Mt. Meru is within Arusha National Park, just a 45 minute drive to the northeast of Arusha. It is among the volcanic mountains that has multiple climatic zones. Its mountain forest is dominated by haggeria abissinica and pine trees inhabited by birds and mammals. While in Arusha National Park, visitors can use lodge and camp accommodations while mountain climbers use dormitory huts. Depending on climber fitness, it can take 3-4 days to ascend and descend Mount Meru. Hikers must be accompanied by a park ranger up to Camp 2, due to animals in the park.
Itinerary Mount Meru
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.
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.
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.