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Places | Tanzania| Mount Meru

Climbing Mount Meru
By Casper

One day after the safari we (my mother, my dad, my grandfather and I) stepped once again into the four wheel drive of Crown Eagle with our cook. We drove out of the town of Arusha into the park of Meru and on the way we saw some zebra’s and wildebeests. When we arrived at Momela gate at 1500m, the gate to the park, we picked up our ranger. His name was Raymond and he carried a rifle for protection from aggressive buffalo’s and other wild animals.

It was a very long hot walk up to Miriakamba hut at 2500m. On the way we saw warthogs and buffalo’s in the distance. Our ranger seemed much fitter than us, and when I asked him how many times he had gone up to the top he said many many times. Each time he comes down the mountain he waits for a new group and goes up again.

When we finally collapsed at Miriakamba hut roasted peanuts in honey salt and sugar was served to us with coffee and tea on the side. We also met a Canadian family who was going up to the top to. That afternoon it rained very hard for a short while and the path turned to mud while the plants very happy because it doesn’t rain a lot Africa. After our dinner we played cards. Soon after it was bed time and I slept quite well in my sleeping bag except for the sounds of colobus monkeys nearby.

The next morning my grandfather and I woke up earlier than my parents and so we got dressed and went outside. There was a fantastic view of the crater edge and the ash cone. We also saw colobus monkeys that morning, probably the ones that we heard. When my parent woke up and we were all set after we had breakfast we went on the way again. First up 400 something steps and then steadily up to the second hut through bushes and shrubs.

When we reached the Saddle hut at 3500m after 4 hours of walking, I unpacked my drawing stuff and started drawing. I finished the drawing of the crab I started drawing long before and I did a drawing of a lion sitting in a tree.

Later in the afternoon we wanted to go up to little Meru which is only one hour walk from the hut, but unfortunately my father got a terrible leg cramp when he got up after a rest. He was screaming with pain, so we stayed at the hut. Fortunately he didn’t have any more problems and the Canadians gave him some anti-inflammatory pills. That evening we discussed the time we would get up the next morning. And while we were having our dinner we could see the summit in the evening light.

At 2 o’clock the next morning we set off in the dark. We didn’t go so fast because I has stomach problems and so we had to stop every 20 minutes. After one hour we reached Rhino point which was at 3700m. We stopped there for a while and went on. The path was very ashy after that and it was very cold. We didn’t reach the summit at sunrise but we did see the sun light coming behind a big cloud.

The struggle was endless and at one point I was so tired because I needed something to eat. So we stopped and I ate a Mars bar and put on another jacket so now I had a T-shirt, a sweater and two jackets on and then I was alright. Finally we reached the bottom of the summit peak. When we were almost there I was practically crawling up to the top. The first one on the 4562m top was my grandfather, then my dad and then I and my mom.

We had a fantastic view of the clouds far beneath us and the clear sight of Kilimanjaro. We also found that there was a spectacular sight of the ash cone beneath us.

Our guide and the porter who carry the food up almost immediately fell asleep. The name of the porter was Oscar and we teased him about not bringing a little sugar and butter up with him when he was carrying hot water, plain bread, cups and spoons and instant coffee anyway.

On the way down I felt fine and we could now see what terrains we walked through. We went trough ash hills, rocky cliffs, shrub lands, rocky hills and over small peaks which were very spikey. There were a lot of clouds coming in from below so we were just in time to still see the good view.

When we arrived back at Saddle hut we all got one and a half hours sleep. When we woke up our legs were so stiff from walking up and down we could barely walk. With a lot of difficulty and pain we managed to struggle back down to Miriakamba hut. At the last bit there were the 400 and something steps which were awful to go down. When we got back to Miriakamba hut Raymond told us that elephants and buffalo’s walk around at night. We did see some big balls of elephant shit near the hut. When we finished dinner I could barely stand up because of the stiffness in my legs, but I slept well. The next morning it was a real tiring battle to get back down to Momela gate. On the way down we had a clear view of Kilimanjaro again.

When we reached Momela gate we got in the car and drove back to Arusha. On the way we saw a whole group of giraffes wandering about, and one of them came really close. We drove to the nice hotel with swimming pool where my grandmother and Alex were staying.

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