Written by: John Mitchler
Kilimanjaro's majestic summit (19,341') is the goal for most visitors, however, nearby Mt Meru (14,967') offers a shorter hike, with more rugged terrain, and a spectacular sunrise scene at the summit. Meru should be considered as an additional hiking goal in itself. Zara offers 3 day and 4 treks to Meru's summit.
The question becomes whether to hike Meru before or after Kilimanjaro during a trip to Tanzania. Some consider Meru, with its lower elevation and shorter hike, a perfect acclimatization experience prior to Kilimanjaro, however, the trek requires significant effort. If Kilimanjaro is the primary objective, a climber should tackle that first while fresh and fit. The pace is slow on Kilimanjaro, but if elevation is still a concern, the hiker may add days to their climb. Also consider inserting a 3 day to 5 day safari in between climbs of these two worthy peaks.