Pick up from a hotel in Arusha at 9am by our guide in a 4×4 safari vehicle and head off to Arusha National Park. This rarely visited gem covers the 15,000 ft Summit and Eastern flank of the mountain. Mount Meru is a dormant volcano the last eruption (a rather undramatic dribble of lava!) was just over 100 years ago. The most dramatic event happened over half a million years ago when the entire Eastern side of the cone was ejected in a massive explosion that has created a wonderful rich environment. The park has been protected for a long time – particularly the upper areas – and contains some magnificent forests and gorges.
Arriving at Itikoni Camp there will be an opportunity to use the facilities and have a cup of tea or coffee before heading off on foot with your guide and an armed park ranger.
The hike can be tailored from about an hour up to three hours depending on time and how keen the hikers are. There is no set trail – the group will wander through the forest using small game trails – perhaps the occasional glimpse of some game or colobus monkey high in the canopy. The forest is also home to some wonderful birdlife. The hike will pass by a deep gorge that drains the crater – much of the water in the streams on Mount Meru is so naturally rich in fluoride as to damage the teeth and bones of anyone who drinks it a lot as a child – look out for native Arushans with brown stained teeth.
Arriving at one of the waterfalls you will find a bush lunch laid out – relax and enjoy a few drinks and fantastic meal with the soothing sound of the water.
From here it is a 20-minute walk back to the vehicle and drive back to Arusha