Tanzania is home to Africa’s tallest mountain but also offers other notable peaks. For those not content with just climbing the fabled Mount Kilimanjaro there are two other summits located in the approximate vicinity that is East Africa. Both are easily accessible. Most choose the town of Arusha as their base to tag all three, but Moshi or other smaller villages can also be used as alternative starting points.
Elevation 19,340 feet
The name itself conjures up the romance of adventure that is Africa. Hemingway wrote about it, and Hollywood later capitalized with the movie. Although neither speaks to climbing the mountain, the elephant is in the room. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and one of the easiest of the “Seven Summits” to climb. However, easy is certainly a relative term. Prepare to spend 5-8 days on the mountain. Each additional day spent dramatically increases the chance of summit success. However, to climb the monolith one most go with a licensed Tanzania outfitter. Unfortunately, the cost is in direct proportion of the number of days on the mountain. Be prepared to spend a minimum of $1200 for a bare bones experience.
Elevation 14,979 feet
It’s surprising this peak does not have identity crises. As the mountain dominates the horizon when approaching Arusha from the east it is most often mistaken for Kilimanjaro. If that were not enough, few bother to climb Meru unless they are using it for an aclimazation climb for its larger sister peak. Prepare to spend 3-4 days when climbing at a cost of around $800 per person. However, the rate can be lower if combined with a joint trip to Kilimanjaro.
Elevation 12,080 feet
Well, if Mount Meru has an identity crisis, Loolmalasin could very well be the “Invisible Man.” Less than 1 percent who journey to East Africa take the time to summit this peak. It is truly a walk up, and if planned accordingly, can easily be done in one day. The mountain is located in the Ngorongora conservation area. Since the hike itself takes the trekker through the “true bush,” the walk may well be as exhilarating as reaching the summit.
Mount Kilimanjaro is listed first only because it is the most popular. With the summit come the bragging rights of having stood on the roof of Africa. Meru and Loolmalasin provide different landscapes and terrain and are no less extraordinary than Tanzania’s highest.