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Did you know?

  • The stomach of crocodile has a size of football ball, he eats little, but many times per day.
  • Hippo weights 3,2 tones and is one of the heaviest land mammals.
  • Giraffe is one of the rare animals that have horns at birth.
  • The elephants walk on tiptoe, because under their heel they have thick layer of fat.
  • The biggest snakes of the world can eat a human in one time and a meal lasts for one year.
  • Flamingos get the color of their feathers because of their specific nutrition.
  • African elephant can run faster then a human and can walk several hours without any rest.
  • In first year of hippo’s life 45% of them die.
  • Shark is swimming with average speed of 3km/h and maximum speed of 95 km/h.
  • Giraffe has a same number of vertebrae like most of the mammals, but theirs are much longer.
  • Bushbabies got a name because of their sounds that reminded first explorers of crying babies.
  • Elephants communicate through vibrations that they make by hitting the ground with their feet.
  • Most of the elephants sleep standing and only 2-3 hours per day.
  • Hippo can stay 5 minutes under the water-surface and can even run on the bottom of the lake.
  • The biggest known shark in the world was 13 meters long and had 15 tones
  • Leopard likes to drink water everyday, but he can stay without it up to one month.
  • Wild elephant can eat 230 kg of food and drink 125 liters of water per day sometimes at once.
  • Near relative of African ostrich is South American nandu and Australian emus.
  • Ostrich, zebra and giraffe can kill with their kick even the mighty lion.
  • Turtles, birds and crocs like to rest on the backs of hippos.
  • African tribes are hunting bushbabies by leaving a palm wine in the forest and collecting drunk animals from it.
  • Warthog can run 50 km/h and they are very skillful to defend themselves.
  • The head of the rhino weights 200 kg.
  • Black leopard or Panther was first considered as different species, but in same family can be puppies of normal and black colour.
  • The biggest turtle in the world is belonging to the species of leatherback and weights 752 kg.
  • The grey rat is living everywhere in the world except polar countries. One couple can have up to 800 babies in just one year.
  • Insect-eating bats produce ultrasound of very high frequency, with echoes that bounce back, they get all necessary information.
  • One of the most shamefaced animals in area of high and low tide is octopus.
  • The longest recorded jump of bushbaby from one branch to another was more then 7 meters.
  • From 1830 on each year 10 to 30 thousand slaves were sold at slave market on Zanzibar.
  • Coconut palm can live up to 100 years but can reproduce only 20 years.
  • Warthog’s only enemies are lion and leopard.
  • In darkness leopard can see 6 times and hear 2 times better then human.
  • Monkey species of red colobus are living only in forest Jozani on Zanzibar Island.
  • Cheetahs are running 120 km/h, but only 20 seconds. This is still enough for successful hunting.
  • Insectivorous bats obtain most of the water they need from their prey, cave bats can lick up condensation.

Mount Meru

Mt. Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4566m (14,979 ft). One of East Africa's most beautiful volcanoes. Unfortunately many times is in the shadow of highest African mountain Kilimanjaro, its famous neighbour, and frequently overlooked by trekkers or it gets much less attention that it should. Only climbed in 1904, Meru remains one of the least ascended high altitude peaks in East Africa.

Formation of Mount Meru

Meru was formed by volcanic action like most of the mountains in the region associated with the creation of the Great Rift Valley. The circular wall of the crater was broken by subsequent explosions to make today's horseshoe shape, and more recent volcanic activity has created the ash cone that stands inside the crater. Small eruptions have been reported in the last 100 years, indicating that Meru is still not quite extinct. The local Waarusha who live in the area regard the mountain as sacred. Every year a bull or sheep is sacrificed and offered to the mountain to ensure rain in the coming season. It is most likely that local people have been visiting the forest and even the area on the crater floor for generations. It is not known whether anybody ever reached the summit. The eposed nature of the effects of altitude would probably have deterred causal curiosity.

Spectacular Mountain

But Meru is a spectacular classic volcanic cone, and well worth a visit. A trek to the summit involves hiking through the grassland and lush forest on the mountain's beautiful lower slopes, followed by a dramatic and exhilarating walk along the knife-edge rim of the horseshoe crater. Meru is also a great way to warm up and adjust to the altitude before hitting Kilimanjaro.

Wildlife

The other great thing about Meru is you have a pretty good chance of seeing wildlife up close. A ranger joins you on your hike as protection in case you get a little too close to the local water buffalo.

Description

It can be appended to the start of any safari itinerary or even as a pre acclimatisation hike for Kilimanjaro or Mt Kenya. Well worth it for those climbing this as a stand alone peak to see stunning geology, afromontane forest and wildlife on foot.

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