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Mount Meru, Arusha

Forever living in the shadow of its big-mountain-brother (Kilimanjaro), Mount Meru is often overlooked. Standing at 4566 m high, this is Tanzania’s second highest mountain and one not to be missed in our eyes. And, located considerably closer to Arusha than Kilimanjaro – which is a further 42 miles away – your views of Meru are guaranteed to be clearer. So get your selfie-stick out (we are obviously joking, please don’t) and snap away, because this silhouette is pretty impressive.

Having last erupted in 1910, Meru is actually considered an active volcano. It exploded into life over 500,000 years ago and has since dominated Arusha’s skyline with its distinctive horseshoe rim. Now protected by Arusha National Park, the area surrounding the mountain is rich with wildlife so a quick trip here and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

It may not boast Kilimanjaro’s craggy snow-capped peaks, but a rumpled blanket of clouds often descend on Mount Meru, numinously cloaking its crater crest. This is a mountain that doesn’t have to be climbed in order to acknowledge its majesty. Nope, a picture from sea level will do just fine and that way you won’t have to cope with altitude acclimatisation. Did someone say “win-win”?

why add Mount Meru to your itinerary

Often seen as the warm-up hike for a Mount Kilimanjaro climb, Meru definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. Summiting this beast is no easy feat, as many find out a little too late. But, with its dramatically changing vegetation, abundance of wildlife and unique, cratered peak, this volcanic mountain is worth the struggle.

Think towering old-growth forests and lush scrublands meets jagged outcrops and the ridged remains of ancient lava flow. This isn’t just any mountain, it’s an underrated spectacle.

Mount Meru essential information

Where

In the heart of Arusha National Park just outside of Arusha.

Opening times

Arusha National Park is open from 6am-6pm everyday, but you can spot this mountain without entering the park so there’s no need to worry about opening times for this attraction

Dress code

If you’re planning on taking in the park then you’ll need your best walking gear.

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