Mount Meru in Arusha
Mount Meru in Arusha: Protected by Arusha National Park, Mount Meru is, at 4,556m (14,944 ft.), Africa’s fifth-highest mountain; like Kilimanjaro, it is often swaddled in cloud cover, deigning to show its regal peaks — dusted with snow from June to August — for only a few hours every day.
If you are planning to spend a few days in Arusha, make sure you set aside some time to explore Arusha National Park, a small (137-sq.-km/53-sq.-mile) but pretty reserve with dirt tracks leading through the montane forests, its dense canopy inhabited by black-and-white colobus monkeys that crash through the undergrowth, and occasionally opening up to reveal unexpected glades where giraffe, zebra, and buffalo graze.
Arusha National Park even has its own crater, Ngordoto, with sweeping views across the caldera from its lip, as well as shallow alkaline lakes that attract a variety of waterfowl and can be circuited by car. Better still, explore the park on foot; like Kili, it will take 4 days to reach Mount Meru’s summit, and many seasoned Kili climbers rate it as a more satisfying experience. With stunning scenery, many more wildlife encounters, far fewer people, and awesome views of Kilimanjaro from the mountain’s eastern flanks, who can blame them?
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