Hiking in Tanzania : Hiking is also among the major activities which tourists carry out during tours in Tanzania at different times of the year. Among the famous hiking destinations in Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Both these mountains are found in the northern part of Tanzania and there are other hiking destinations in Tanzania like the Udzungwa mountains, Ol donyo lengai, Empakaai and Olmoti crater among others.
The highest mountain in Africa is also among the destinations where hikes in Tanzania are carried out. Mount Kilimanjaro is at an altitude of 5,895 meters and it is a snow capped mountain found in the northern part of Tanzania.
There are different routes which are followed during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro which are also carried out throughout the year and these routes include Machame route, Lemosho route, Marangu route, Umbwe route, Shira route and also Rongai route.
Mount Kilimanjaro is best visited during the months from June, July, August, September and October and it is also a destination where hikes can be carried out in the rainy season although fewer people visit the destination in the rainy season. Mount Kilimanjaro is part of Kilimanjaro national park.
Hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro can start from Arusha town or from Moshi town which is found at the foothills of the mountain. these hikes take about 5 days to get to the summit and depending on the route used for hiking your hike can take longer.
Rangers, guides and porters go with the hikers during their hikes to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro which is k own as the Uhuru peak which is found on Kibo which is one of the volcanic cones found on the Mountain.
Mount Meru, standing at 4,566 meters (14,980 feet), is a dormant strato volcano in Tanzania’s Arusha National Park, 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro. A trek to the summit of Mount Meru usually takes four days, but it can be completed in three days.
The mountain is also the second highest mountain in Tanzania and climbing Mount Meru, is an activity which can be done as part of a safari in Tanzania. There is tourist traffic on Mount Meru is not very high and you get to also encounter wildlife during the hike. It’s a great stand-alone excursion or a warm-up for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Some argue that Meru is actually more difficult, and it is certainly quieter.
Mount Meru is the part of the attractions found in Arusha National Park, and its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding grassland, supporting a forest that is home to a varied range of wildlife, including approximately more than 400 bird species, as well as other larger mammals such as monkeys and leopards. As they approach and climb the mountain, hikers will be able to witness a variety of species. The hike on Mount Meru costs about 950 USD for the 4 days of hiking.
The hike on Mount Meru starts from Momella gate to Miriakamba hut which takes about 4 to 5 hours. From Miriakamba hut, the hike continues to Saddle hut and this hike takes about 3 to 4 hours. after spending the night at Saddle hut, the hike begins from Saddle hut to the socialist peak and from the peak to Miriakamba hut. From Miriakamba hut, the hikers will continue to Momella gate which brings the hike to an end.
As compared to Mount Kilimanjaro, there is only one route which is used for hiking on Mount Meru when visiting Tanzania. Mount Meru can be accessed by driving from Arusha town to Arusha national park where the mountain is found and the park is about 25 kilometers from Arusha town.
Why climb Mount Meru?
There are many things that bring people to Tanzania for tours and Mount Meru is among the many destinations which can be visited. Some of the reasons for climbing Mount Meru include;
- The mountain is easier to climb as stated by hiking experts. When climbing Mount Meru, you’re likely to observe a lot of animals as well as other unique features, which makes visitors appreciate their hiking excursion even more. In short, hiking Mount Meru is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- The diversity of attractions in Arusha national park where Mount Meru is found is another reason to visit the Mountain since you can visit other attractions like waterfalls in the park and also see a diverse range of animals, and hiking to various points on the summit is always accompanied by an armed park ranger. Some of the wildlife species which can be seen during a hike on Mount Meru include elephants, giraffes, zebras, and plenty of buffalo. Even at an altitude of 3500 meters, buffalo can be seen.
- Climbing Mount Meru remains a unique experience because you will be getting two for the price of one, meaning you will be able to observe animals and other more unique things while merely hiking. One of the reasons why climbers prefer Mount Meru to other summits in Tanzania is because of this.