Mount Meru is a sleeping volcano and the second highest point in Tanzania. In a huge blast during an eruption long time ago, the east side of volcano was blown away. Mount Meru's highest peak is called Socialist Peak. According to a plaque on the top, the peak is 4562 meters and 13 centimeters above sea level. This altitude uses all digits from 1 to 6, so it is a little suspect ;) A second peak is called Little Meru (3801 m).
A normal climb takes three days. The first day takes you to Miriakamba hut (2500 m). On the second day you climb to Saddle Hut (3500 m) and do an optional climb to Little Meru Peak. In the following night you make the climb to Socialist Peak, returning to Saddle Hut in the morning and then on the same day make the long descent all the way down to the mountain base.
We used four days for the climb, staying in Saddle Hut after the climb to Socialist Peak for a second night. The day after the descent of Mount Meru we started the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The extra night on 3500 m should reduce the chance of acquiring altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro. We took a scenic climb up to Miriakamba Hut and a more steep descent from this hut to the mountain base on the fourth day. The climb to Socialist Peak is not easy. Sometimes it is quite steep and it has some parts that are difficult for an unexperienced climber like me. The last bit to the peak is very steep. The climb itself is very beautiful, especially just before sunrise when the sun sets the crater in a very special reddish light for one or two minutes.