Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and from the south Mount Meru looks like a typical strato-volcano. However the view from the east is completely different as the whole of the eastern side of the mountain was blown away during an eruption some 250,000 years ago. The ash cone still shows remains of the last volcanic activity from 1879.
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The mountain also has a variety of vegetation zones. It starts with savannah dotted by yellow fever trees and wild date palms. The savannah is followed by the dry montane forest that is home to tall junipers also known as African pencil cedars that can reach a height of up to 30 meters. Next is the moist montane forest that dazzles with beautiful flowers such as the brilliantly colored fire ball lily, red hot pokers and pink impatiens. Giraffes are often spotted in this zone as they like feeding on the abundant croton trees. In the next zone, the upper montane forest, you will see hagenia trees with lichen and ferns hanging from its branches. Next up is the ericaceous zone, which is a lot bushier and as the name indicates, is home to many different types of Erica bushes. Lastly you will reach the afro alpine zone with more of a desert like feel to it. But it is not completely void of vegetation as some types of grass still thrives here.
The standard time required to climb Mount Meru is four days. All climbs are accompanied by an armed park ranger and overnights take place in mountain huts.
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