Mount Meru in Arusha National Park
Tanzania’s second highest mountain is much more than just a “warm up” trek for Kilimanjaro.
Mount Meru is an active (but dormant) volcano located north of Arusha in Tanzania.
At 4562 metres it is Tanzania’s second highest mountain and the fourth highest mountain in Africa. The mountain became well known mainly because it is only 70 km from Mount Kilimanjaro. Mt. Meru has become a popular “warm up” trek for Kilimanjaro climbers. Mt. Meru is indeed the perfect preparation for a Kilimanjaro climb. It offers you a taste of what you can expect on Kili. Most importantly, at a height of 4562 metres (14967 feet) Mt. Meru requires your body to make changes to adapt to the altitude. It’s called acclimatization and as a result you will be much better prepared for you Kilimanjaro climb. That altitude acclimatization is the main reason why people climb Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro together. I think it is a shame that so many people who visit Tanzania and Kilimanjaro view Meru only as a warm up trek for Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru is a very rewarding trek in its own right. And it is also a challenging climb. Do not underestimate it! The height is certainly enough to bring on altitude sickness if you ascend too fast. And bad weather can make the trek along the knife edge ridge of the crater rim a positively dangerous undertaking. But when the weather plays along the Mt. Meru crater rim walk is one of the most spectacular walks you can do in Africa. Resting on the walk along the knife edge crater rim of Mount Meru on an unfortunately foggy summit day. Even just hiking and camping on the slopes or visiting the ash cone in the much lower crater are walking safaris that I can warmly recommend. You will be amazed by the amount of wildlife you can find on this mountain, the vegetation is stunning all the way, and Meru simply isn’t as overrun as Kilimanjaro is. (For people who are doing walking safaris on the lower slopes or in other areas of Arusha National Park there are several campgrounds. And for those wanting to do a safari in style there are a couple of very comfortable lodges just outside Arusha National Park.)