After a short night's sleep interrupted by monkeys scampering across the roof of our bedroom and birds awakening, we spent our first full day hiking in Arusha national park at the foot of Mount Meru.

path for hike picnic area with water fall and armed guard

The hike was incredibly short, but its purpose was to gain some altitude and then to drop back down as part of the acclimatization process. Or perhaps this is a day we go to a park in case someone is delayed on a flight or baggage is lost - it gives you a day to catch up before we hit the mountain. Either way, it is a nice walk amongst the wildlife in the area, escorted by an armed guard in case something goes terribly wrong. our guard has had that experience four times in his career.


The scenery is beautiful, the weather warm. Giraffes greeted us almost as soon as we entered the park. The vehicle had a pop up top so we could all stand up and look around and catch a few photos before we got to the hike.

cape buffalo and wart hogs

During the hike we came closer to wart hogs and cape buffalo (mbogo) than we had been in the vehicle. It made it clear why the guy with the gun was with us. we abided by all of the distance rules for the heard and used zoom lenses and binoculars to get a closer look.

giraffes zebras

On the short ride back after the hike, we finally saw zebras in the wilderness, but alas, the elephant alluded us - January was not their time to graze in that area. maybe a return trip is in order.