For the more adventurous, mountain climbing is often a very popular option. Mount Kilimanjaro which stands at an altitude of 5,895m is Africa’s tallest freestanding mountain and is situated only three degrees below the equator. It is a protected area, allowing climbers to thoroughly enjoy their visit without causing any harm to the environment.
The mountain’s remarkable ecosystems are what make Kilimanjaro such an asset; from lowland slopes and thick forests into dry barren landscapes and ice capped peaks, the natural beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro is undeniable. And with breathtaking views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley and the Masaai Steppe it is not hard to see why this trek is often the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania.
There are four routes to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the most popular and easiest being the Marangu route. All routes pass through the five ecosystems of the mountain and consist of a 5 day climb (3 days up and 2 days down), though this can be taken at a more leisurely pace if desired. On the Marangu route accommodation is in huts while on the other routes it is in high altitude tents. A guide, cook and porters who can carry as much of your equipment as you would like will accompany all climbers. Equipment such as sleeping bags, rucksacks and walking sticks are available to hire at the bottom of the mountain if required.
A second option for mountain climbers is Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second highest mountain standing at 4,566m. Located within Arusha National Park and overshadowed by Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, though a spectacular mountain is often overlooked by visitors. Like Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru also has a diverse ecosystem with a trek that involves a hike through grassland and forests on the mountains lower slopes, followed by a dramatic and exhilarating walk to the summit.
The lower slopes of Mount Meru are populated with over 400 species of baboon, elephant, rhino, buffalo and birds while higher up there are magnificent views of the Momela Lakes and Ngurdoto Creater making this trek a truly unforgettable experience. Accommodation on Mount Meru consists of dormitory style huts and all equipment must be provided by the climber.