Its profile dominates not only the park, but also the surrounding town of Arusha, where its perfect conical shape can be seen; in reality, the whole Eastern side of the mountain, which faces the park, has fallen as a result of a massive explosion 250,000 years ago.
The volcano is thought to have flung lava and stones 70 kilometers out at the time, forming the seven Momela Lakes, which are also part of the National Park.
Climbing Mount Meru
You may climb the Meru Mount in 3 to 4 days by sleeping along the way; you must schedule the walk-in advance and be escorted by an expert guide and an armed ranger from the Arusha National Park; many climbers do this climb to prepare for the more difficult Kilimanjaro Mount ascent.
As you climb to the summit, you travel through several habitats that change according to altitude, comparable to going on a walking safari through a succession of landscapes that change frequently. As the habitats change, so do the wildlife you could encounter.
It ranges from grassy plains and wooded savannah with buffalos, zebras, and giraffes to lush montane rainforest with elephants, buffalos, bushbucks, hyenas, and leopards, as well as numerous birds such as the Hartlaub’s Turaco, Narina Trogon, Bar-tailed Trogon, Red-fronted Parrot, and many birds of prey; you can also see beautiful deep-sea vegetation species like the kniphofia characterized by it bright red flowers or the tillandsia hanging on the branches of trees.
As you approach the peak, the flora gives place to stony mountain desert, where the vegetation is scant but the purple dots of lobelia can be seen; also, you may glimpse the Bearded Vulture.
From this point, you can easily reach the crater’s asymmetric and jagged edge; inside the crater, a cinder cone may be ascended in turn; however, the view of Mount Kilimanjaro from the peak of Meru Mount is stunning, and this alone is worth the trip.
Walking safaris may be taken on the eastern side, at the base of the Meru Mount, to the Njeku Belvedere on the crater floor; in this case, you must be escorted by an armed park ranger; along this trail, there is also a large ficus tree beneath which both cars and elephants can pass.
The focus may be accessed by 4×4 as well as a long journey through the park that takes around 4 hours.
Along the way, you’ll pass through a savannah area frequented by buffalos and giraffes, then continue around a hill with small waterfalls; from here, the road climbs to a lookout point from which you can see the entire park; and finally, back down the street, you’ll reach the forest, where the large ficus can be found.
The Tululusia Hill, which was once utilized as an observation post by nearby tribes that were constantly at odds with one another, is now often scaled and one of the most popular sites for park camping.
Elephants, buffalos, white and black colobus, red duikers, sunis, leopards, and pythons all reside on the hill, which is covered in lush jungle.
From here, you can see the entire bottom half of the Arusha National Park, as well as the Meru and Kilimanjaro mountains.