Arriving to Tanzania and trekking Mount Meru National Park
I am not going to lie, making travel plans during this pandemic is quite stressful. When you actually get to carry these plans out, it is even a bit more stressful, but I was glad that my preparations for this trip to Africa proved to be quite successful. So that eased my mind a lot! I arrived to Tanzania the Sunday of 18/10/2020 at 3:45 pm, at Kilimanjaro airport. And my Adventure in Africa had just begun!
Arriving to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania
Godson, owner of Godson Adventures plains2peaks, who had been responsible for planning and organizing my climbing trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro is the first person I met upon arrival. Together we drove for an hour and a half until we reached Arusha town, where I will spend the night.
Later on that evening, I had a conversation with Godson concerning my trip to Kilimanjaro and the specific plans he made. I decided to accept his suggestion to go on a warm-up day climb to the outskirts of Mount Meru before taking on Kilimanjaro itself.
Mount Meru is an inactive volcano standing at 4560m tall, lying 70km west of Kilimanjaro. It is actually the fifth highest peak of Africa.
8:00 am, the following day, I will meet Alex Kilembou, who is the guide that will take me to Kilimanjaro. A little while after, Alex and me will leave the hotel and head to the Mount Meru National Park.
An hour later, after meeting with Maric, a guard of the park, who will also join us, we will all together cross the entrance and start hiking around a magnificent landscape!
Following Themi River, a sight of great beauty, we will reach the first waterfall of our trail which is called
“Napuru”!! . It is an impressive sight, cool water falling from 70m high into the dense vegetation of Mount Meru.
Continuing our climbing, an hour later, we will reach the second waterfall, which, surprisingly enough, is also called Napuru. We will take a short break, when I will realize that I have some open wounds on both my feet due to the fact that I was wearing new hiking shoes that weren’t worn in. I thought this could make my climbing to Mt Kilimanjaro substantially more difficult.
Afterwards, we start our return to the park. Full of beautiful images from our trip to Mount Meru, we will get back to our hotel where we will rest before embarking on the long journey we have ahead of us.
What personally impressed me during this first day I spent in Tanzania were the harsh conditions and extreme poverty that its people are going through. Even like so, however, Tanzanians are warm, friendly, welcoming and eager to help you with anything you may need. Also, I was amazed by the fact that, as regards to Covid-19 and the virus pandemic, people in Tanzania greatly downplay its significance and feel like they are not particularly affected by the virus. As a result, no safety measures are being taken and social distancing is not even a thing.
Meeting with locals on my way to Meru National Park