Mount Meru is a conical volcanic mountain reaching a highest of 4,566 above sea level and is the fifth highest in Africa. The mountain is within Arusha National Park, which came into existence in 1960 when the wildlife area around the Momella Lakes and Ngurdoto Crater were officially declared a protected area. The park has had three names. First it was Ngurdoto Crater National Park, then Meru Crater National Park and finally Arusha National Park.
The park is only 30km from the tourist town of Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport. Tourists’ accommodation within the park includes a few lodges, some campsites and two huts for climbers. The park has an area of 137sqkm, but there are plans to increase its sizes by adding to the surrounding buffer zone.
The attractions of the parks include craters, lakes, forest and wild animals, Giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, reedbucks, and other big mammals, are abundant in the park, which also contains many species of birds, including flamingoes, its forests are home to colobus monkeys.
Three to four days is the recommended time for climbing the mountain. The best time to climb Meru is from June to February, although it may rain in November. The best views of Kilimanjaro from Meru are between December and February.