Experience the Majesty of Tanzania’s Second-Highest Mountain in the Scenic Arusha National Park
Location & Geography:
Situated in the heart of Arusha National Park in northeastern Tanzania, Mount Meru is the country’s second-highest mountain. It is located just 70 kilometers west of Mount Kilimanjaro and offers captivating scenery and diverse ecosystems. The mountain is part of the Arusha volcanic chain and is surrounded by lush forests, alpine meadows, and scenic crater lakes.
Mount Meru has a rich historical and cultural significance. It is considered a sacred mountain by the Maasai people, who inhabit the region. According to Maasai folklore, the mountain is the abode of their god, Ngai. The area around Mount Meru is also believed to be the dwelling place of the spirits of their ancestors.
1. Summit of Mount Meru: Standing at an impressive height of 4,566 meters (14,980 feet), reaching the summit of Mount Meru offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, and the Great Rift Valley.
2. Momella Lakes: Located within the park, the Momella Lakes are a series of seven shallow lakes that boast stunning colors due to the presence of algae and mineral deposits. The lakes are also home to a wide variety of bird species, including flamingos, herons, and pelicans.
3. Ngurdoto Crater: A highlight of the park, Ngurdoto Crater is a collapsed volcanic caldera that offers an incredible sight. The crater is thickly forested, providing a natural habitat for a variety of wildlife, including buffalo, giraffes, monkeys, and antelopes.
Activities and Experiences:
1. Hiking and Trekking: Mount Meru offers hiking and trekking opportunities for adventurers of all levels. Choose from multiple routes, each offering varying degrees of difficulty and unique landscapes. Experience the thrill of summiting a majestic peak and soak in the awe-inspiring nature surrounding you.
2. Wildlife Safari: Explore the diverse ecosystems of Arusha National Park and encounter an array of wildlife. Enjoy game drives or guided walks and spot animals such as elephants, buffalos, zebras, and a variety of bird species. Arusha National Park offers a more intimate and less crowded safari experience compared to other parks in Tanzania.
3. Cultural Encounters: Engage with the local Maasai community and learn about their traditional way of life. Visit Maasai villages, witness their vibrant dances, and even participate in cultural activities. Gain insights into their customs, beliefs, and nomadic lifestyle.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to climb Mount Meru and visit Arusha National Park is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to October and from December to February. These months offer milder temperatures and clearer skies, providing optimal conditions for hiking and wildlife viewing.
The starting point for Mount Meru treks is in Arusha, which is well-connected by air and road transportation. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) serves as the primary gateway for international travelers. From Arusha, it is a short drive to the entrance of Arusha National Park, where the mountain is located.