Tanzania: trekking on Mount Meru
- Recommended for:
- Activity, Adventure, Cultural, Budget, Mid-range
Soaring above Tanzania's Massai Steppe, Mount Meru is reputed to be a more exhilarating climb than nearby Kilimanjaro. We tackled the challenge of trekking to its snow dusted summit.
The view as we flew over the Kenyan border was to die for: on our left, Kilimanjaro jutted majestically above its cloud skirt, whilst looking the other way gave us our first mesmerising view of Mount Meru’s cavernous caldera and knife-edge summit ridge. Months of anticipation turned to a buzz of excitement as our eyes wandered to its summit.
Hooked? Read the rest here: http://bit.ly/JB-Meru
Unfortunately, since the founder of Simonseeks withdrew his support, there there has been nobody maintaining Simonseeks.com. That means that, although the site is still liberally littered with adverts, the writers no longer receive their cut of the advertising revenue!
Therefore, I have moved this feature to my own website: The Backpacker Diaries (http://bit.ly/jonbigg)
Unlike Simonseeks.com, the Backpacker Diaries has not been heavily commercialised, so you will be able to read my work without being distracted by flickering advertisements vying for your attention!
Below is some useful information that I have not yet included on the Backpacker Diaries website.
BEFORE AND AFTER THE TREK
Before tackling Meru, it’s a good idea to spend a little time acclimatising in Moshi, which is itself around 900 metres above sea level. We spent two nights at the simple but charming Bristol Cottages; the breakfast was excellent, the staff friendly, the rates reasonable and the location good - close enough to the centre of town but not too close.
If vibrant town centres aren’t your thing, you’ll find tranquillity and excellent food at El Rancho, a delightful though misleadingly named Indian restaurant. If it’s a clear day, go there a little before sunset, in time to stroll up the hill, past the International School, for an unforgettable view of Kilimanjaro.
If you haven’t experienced Africa before, or even if you have, make time for a cultural show at the dubiously named Golden Shower Restaurant. Participate in energetic tribal dances, learn about local traditions, relax to the mesmerising sound of drums, and watch acrobats twist themselves into impossible positions.
There is a small market in Moshi, and a scattering of curio shops. Don’t worry about trying to find them; eager sellers will find you and entice you there, but don’t feel you have to buy anything! When you’ve tired of souvenir shopping, there are few better places for a cool, afternoon beer than the charming bar hidden up a back street behind the Kindoroko Hotel; it’s supposed to be for residents only, but the barman was more than happy to serve us. For sundowners, it's hard to beat the view from the Kindoroko's rooftop bar - Moshi town sprawls at your feet while Kilimanjaro's iconic profile dominates the background catching the sun's last rays.
Best of all, visit Marangu waterfalls. The falls are beautiful, and jumping off the top into the cool water below is exhilarating. It’s also well worth the walk to a larger rock pool in a shady gully a little further upstream.
ORGANISING YOUR TRIP
Ice and Dust (www.iceanddust.com) can organise everything from your arrival in Tanzania until your departure: guides, permits, transport, porters (no need to carry your own pack), accommodation, food and water on the trek, indeed pretty much everything except your flights. They’ll sort you out with a safari, too, if your budget stretches to it and you fancy more than just a mountain adventure. Isaac, our guide, works for Ice and Dust and met us in Moshi. He looked after us before and after the trek as well as accompanying us on Meru.
Kilimanjaro international airport is halfway between Moshi and Arusha. It is served by KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Northwest, providing connections to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Precision Air also provides connections to Kilimanjaro from many regional airports.
About the author
A year after first climbing Mount Meru, Jon moved with his family to Tanzania. He now lives on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and regularly treks on both Meru and Kilimanjaro. Read Jon's blog to learn more about living in Africa with four young children http://kilimanjaroshadow.blogspot.com/
More information on Tanzania: trekking on Mount Meru:
- Jon Bigg (Moderator)
- Traveller type:
- Travel Enthusiast
- Guide rating:
- 5(3 votes)
- Total views:
- First uploaded:
- 3 September 2009
- Last updated:
- 1 year 25 weeks 1 day 3 hours 15 min 13 sec ago
- Destinations featured:
- Trip types:
- Activity, Adventure, Cultural
- Budget level:
- Budget, Mid-range
- Free tags / Keywords:
- volcano, Africa, trekking, mountain