Climbing & Trekking

Kilimanjaro & MERU

Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is an enigmatic and majestic mountain, shrouded in clouds and various potential meanings. It has been associated with names like “Mountain of Light,” “Mountain of Greatness,” or “Mountain of Caravans,” though the local Chagga people only refer to its snowy peak as Kipoo, now known as Kibo. This iconic mountain, standing imperiously over the continent, symbolizes the captivating beauty of East Africa. Kilimanjaro’s allure goes beyond its name, as it boasts several remarkable features. Not only is it the highest peak on the African continent, but it also stands as the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. Rising dramatically from the surrounding coastal scrubland at approximately 900 meters, it soars to an impressive height of 5,895 meters (19,336 feet). Its accessibility makes it a popular destination for visitors worldwide.

Scaling Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable experience. Most climbers, equipped with basic gear and determination, can reach the crater rim. Those who manage to conquer Uhuru Point, the true summit, or Gillman’s Point on the crater’s edge, earn their climbing certificates along with cherished memories. However, the mountain’s appeal extends far beyond its summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro is akin to embarking on a climatic journey, spanning from tropical regions to Arctic-like conditions. As you ascend the slopes, the environment transforms, starting with cultivated foothills giving way to lush montane forests. These forests are home to elusive creatures such as elephants, leopards, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and various small antelope and primates.

In summary, Kilimanjaro’s allure lies not only in its name and summit but also in the diverse and captivating landscapes it offers throughout the climb, making it a cherished destination for adventurers from all corners of the globe.

Mount Meru

Mount Meru is among the most stunning volcanoes in Africa and holds the title of the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, standing at 4,565m, and the fifth-highest on the entire continent. It is located within the vast Arusha National Park, covering an area of approximately 137 sq. km and situated 45 kilometers away from Arusha. The mountain boasts a diverse range of habitats, encompassing alkaline crater lakes, swamps, mountain forests, and alpine deserts. With a climb that can be completed in three or four days, trekkers find accommodation in huts along the route.

The area is teeming with wildlife, presenting an opportunity to encounter numerous species, such as buffalo, elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras, leopards, waterbucks, hyenas, duikers, baboons, and an impressive count of almost 400 bird species. Notably, the beautiful black and white colobus monkeys are a well-known feature, gracefully swinging from branches in the tall rainforest trees, along with the elusive duikers.

For this climb, besides your trekking team, an armed ranger is provided to ensure your safety. Excess Africa strongly recommends undertaking this climb to acclimatize before embarking on your Mount Kilimanjaro adventure. After descending, it is advised to spend only one night in either Arusha or Moshi before commencing your second climb. Any longer delay would lead to the loss of the acclimatization benefits. Apart from the climb, the Arusha National Park is an ideal location for a day game drive, a pleasant few hours walk, or even a Canoe Safari to the small Momela lake.