With Meru Cultural Tours you can experience both the incredible nature around Mt Meru and the warm hospitality of its people. Located in Akeri, right at the foot of the mountain, Meru Cultural Tours offers a perfect base for interesting tours in the region as well as more extensive safaris to the famous National Parks of Northern Tanzania.
As our guest in Akeri we not only guide you around the natural beauties around Mt. Meru – we also invite you to participate in the daily life of the Meru people and to discover their culture and history.
Coming to us, you are giving something back, too: Your stay makes a valuable contribution to improving the daily life of the Meru. Meru Cultural Tours was created to support the Akeri Vocational Training Centre – its profits are dedicated to providing young people with an education and, ultimately, to improving the economic situation in the region.
Out of Arusha National Park, Mt Meru raises its majestic heights. With 4566 meters, it’s Africa’s fourth highest mountain. Its fertile mountainsides are covered by lush mountain forests and home to a rich and diverse flora and fauna. Numerous waterfalls offer spectacular sights. On clear days, you can see all the way to Mt. Kilimanjaro only 50 kms to the East.
On the Southern and Eastern slopes of Mt. Meru and on the surrounding savannah live the Meru. They are a mostly agricultural people; on the “shambas“ -- small farms -- they grow bananas and coffee, vegetables and corn.
The Arusha-Moshi-Road goes right through the Meru region, connecting it in the East to the Kilimanjaro and the Kilimanjaro International Airport and in the West to the growing metropolis of Arusha and the roads to Africa’s most famous National Parks.
13 kms east of Arusha, in Tengeru, a small road takes off from the main road and leads up to the Southern slopes of Mt. Meru. After about 3 kms you reach Akeri. Here, you’ll find the large compound of the Western District of the Lutheran Diocese of Meru. It houses a staterun primary school, a church, a day care centre, as well as the Akeri Vocational Training Centre – and the office of Meru Cultural Tours. Staying with us, you can participate in the diverse life of the compound while still enjoying great peace and quiet.
Our tour guides are educated at the Akeri Vocational Training Centre. While you are with us, they will not only show you the natural beauties of the surrounding area but also let you participate in everyday life: From going to the market to cooking traditional meals you will experience the real Meru with us.
Meru Cultural Tours is located at the Akeri Vocational Training Centre. We offer simple, affordable housing of good quality in a beautiful and peaceful country environment. With a view of the summit of Mt. Meru or down its slopes and over the wide, open savannah.
Our Meru Cultural House is a very special, quite unique place to stay. Right next to a typical Meru agricultural environment, where bananas and coffee grow under big trees, it combines traditional and modern building techniques. Based on the form of the traditional Meru roundhouse – the “boma“-- the Meru Cultural House was developed as a large, two-storey boma. On the ground floor it has a lounge with a small kitchen, two double bedrooms and a bathroom and shower.
On the second floor are four sleeping compartments, shower and bathroom. The large boma is especially suited for those looking for alternative forms of tourism, and for groups.
We also have a guest house with 3 double bedrooms, shower, bathroom, and a lounge with a small kitchen.
And there is a campground where you can pitch your own tent or stay in one of our large two-person tents.
Wherever you’d like to stay – in the boma, the guest house or in the campground – we will give you a cordial welcome and offer you our warm and genuine hospitality.
Here are some suggestions for tours allowing you to experience and learn about the nature, history and culture, the social and economic situation, and the daily life of the Meru region (our price list)
Meru Cultural Tours is a company owned by the Western District of the Lutheran Diocese of Meru. It is a source of income for the Akeri Vocational Training Centre (AVTC).
The AVTC was created and built up in cooperation with the Lutheran Parish Farmsen-Berne (Hamburg, Germanuy) from 1998 to 2010.
The AVTC offers the following courses:
Because of widespread poverty, the running costs of the AVTC cannot be totally covered by means of the school fees of its students. Meru Cultural Tours was created as an additional income source for the AVTC. Meru Cultural Tours thus is a charitable project/company.
The beauty of its nature and the hospitality and warmth of its people notwithstanding, many families in the Meru region are poor. Population growth results in less and less land per family for those living on agriculture. In addition to bananas, many grow coffee and vegetables. But they suffer from the low price of raw coffee on the world market, and from the more and more frequent draughts caused by climate change. For many it has become impossible to live solely on the income generated by the products of their small farms.
We believe that education for the young is the best way out of this situation of poverty. Meru Cultural Tours is a non-profit project for financing education through tourism.
The profits Meru Cultural Tours makes go into financing the AVTC and improving the educations it offers. Meru Cultural Tours also creates employment opportunities for the tour guides trained at the AVTC and generates income for the region.
That’s what’s special about Meru Cultural Tours: With the money you spend on staying with us and going on our tours you both support the education of the young people of Meru and create jobs for them. Your visit furthers development in the region and creates ways out of poverty.