In hardly any other area you can experience stronger landscape contrasts than here, where the rain forest encounters the Maasai savanna. Take a hike through wild rivers, marshes and acacia woodland. Explore the Maasai land and the vast steppe of Tanzania. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru or the fascinating place of ritual worship Mukuru Hill. Accompanied by our experienced Meru and Maasai guides you can explore the area on your own. Permaculture means to revive nature in old traditions. As part of our Africa Amini Earth project you can be part of it live. More information at www.africaaminiearth.com
The river Meru, which borders Arusha National Park, can be walked along almost all the way from its source to Maasai land. From the crystal clear spring water, the perfect place to take a plunge, walk downstream through unspoilt landscape until the journey eventually leads you back into civilization. Chance encounters with giraffes, dik-diks and various bird species round off the two-hour walk. Children playing, young shepherds who lead their herds and women doing the laundry in the river water will also cross our path. After an idyllic picnic at the foot of Mount Meru, the river walk ends at the village of Ngarenanyuki, typical for its lively African village feel. Follow the river from the heart of the national park to the bustling village. Nature and culture become one in a very special way.
Experience the vastness of Africa first-hand at the Maasai and Meru plateau situated between Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro at 1,500 meters. Our experienced guides lead you through extraordinary flora and fauna on trails only known to the locals. Both the swamp of Meru land and the Maasai savannah are unique and untouched. The vast savannah is home to innumerable medicinal herbs used by the Maasai. Various animals like tortoises, birds or snakes find breeding grounds in the Meru swamp. In many Meru legends the swamp is considered to be home to the python. As a matter of fact, it is not recommended to enter the area during rainy season. A picnic on an island covered with meter-high spurges makes you lose track of time.
Who doesn't dream of climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain with its snow-covered peak? In Momella and Ngabobo we are lucky enough to see it almost every day emerging from the plains. One is almost inclined to take a low bow: Good morning, your majesty! Our mountain climb leads us along the Machame Route. From Machame Gate (at roughly 1,400 m) the route along the west face takes you to Machame Camp (at almost 3,000 m). On the first day, it is a fairly easy hike with gentle slopes that leads through dense mountainous rainforest. Machame Camp, the first stopover, is located in a sparse forest at almost 3,000 m. The difference in altitude between Machame Gate and Machame Camp is roughly 1,600 m. On day two, tents will be put up at Shira Camp (at 3,900 m). The path to the camp via the Shira Plateau is steeper and alpine. The rainforest is followed by woody heathlands, where gigantic heathers up to 12 meters in height grow rampantly. The third leg leads from Shira Camp to Lava Tower (at about 4.650 m), and afterwards there is a short descent to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m. A long ridge of basalt and sand leads you to Lava Tower, from where you descend to Barranco Camp, situated directly below the enormous south-side glaciers. The hike on day four to Karanga Valley (at 3,900 m) is a means to acclimatize, before the journey continues to Barafu Camp at 4.550 m on day five (difference in altitude about 600 m). Shortly after midnight, the long hike from Barafu Camp via Uhuru Peak starts (5,895 m). After a descent passing Mweka Camp we arrive at High Camp. The view from Stella Point (5,745 m): Dreamlike ice cliffs and glaciers shine like diamonds. Meter by meter, you climb up using every last ounce of strength until you finally reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of freedom, at 5,895 m. CONGRATULATIONS. YOU ARE NOW AT UHURU PEAK, TANZANIA, 5895 M, AT AFRICA’S HIGHEST POINT, WORLD’S LARGEST VOLCANO, WELCOME !
Mount Meru rises over 4,566 m and is Tanzania's second highest mountain. Momella Gate serves as a starting point for the three- to four-day ascent (depending on your level of fitness). The first leg starts with a hike introducing you to the ecology, diversity and the special rhythm of the African savannah. The montane zone starts at 2,300 m. Hardwoords such as Podocarpus, African junipers, strangler figs and wild olive trees dominate the landscape. The first overnight stay will be at the Miriakamba Hut, located on a meadow clearing at 2,521 m. The ascent to the second hut (Saddle Hut at 3,570 m) leads through a tropical primeval forest. Heathland starts at 3,000 m. At around two o'clock in the morning, the final ascent to the top begins, the Southern Cross visible in the night sky leading the way. Rhino Point will be the first destination. At 4,566 m the Tanzanian flag will be flying on the summit. The view from the top is breathtaking and spectacular. In the east, the snow-covered peak of Kilimanjaro stands out, whereas the west is dominated by the Great Rift Valley and the Crater Highlands with its scattered volcanoes: Ol Doinyo Lengai (2,878 m), Kitumbeini (2,865 m) and Oldeani (3,185 m). Beyond these volcanoes, the endless plains of the Serengeti extend. The ash cone of Mount Meru seems far away. From the summit via the Saddle Hut, the way leads back to Miriakamba Hut. This is where hikers remain one more night in order to acclimatize. True to the motto: Haraka, haraka haina baraka – Haste makes waste.
Between Momella and Ngabobo, on the north side of Mount Meru, lies the village of Mukuru. A small, pyramid-shaped hill at the foothills of Mount Meru is the landmark of the area. The hill, Ol Doinyo Landaree, is still used by the Maasai for religious purposes. It is not a tourist destination, however, we are allowed to pay a visit from time to time. Birdlife is abundant, giraffes feed from fine acacia leaves and zebras share the pasture with the locals' cattle. A place of peace and contemplation.