Mount Meru Climbing Safaris.
Mount Meru is Mount Kilimanjaro little sister, standing at 4,566m compared to 5,895m, but is still an impressive freestanding volcano, which makes a superb four day climb to the top. It last erupted in 1910 therefore can be classified as an active volcano. The first Mount Meru ascent was made by Dr. Fritz Jaeger, 1904. The town of Arusha lies at the base of Mount Meru Trekking, loads of trek companies do this trek. Wild animals are frequently found on this mountain therefore an armed ranger usually accompanies the trekkers.
Grade C Mount Meru hiking is a strenuous climb so you need to be very fit in order to achieve this trek, you should be use to long trekking and had some high altitude experience.
Mount Meru Trekking Accommodation.
You can be booked into a hotel in Arusha or Moshi in order to climb Mt Meru. You can also fly into Nairobi or Kilimanjaro and catch the shuttle bus to either town. Mount Meru is easily accessible from Arusha.
From Kilimanjaro airport to Moshi is about 45 mins and one and a quarter hours to Arusha. From Nairobi airport it is about 5 hours drive to Arusha which is an interesting drive and gives you a good feel about the place and the way people live. Well worth the trip! This trek is often done as a warm up and acclimatization climb for Mount Kilimanjaro. Many tour companies offer a combination package. The mountain is un spoilt and less congested as compared to it’s Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya counterparts.
Mount Meru mountain is located within Arusha National Park, Tanzania’s gem. This prime location gives walkers the opportunity to spot some of the birds and wildlife that inhabit the area. The ascend is quite steep, the route to the summit passes over streams, through parkland, montane forest, a giant heather zone and moorland. 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. Weather permitting, Kilimanjaro can be seen in the West. There are two huts available to climbers on the mountain and firewood is supplied. The best time to climb Meru is between October and February. But also June to September, while it is colder then.
The Little Meru (3801m) is an acclimatization peak near of the normal route of Mount Meru (4566m). It is usually climbed in the second day of the route from Momella Gate (1500m). The stage 2 reaches Saddle Hut (3570m) from Miriakamba Hut (2514m) and it’s a good option to climb Little Meru in the afternoon to gain some meters searching acclimatization before the stage 3 to the main summit of Meru the next day. Little Meru is easily seen from the route to the Saddle Hut as a nice pyramid and probably you want to climb it!
Another good reason for climbing it is the nice view of the ridge between Mount Meru (4566m) and Rhino Point (3800m) from its summit.
The ascension is normally possible in less than 1 hour from the Saddle Hut and it’s easy with a good path. I really think that it is not necessary to write the route because it is evident. For this reason I’ve attached to this peak the route of Meru with some indications about it. The guides can give you information about the way up or even go up with you.
Finally, let us say that Arusha National Park has began giving certificates to those climbers who reached Little Meru’s summit, regardless of their gating to the main summit or not.
Momela Lakes in Arusha National Park.
Momela Lakes is a group of shallow alkaline lakes that are fed by underground streams. They differ in mineral contents and algae that cause the colors of their water also to differ slightly.
The mineral and algae present in these lakes attract and support many water birds including flamingos, Egyptian goose, and fowls. Among the lakes in Momela is lake Rishetani, which is green in colour, Great Momela Lake with a variety of birds. There are also Tulusia and Lekandiro Lakes, as well as the Small Momela Lake, in which groups of hippopotamus can also be seen. The lakes are within the Arusha National Park Safari.
The Momela lakes are shallow alkaline lakes and are made up of seven lakes, being big Momela, small Momela, El Kekhotoito, Kusare, Rishateni, Lekandiro and Tulusia. All seven lakes are mainly fed by separate underground water sources, Due to the varying mineral content of these underground sources, each lake supports a different type of algae growth, resulting in uniquely differently colored lakes. Because these lakes are alkaline, the water is not utilized by animals for drinking, but they do however attract a wide variety of bird life, particularly flamingos
Ngurdoto Crater near Arusha National Park and Mount Meru.
This crater stretching 3 km’s across, is a steep-sided bowl, surrounded by riverine forest while the crater floor is a lush swamp. The crater with its many visible animal trials, provides a natural sanctuary to elephant, buffalo, a variety of monkeys and baboons, as well as birds like hamerkop, spur-winged geese and herons. It is however unfortunately prohibited to descend down to the bottom of the crater. To the west of the crater lies Serengeti Ndogo or “Little Serengeti”, consisting of an extensive grassland plain and it is one of the few places in the park
where Zebra can be encountered.