Most tour operators will collect you from your hotel in the morning and take you to Arusha National Park. Once at headquarters your papers, visa and permits will all be checked and made ready for departure. From head office you will be taken by van to the Momella Park Gate from where your trek will begin. The trail starts by winding its way through montane forest where you will see waterfalls, wildlife and some pretty oddly formed trees! Remember, an armed national park ranger will accompany you on your route. The first day of trekking will end when you reach Miriakamba hut. Unlike Kilimanjaro, accommodation on Meru consists of huts dotted up the mountain.
On the second day you will ascend over a 1000m to Saddle Hut at 3,550m. The air will get cooler and you may feel slightly more out of breath as the air gets thinner. Saddle Hut will be reached by early afternoon which will give you time to visit ‘Little Meru’ at 3,820m. Not only will you get great views of Kilimanjaro, but it’s a good way for your body to acclimatize to the altitude.
Your summit ascent begins in the middle of the night at 2am. Following a quick midnight snack you trek to 3,820m where you find Rhino Point. After a quick break you then climb a further 4-5 hours where, towards the top, you will traverse the exhilarating and very narrow crater rim path! This is all rewarded as you hit the summit just before sunrise. The 360 degree views are spectacular, especially the sun rising over Kilimanjaro! Before your descent you can explore Meru’s ash cone within the crater.
The fourth day is an easy going few hours down through the montane forest area where you will once again see wildlife and beautiful habitat. Seeing the forest from above is a completely different experience to seeing it on the way up – look out for birds!