CLIMBING MT. MERU
"An Adventure of a Lifetime!"
Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. Mount Meru is an active volcano located 70 kilometres (44 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro. At a height of 4,566 metres (14,980 ft), it is still visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day. Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Meru most recently had a minor eruption about a century ago. The several small cones and craters seen in the vicinity probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.
Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards. Mount Meru is one of Africa’s highest and most beautiful volcanoes. The route to the summit passes through parkland, montane forest, a giant heather zone and moorland. Finally, the summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater and Kilimanjaro in the background. Over 400 species of birds, rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, black and white Colobus monkey and duiker are all found in this delightful ‘gem amongst parks’. The visit to the Ngurdoto crater and Momella lakes, with their superb scenery, flamingoes and other wildlife, is an unforgettable experience.
The group will be accompanied on Mount Meru by a Park Guide and porters. On the mountain we use dormitory style huts. A sleeping bag and mat are required for the huts. Accommodation at Momella Lodge is an optional extra. Momella lodge is located in Arusha Park. This is a tough walking trip with some steep terrain. Mount Meru is a spectacular volcano. Once upon a very long time ago, it rose higher than Kilimanjaro; also heard this said about Mt. Kenya and the Ngorongoro Crater, so you may want to take this assertion with a grain of salt. However tall it once was, it certainly erupted sideways, rather like Mt. St. Helens, a few million years ago, leaving the northern, southern and western slopes intact, but obliterating the eastern slope of the volcanic cone. From above, Meru is now shaped like a horseshoe opening east, with a new tiny cinder cone forming in the bottom of the devastated crater, and huge cliffs extending up the crater walls almost to the summit. The crater floor and the lower slopes are densely forested, but the upper slopes are barren expanses of black volcanic ash and occasional massive boulders of lava.