CLIMBING MOUNT MERU IN ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK WITH UHURU TRAILS BY AFRICANMECCA
Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania, a young, historically active but primarily dormant volcano, is almost 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the western part of Mount Kilimanjaro on the edge of the Great African Rift Valley. At 4566 meters (14,980 feet), it is often used as an acclimatizing mountain hiking prelude to a Kilimanjaro climbing challenge with Uhuru Trails by AfricanMecca.
It was once much higher but exploded outwards more than five hundred thousand years ago to leave a horse-shoe shaped crater wall of amazingly steep cliffs and a central ash cone where minor eruptions have occurred. The last was just over a hundred years ago. You may climb the ash cone only with special permission. Some people consider Mount Meru even more beautiful than Kilimanjaro in the midst its flora, fauna and the Momella Lakes close to its foot.
Certainly, it is less frequented and contains a wider range of wildlife. As the centerpiece of Arusha National Park, the ash cone and crater rim of Mount Meru are within the protected area, but there are small farms and Maasai herdsmen graze their flocks on the lower forested slopes and surrounding savannah. For the indigenous people of Arusha (the Warusha) and Meru (Wameru), Mount Meru is the home of the rain god, with its life-giving mists, rivers, waterfalls and rich, ash-fertile soil.
Today, there is the danger of over-farming as agri-business encourages land-clearing for the large-scale production of tomatoes. Local tourist initiatives offer hope for sustainable management of this fantastic mountain environment for the benefit of its people and its prolific bird and mammal populations.
As a stand-alone East African adventure destination, Mount Meru offers a worthwhile and satisfying trekking challenge (view climb itinerary) with its own certificate of achievement for those who reach one of the two summits. Admittedly, it is less grueling than Kilimanjaro, a shorter climb with less danger of severe altitude sickness, more suitable for hill walkers and hikers who want to savor a wilderness atmosphere on their Tanzanian highlands vacation and for whom the beauty of Meru with its spectacular views and fascinating wildlife is more satisfying than the better-known tourist magnet.
The high, narrow crater rim can be dangerous in certain conditions of high winds or ice and is not suitable for sufferers from vertigo, but you can still acclimatize in preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro by enjoying a less demanding trekking tour of Mount Meru, appreciating the peace and beauty without attempting the main summit.
The views of Kilimanjaro at dawn are as beautiful from Rhino Point (3800 meters) as from Socialist Peak (4566 meters), a few hours further on. With few visitors to disturb the wildlife, the mountain is alive with birds and animals. On the surrounding savannah, you will see zebra and buffalo, the latter wandering, surprisingly, up to around 4000 meters.
You will not see lions on or around Mount Meru or even while on a game driving terrestrial tour of Arusha National Park, but the sight of a running Maasai giraffe, like a long-necked horse against the skyline, is eerily commonplace. There are also elusive but also rare cheetah and leopard, so you are generally not advised to wander alone.
You will certainly see handsome black and white caped Colobus monkeys and short-furred Sykes monkeys resting on tree branches. Because of the prevalence of potentially dangerous wildlife, you will be accompanied by an armed park ranger. The best times to climb Mount Meru are from June through February, with the best views from December to March.
You will not need any special equipment except stout boots, walking poles, and wet weather gear, especially in November, with warmer clothing at higher altitudes, but the climb is demanding and you need to be healthy and fit. We do not recommend climbing it during the long rains of April and May, though it is possible.
Mount Meru is not just visited as a prelude to a Kilimanjaro climb, but serves as a focus for a Tanzanian tour of Arusha Park, with trips to Momella Lakes for canoeing and bird watching, or game drives to the less frequented Ngurdoto Crater: a miniature version of Ngorongoro Crater. From Buffalo Point on the crater wall, you can view animals undisturbed by man.
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MOUNT MERU TREK ITINERARY & PRICE
Uhuru Trails by AfricanMecca offers a personalized 6-day, full Mount Meru trekking expedition with ample time to acclimatize which includes detours to some of the more delightful beauty spots.
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WHERE TO STAY IN ARUSHA PARK
In Arusha National Park, guests only have the option of staying at Hatari Lodge as a reliably consistent and tourist focused accommodation located on the northeastern border of the park.
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SAFARI & TOUR IN ARUSHA PARK
With so much natural beauty surrounding you, the two most recommended activities in Arusha Park are game drives and canoe safaris. These activities give you a unique perspective of the biosphere.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT ARUSHA PARK
The best time for a Arusha safari is from June to October during the dry season when migrant game from elephants to hoofed herbivores congregate around the swamps and the Arusha River valley.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
Loretta and I had a great time on our honeymoon. Simiton, your safari guide in Tanzania was awesome! He was very professional, very accommodating and very knowledgeable. We are already talking about our next trip to Africa!
Loretta and Danny Haag - California, United States
AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
First off, we had the most amazing time ever and wanted to thank you very much. Tanzania proved without a doubt to meet all of our expectations. Every detail was thought of on our trip by AfricanMecca and were are all flawless.
Marcy Burton & Ryan Kerr - Ontario, Canada
I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
Jambo Raza, It was a wonderful experience in Tanzania. Rogers, our guide was superb; knowledgeable, helpful and very friendly. We were treated very well by all your ground team and everything ran smoothly. I enjoyed it all.
Alan Winner, Minnesota, United States
AfricanMecca's professionalism and care understands that what distinguishes Africa is its authenticity, the land, people and wildlife who do not share our world of fashion and fanfare that distinguish so many travel companies today.
Cyril Christo & Marie Wilkinson, Conservation Photographers, Authors & Wildlife Documentary Producers - USA
EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR ARUSHA IN NORTHERN TANZANIA
When visiting Arusha, we recommend experiencing some of the surrounding Arusha attractions and cultural activities before your Northern Tanzania safari to Serengeti (wildebeest migration), Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. You may hike Mount Meru or Mount Kilimanjaro to experience a full day trek or multiple days climb, or even explore Arusha National Park for an adventurous canoeing experience on Momella Lakes combined with a game drive. End your trip with a Swahili cultural tour and beach holiday in Zanzibar.
You may optionally extend out to offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Nyerere (Selous), Ruaha or Katavi ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale by the relaxing Lake Tanganyika.
ARUSHA PARK SAFARI & TOUR PLANNING DETAILS
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