Mount Kilimanjaro is not the only place to find snow in Tanzania! This photo of the fifth highest mountain in Africa, Mount Meru (Socialist Peak 4,562 m) was taken not far from our Arusha office in December 2016. That is the Tanzanian version of ‘white Christmas’. During rainy season, it is not uncommon to see snow on Meru, however there is no glacier and therefore it does not take long for the strong equatorial sun to melt it. Millennia ago, an volcanic eruption destroyed the entire eastern flank, so this almost perfect shape seen in the picture holds only true from a southwestern viewpoint. This of course is a blessing for hikers, since it is easier to reach the top through the exposed flank. Mount Meru is the centerpiece of the Arusha National Park.
Some guests like to climb Mount Meru as a preparation and training before they continue with Mount Kilimanjaro. A four day trek with an armed ranger to protect you from the wild animals is the norm. Like it is the case with its bigger neighbor Kilimanjaro, the vegetation changes dramatically with your ascend: from lush rainforests, to moorland and eventually to alpine tundra. Normally you will reach the peak very early in the morning, giving you a splendid view of Mount Kilimanjaro at sunrise. Due to the shorter trek and lower park fees, climbing Mount Meru is an excellent budget alternative to Mount Kilimanjaro. Often times ignored by Safari itineraries, it offers great value to travelers who like an “off the beaten track” experience.