Mount Meru at glance.
Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano, the second-highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro, and the fifth-highest in Africa. Standing high at 4,566m asl. Offering attractive features like cones and caldera. The main caldera is about 3.5km wide. It rises above the surrounding savannah. The vegetation belts include dry forest, the dense mountain rainforest, moorland dotted with heath and finally alpine desert.
It offers great hikes and climbs. Although it is not as high as Kilimanjaro, many climbers underestimate it only to realise later that it is harder and more challenging in terms of acclimatization. The mountain has two peaks: Meru Summit, the highest point, and Ash Cone, an additional peak inside the crater which was formed after a more recent volcanic activity. Momella trail is the only way up to the summit. You don’t need any technical equipment for the climb but you will need to be prepared for the altitude gain. The best thing you can do is to take your time for proper acclimatisation. Mount Meru offers two huts for overnight stays, Miriakamba and Saddle hut.
The climb offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and wildlife on the forested slopes and the summit itself offers an amazing view of small cones and craters, which are probably the results of numerous volcanic activities in the past. It happened after the formation of the Great Rift Valley when million years ago the volcano standing in this area lost its top after a gigantic explosion. This explosion gave Mount Meru the shape of a horseshoe. Mount Meru is still an active volcano with the last smaller eruption in 1910. The first person to climb Mount Meru up to the peak was Dr Fitz Jaeger in 1904. The local Waarusha people who leave around Mount Meru regard it as a sacred place. They sacrifice a bull or sheep every year to the mountain for a rainy season
It is located in Arusha national park, where you may encounter big game like elephants, buffalos, leopards, and monkeys to mention just a few. Birds’ life is abundant. Armed park rangers accompany hikers. The most prominent among the 400 different bird species on Mount Meru are the lanner falcon, Levaillant’s Cuckoo and crowned eagle. The animals you can see around the mountain are giraffes, white colobus monkeys, buffaloes, elephants, baboons and flamingos around the Momella lakes.