TANZANIA (eTN) – Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second highest peak and Africa’s third highest free-standing mountain, has been awarded with a 2014 Certificate of Excellence by the world’s famous travel site, TripAdvisor.

With a height of 4,565 meters (15,000 feet), Mount Meru stands among the best African mountains pulling big crowds of climbers and nature loving tourists.

Reports from Tanzania National Parks, the Trustee and Conservation authority for the mountain, said TripAdvisor has awarded this African mountain with a Certificate of Excellence for the year 2014 through recommendations and opinions from various travelers across the world.

Mount Meru is located inside Arusha National Park, some 70 kilometers from Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s leading tourist icon and highest peak in Africa.

The mountain has so far supported life to a variety of wildlife, birds, and plant species on its slopes through cool weather, while attracting tourist services inside Arusha National Park and its neighborhood.

Arusha city, Tanzania’s leading and fast-growing tourist metropolis, is located at the foothills of the mountain, offering a panoramic view of Meru Peak.

Several hotels and lodges have been developed on the laps of the mountain, offering services to tourists on safari in northern Tanzania. Among these hotels and lodges are the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge and Mount Meru Game Lodge, all located at the foothills of the mountain.

Arusha National Park which harbors Mount Meru’s ecological setup, is the starting point for tourists visiting the famous Tanzanian wildlife parks of Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, all in the northern tourist circuit.

Covering 137 square kilometers, Arusha National Park is one of the smaller and most beautiful national parks in Tanzania and famous for 400 African bird species recorded in the park including Eurasian migrants, which can be seen between October and April.

The park is located some 37 kilometers from Arusha city and very popular for day trips. The Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes, and the highland montane forest are the four distinctive features of the park, other than Mount Meru.

Mt. Kilimanjaro to the east, can be visible on clear days from many locations in the park. One of the unique attractions of the park is the opportunity to combine game drives and a nature walk in the many places where visitors can leave their safari vehicles and walk in the fresh air.

Popular and beautiful animals pulling tourists to visit this park are the Abyssinian black and white colobus monkeys, the vervet monkeys, the red forest duikers, hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, bushbucks and leopards.