight the group leaves for the top, going past the edge of the caldera, crossing a ridge that leads to the top of Mt. Meru (at height 14,976 feet). After having a small breakfast back at Saddle Hut, you will ascend downhill reaching the park gates in the afternoon, where already someone waits to bring you back to the Hotel. About 14 Hours walk.
If any delays occur while ascending to the top or if you should find, that you need more time downhill (having for example problems with your knees) we recommend you to spend an additional night at the Saddle Hut.