Gladys Adventure
Mt Meru Treks

Mt Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania - fifth highest in Africa at 4,565m. It is located inside of Arusha National Park, a one hour drive from Moshi. Similar to Mt Kilimanjaro, this is not a technical climb so no special climbing gear or techniques are needed. The climb is most commonly done as a four days itinerary, although a three day option is possible but not recommended unless you are quite fit. The added day is on the descent, so the longer itinerary does not add to acclimatization, but breaks up a long and grueling summit day. The climb is steeper than Mt Kilimanjaro. Many people use this as an acclimatization trek before attempting Mt Kilimanjaro but it is a wonderful and beautiful climb in its own right. The number of people climbing the mountain is far, far less than Mt Kilimanjaro.

At the lower altitudes, encountering animals is quite possible so an armed park ranger is required to accompany all climbers. Since the number of rangers is limited, they often combine groups together to accompany one ranger. These groups will be from various tour operators and each will be expected to have their own guide, cook , porters, etc. We do not have any control over how or if the park groups people.

Route Choices

It is an easy choice since there is only one route. Overnights are in simple dormitory style huts with solar powered lighting. Camping is not an option on Mt Meru.

Gladys Adventure Mt Meru Route Map

Mt. Meru 4 Days Itinerary

Day 1: Momela Gate to Miriakamba 1500m to 2514m.
Today after driving one hour from Moshi town to Momela gate and meet with the ranger to accompany the group then start walking passing in some open grassland with a great chance to see buffalo and warthog. The trail let us passing through less dense forest where there is an abundance of birds and monkeys including black and white colobus. Approximately 5 to 6 hours walking. Today we will overnight at Miriakamba Hut.

Day 2: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut 2514m to 3570m
The walking today is short, but a considerably steep and sustained climb all the way. Starting through attractive open and lush montane forest through Elephant Ridge and giants heather and moorland vegetation to Saddle Hut. Arrive at approximately 2pm. Acclimatization to Little Meru. Return for dinner. Sleep for approximately 5 hours.

Day 3: Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak to Miriakamba Hut, 3570m to 4566m to 2514m
Wake up at 1am to start to the summit. Watch sunrise between Cobra and Socialist Peak. Summit approximately 7am. Return to Saddle Hut for a meal and packing. Depending on timing, possible 1 hour of sleep. Now we make our way to Miriakamba Hut for overnight.

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut to Momela Gate, 2514m to 1500m
Start at Miriakamba through the forest route where there is a waterfall for a short visit. Walk through the open plain where you can see the buffalo and possibly giraffe. Proceed to Momela Gate to sign out and drive back to your local accommodation.

There is an option of a 3 days itinerary, which is identical but combines days 3 & 4 together. Since this is on the descent, there is no difference in acclimatization. This itinerary is pretty tough and not recommended for the average trekker.

Mt Meru Trek Prices

Prices are per person and quoted in USD

number of climbers12345678910+
4 Days Itinerary$1200$941$876$850$829$814$786$762$748$731
3 Days Itinerary$905$780$716$680$663$645$619$606$595$586

THE TREKKING PRICE INCLUDES:
All park fees and rescue fees for the national park
All meals and water while on the mountain
All salaries for guides, assistant guides, chef, porters
Transport to and from the park gate
All camping equipment (everything but your sleeping bag.)
THE TREKKING PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Accommodations before or after the trek
JRO airport pick ups and drop offs ($40 per car/per trip)
International flights & Visas
Travel Insurances
Driver and climb staff tips
Drinks and dining rooms tips
Personal travel costs
Any items of a personal nature
Activities not mentioned in the program

A 20% deposit will secure your climb. We accept payments via wire transfer directly into our bank account or online payment by credit/debit card (5% bank fee for this option). The remaining balance is not due until you arrive. We can accept additions to the groups up until the day before the trek starts.

We cannot offer refunds for deposit amounts paid. But the funds can be used for any future booking with Gladys Adventure for the next 12 months after your original trip date. Funds can also be applied towards the balance of others who have booked through Gladys Adventure.

Full details about payment terms & conditions can be found here - Payment Terms & Conditions

To book a trek or for more information
contact us though our Info Request page.

Mt Meru Huts

There are 2 huts on the mountain for overnights. Here is what to expect...

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Mt Meru Huts

The huts are dormatory style and will be shared with others. There is a common dining area and the most basic of common toilet facilities. There are no shower facilities. The huts have solar powered lights but no means of powering/charging electronics.

Mt Meru Hut Mt Meru Dining Room Mt Meru Accommodations Mt Meru Toilet

Mt Meru Trek FAQ

The most common questions clients have about treks

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Mt Meru FAQ

Q: How difficult is a Mt Meru climb? A: Altitude sickness is less of an issue for Mt Meru. But it is a steeper climb and can be exhausting.

Q: Are there any times of the year that are better to climb than others? A: We climbs using during any time of the year. But during the two rain seasons (March - May, November - December) it can be more challenging, especially during March - May.

Q: Can I arrive the same day as starting my climb? A: Only if the arrival time is very early (no later than 5am). Before the climb, we will go through an equipment check and you will have a briefing with your guide. Ideally, this is done the day before the climb but it can be done in the early morning before departing for the climb.

Q: Where will anything that I don't want to take on the mountain be stored? A: Gladys Adventure office has a secured storage room just for this purpose. There is no charge for this service.

Q: Can't I just show up at the park gate and climb without going through a tour company? A: Park regulations require a certified mountain guide to go along. Also, park fees are only payable through a registered tour company.

Q: Do I really need to have porters on the climb? A: You can reduce the number of porters but it is unlikely that you can eliminate them. It is against park regulations for the guide to carry any equipment, so he will need a porter. It is unlikely that you can carry his equipment and food in addition to yours. Water supply is not always close to the camp and after the climb fetching and purifying the water along with cooking your meals can be time consuming and tiring.

Q: If I finish a climb early can I get a portion of the trek cost refunded? A: No. Park fees must be paid in advance. Also our agreement with the climb staff is for the set number of days that you had scheduled. If you finish a climb early, you also will be responsible for any extra hotel nights used.

Q: Do I have to use huts? Can I bring a tent along? A: The park does not allow the option of using a tent. The huts are your only option on Mt Meru.

Q: What are the toilets like on the mountain? Mt Meru toiletA: Pretty basic. There is no plumbing on the mountain. The toilets will be a shed with a deep hole. We provide toilet paper but it is best to take another roll or two along.


Q: If one person in my group cannot continue the climb, do we all abandon the climb? A: No. Even with a group of 2 people there will be an assistant guide. A group of 4 people have 2 assistant guides, a group of 8 will have 3 assistant guides. Each assistant guide is well trained to handle emergencies. If a climber cannot continue, an assistant guide (or head guide, depending on the severity) will take care of the climber with some porters while the others continue the climb. Having assistant guides also means that there is no pressure on climbers who are slower walking than others in the group.

Q: If someone in our group requires a special diet, does that affect what food the rest of us eat? A: Not at all. Our chefs will prepare a separate meal for them apart from what you have.

Q: What food preservation precautions do you use on the mountain? A: There are no food preservation measures, but Mt Meru is not a long climb. Fresh foods will be brought up the mountain. Before the climb, meats are bought fresh then frozen before departure. As the temperatures drop at the higher altitudes, the food preservation takes care of itself.

Q: Will the guides speak English? A: Yes, that is an important requirement for all guides and assistant guides. They will speak excellent English. The porters on the other hand most likely will not be very good at English. If requested early, we can do our best to arrange a guide that speaks other languages.

Q: What time will my climb finish? A: For a 4 days itinerary you will be back in Moshi by early afternoon. For the 3 days itinerary you will not be back until late afternoon/early evening.

Q: Can I get cell phone/internet signal on the mountain? A: It is possible in spots but not it is best not to assume that you can find a signal. Your guide will have a walkie talkie. We have our own channel so our office can always be in communication with the group.

Q: Is there any electronics charging facilities on the mountain? A: No. Even though there is solar power on the mountain it is not permitted for charging of devices by trekkers. If you have a portable solar charger you might want to bring it.

We will be happy to answer any questions that you might have that are not on this list. Please contact us at info@gladysadventure.com

Partners for Responsible Travel

We are proud partners of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program. Click to read about their valuable program. Kilimanjaro Porters Association

Climb Staff Tipping

What you need to know about the tipping process and procedures...

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Everything you need to know about mountain crew tipping

How many crew members will there be on my climb?
While we will know in advance how many guides, assistant guides and cooks you will have for a climb, we will not know how many porters will be used until the morning of the climb. The maximum weight allowed for each porter to carry is 20kg plus their own gear. Of course, they also need 3 meals a day (not all companies supply 3 meals a day for porters, but we do). So once the total weight of all items being brought on the mountain is weighed we will know the definite crew numbers. A rough estimate of the number of porters is 2-3 porters/climber. For larger groups, approximately 2 - 2.5 porters per climber. While we can accommodate group sizes of any number, the national park treats groups over 10 people as 2 different climbs. This means that for more than 10 in your group, there will be 2 head guides, 2 cooks, etc. The group will still be together as one group on the mountain though.

How much is a recommended tip?
It is through the accumulation of feedback from our clients that the guidelines below have been suggested.
Recommended tipping rates range from
$20 - $30/day for head guide
$15 - $20/day for each assistant guide
$15 - $20/day for cook
$5 - $7/day for each porter
These are only guidelines. It is up to you and your budget if you want to vary from this.

Mountain Packing List

What you need for a safe and comfortable trek...

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Mountain Packing List

mountain packing list itemsBefore your climb we will go through a piece by piece equipment check with you. Any item that you need can be rented at our shop (no prior reservations required). As our client you will receive a 30% discount from our listed prices. If you need to rent every item, this can be done for $250 (client price).

Equipment

  • 1 - Sleeping Bag -- we suggest a comfort rating of 0 °C (32 °F) plus a liner.
  • 1 - Trekking Poles, collapsible
  • 1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 - Duffel bag - waterproof, 85L capacity or larger, for porters to carry your equipment
  • 1 - Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your personal gear

Accessories

  • 1 - Sunglasses or Goggles ---important to be polarized
  • 1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof
  • 1 - 3 - Water Bottle(s) (Nalgene, 32 oz.)----you will need to carry 3L of water with you each day. It is best that not all water is in a Camelbak since too much chance of system breakdown or line freezing so best that at least some of your water is in a bottle. The park will not allow disposable bottles on the mountain.
  • 1 - Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters)--or carry 3L in water bottles as an alternative
  • 1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
  • 1 - Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended - not as important if you have a private toilet tent)
  • Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags*, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate. * Important Update: Disposable plastic bags are no longer permitted in Tanzania. But "zip-lock" style bags are exempted since they are expected to leave the country with you.

Technical Clothing

  • 1 - Waterproof Jacket/Poncho, breathable with hood
  • 1 - Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
  • 1 - Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
  • 2 - Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 - Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 - Waterproof Pants, breathable (side zipper is ideal)
  • 2 - Hiking Pants
  • 1 - Fleece Pants
  • 1 - Shorts (optional)
  • 1 - Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 5 - Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
  • 2 - Sport Bra (women)

Headwear

  • 1 - Brimmed Hat, for sun/rain protection
  • 1 - Knit Hat, for warmth
  • 1 - Balaclava, scarf or Buff

Handwear

  • 1 - Gloves/mittens, warm and waterproof
  • 1 - Gloves (liner gloves)

Footwear

  • 1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
  • 1 - Comfort Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  • 5 - Socks, wool or synthetic -- cotton does not dry quickly enough
  • 1 - Gaiters, waterproof
  • 5 - liner socks (optional)

Miscellaneous

  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medicine -- if using Diamox, this is readily available in Moshi.
  • Sunscreen -- the UV is quite strong so this is important even if you do not typically use this
  • Lip Balm -- important to have UV protection
  • Insect Repellent, containing DEET -- not in pressurized can. This is only needed at lower altitudes
  • First Aid Kit -- your guide will have a first aid kit also but some basic items for blisters, upset stomach/nausea/diarrhea and headache is a good idea
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper -- some will be brought along but best to bring an extra roll
  • Wet Wipes (recommended)
  • Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional but can be a big help on summit day) -- these are not available locally
  • Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
  • Camera/phone (optional) -- there is no charging capabilities on the mountain unless you bring a solar charger. Extra batteries/memory card are a good idea.

Documents

You will not take these on the mountain

  • Passport
  • Visa (available at JRO Airport upon arrival)
  • Immunization Papers --no immunization is needed unless you are coming from a Yellow Fever risk area.
  • Insurance Documents
  • Emergency contacts

Equipment Provided by Gladys Adventure:

  • cooking utensils
  • dining utensils
  • cooking fuel
  • food
  • water purification tablets
  • emergency oxygen cylinder(s)
  • portable stretcher
  • first aid kit
  • walkie talkie to communicate with Gladys Adventure office (we have our own private channel for this)

Meals on the Mountain

A climb requires a lot of energy and maximum performance. Meals play a very important role during your trek...

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Meals on the Mountain

While on the mountain, eating a good diet is essential for a successful climb. The food must be high energy, plentiful, appealing and easy to digest. These are important components since a great amount of energy is required. The most common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea and loss of appetite. Food that will not disturb the stomach further is essential and since climbers at times have to force themselves to eat. The food must be appealing.

A typical breakfast may have combinations of the following:
Porridge, breads/chapati, plantains, pancakes, eggs, sausage, hot chocolate/ tea/ coffee, fruit
Lunches and dinners:
Pasta, rice, plantains, potatoes, vegetables, meat, bread, soup/stew, fruit, popcorn, peanuts

Our cooks can accommodate special diets such as vegetarian/vegan, food allergies, gluten free, etc. We welcome special requests (before we are on the mountain please).

Travel/Medical Insurance and Evacuation Insurance

For all Mt Meru treks we require each client to have basic medical coverage and also mountain emergency evacuation coverage...

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Travel/Medical Insurance and Evacuation Insurance

For Mt Meru climbs we require medical insurance coverage and emergency evacuation insurance. You must be sure that this covers non technical trekking up to 6,000m. We also require emergency evacuation insurance in case you need to be airlifted off the mountain. This may be included in the policy already or you may have to purchase this as an add on.

Kilimanjaro SAR (Search and Rescue) is a Moshi based company which started operation in 2018 offering helicopter rescue. The helicopters are fitted with emergency room equipment and fly with a doctor and an emergency room nurse. They are based at Moshi airport (small regional airport) and promise to be in the air 5 minutes after receiving an emergency call. The cost of an evacuation flight back to Moshi airport is approximately $5,000 USD. Of this, approximately half this cost is for the actual flight. The other half is for the medical staff, equipment and treatment on the mountain and during the flight. If you choose, you can assume the risk of emergency evacuation yourself by signing a waiver before the climb. If emergency evacuation is required, you will be financially responsible for the rescue flight once you are healthy.

Through experience, we find World Nomads to be a good provider (www.worldnomads.com) EXCEPT...if you are from the U.S. there is a problem with World Nomads for U.S. residents where they will require you to pay for the evacuation then reimburse you. Instead you should consider using Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance (ripcordrescuetravelinsurance.com). This feedback was sent to us from Kilimanjaro SAR based on their experience. Other companies that our clients commonly use include AIG, Priceline, I-Trek, Columbus Direct, Virgin and Simply Travel Insurance.

Q: If I cannot summit will I always be airlifted off the mountain?
A: No, this is always a last resort. The vast majority of altitude related sickness is alleviated simply by descending. If the person is able to walk, they will be brought down under the guidance of an assistant guide (or head guide) and porters. If unable to walk, we provide a portable stretcher (carried - no wheels) to carry the person down the mountain. Only under severe circumstances will a helicopter rescue be called.

Coffee Tour/Waterfalls Hike

If you are arriving a day early in Moshi we suggest this culture/acclimatization half day tour...

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Coffee Tour/Waterfalls Hike

We offer a very popular half day cultural/ acclimatization tour. This tour visits a small village just outside of Kilimanjaro National Park boundary. We will tour a small coffee farm and you will learn from a local guide about the cultivation and processing of coffee. You will also learn about the history and customs of the local Chagga tribe. There will be hiking at a waterfalls and even a chance for a swim if you like. The local women will prepare a lunch consisting of traditional Chagga foods. Included in this tour is private transportation, local fees and taxes, English speaking guide, lunch and drinking water. Good shoes for hiking are needed since to get to the waterfalls involves some steep terrain. Athletic shoes are ok, sandals are not. There will be a chance for a short swim so a swimsuit underneath your clothes and a towel would be good items to bring. This trip offers some exercise after your long flight but not so much as to tire you out for the climb.

Prices (quoted in USD) 1 person participating: $120, 2 people: $81/person, 3 people: $69/person, 4+ people: $50/person

Some excerpts from our Tripadvisor Reviews about it...
“........the tour itself was way more than I expected. The coffee part was great (Emanuel went through the process for preparing the beans, and we drank the coffee that). Emanuel we made), and it was followed by a walk to a waterfall (which was honestly dream-like, seeing the water cascade down and the swifts flying around described the history of his area (coffee-growing during colonial times and the development of irrigation from the waterfall) and showed us many interesting plants and animals (chameleons on trees, the nice smell of lime and eucalyptus leaves, a rough leaf used as sandpaper, and, of course, coffee berries [sweet and delicious!]).”
“...We did a day trip to the Matharuni village with a coffee plantation tour and a hike to the waterfall. This was our acclimatisation day, which seemed very helpful and a lot of fun. “

Mt Kilimanjaro Day Trip

Marangu route allows day hikes for a little taste of what a Mt Kilimanjaro climb is like or for acclimatization...

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Mt Kilimanjaro Day Trip

We would pick you up in the morning and drive you to Marangu gate. From there you would walk through the rain-forest to Mandara Hut where you will stop to enjoy lunch. From there you can continue to Maundi Crater to enjoy the view before returning back to the Marangu gate where our vehicle will be waiting to return you back to Moshi. Included is private transportation to and from the mountain, all park entry fees and taxes, box lunch and drinking water and guide salary. Not included is guide tip.

Prices: (quoted in USD)
1 person participating: $220, 2 people: $180/person, 3 people: $172/person, 4 people: $166/person, 5+ people: $150/person