Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second highest peak and the fifth highest on the African continent. At 14,979 ft. this dormant volcano dominates the Arusha skyline. A quarter of a million years ago it erupted, causing the entire eastern wall to be blown away. Over the years it has metamorphosed into the spectacular landscape found in Arusha National Park today.
Mount Meru with over 400 species of birds, and wildlife including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, baboon, warthog, black and white colobus monkey and duiker, this area offers the explorer a rich and varied wilderness experience. Impressive views abound.
For our trek, we have chosen the more scenic route up the mountain. Along the way we’ll pass by Meru Crater, within which are the sacred forest groves where the local Meru people used to perform rain-making ceremonies. Buffalo are often seen grazing on the Crater floor and the keen observer may also find elephant and leopard there.
The vegetation changes from montane forest to heather to moorland. We’ll continue up to the saddle below Little Meru Peak (12,538 ft.). Finally we reach the rim, a barren ridge, which we circumnavigate to the summit point. No technical expertise is required, but this is a climb only suitable for intrepid hikers.
Mt Meru hiking and Arusha National Park extension
This is a nice extension if you want to get a feel for tropical montane forests, an entirely different habitat from the typical safari, and do a bit of walking. In the forest you will see new species of birds and groups of Colobus and Sykes monkeys. This trip is also good if you want to allow yourself extra time to acclimatize for Kilimanjaro.
Day 1 Arusha National Park – Mount Meru.
In Arusha you’ll be met by your safari vehicle and guide and proceed to Arusha National Park, about one hour from town.Game drive through the park en route to our deluxe camp. The camp is situated at the base of Mount Meru, a 14,900-foot volcano, and is at an elevation of about 7,500′ (which aids in acclimatization for the Kilimanjaro climb). You’ll arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon game walk.
Day 2 Mount Meru.
Mount Meru with park rangers as escorts, hike through the forests of Mount Meru to its beautiful crater at 8,500 feet. Meru has a history similar to that of Mount St. Helens in Washington, in that half the mountain was blown away by a violent volcanic explosion. Meru’s eruption occurred some 250,000 years ago, though, and great forests of African cedar and podocarpus have since grown up to cover its crater and slopes. The crater is an enchantingly beautiful place: a 12,000-foot ash cone rises menacingly from the crater floor, surrounded on three sides by the vertical walls of the old volcano. On the hike, you’ll have the chance to see colobus monkeys, bushbuck and duiker, buffalo, giraffe, and perhaps elephant or occasionally leopard. The forest bird life is excellent and includes touracos, hornbills, and parrots. In the evening, return to camp for dinner and a roaring campfire.
Arusha Leave camp and game drive back through the National Park en route to Arusha. Drop off in Arusha at about 12pm.