Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is the nearest national park to Arusha town which offers the safari enthusiasts the chance to discover the fascinating diversity of habitats just a few hours away from their comfortable accommodations in Arusha.
Arusha is located near the Kenyan border, standing in the foothills of Mount Meru at an altitude of about 1,500m above sea level. The town offers the best point from which to explore the renowned northern game viewing circuit such as Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. As there is no much activity to be done in Arusha Town to occupy a travellers time, a day excursion to Arusha National Park comes in handy. The forest, lakes and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day trip at the commencement or end of an extended Tanzania northern safari.
Flora and Fauna of Arusha National Park
The Flora and Fauna of the Park which is diverse can be found in three main areas all at different altitudes; Momela Lakes, Mount Meru (abundant forest and bare rock) and Ngurdoto Crater which is mainly surrounded by forest.
The park has a rich diversity of wildlife regardless of its small size. Within its three vegetation zones, many different kinds of animals can be spotted. Animals that can be spotted within the park include reedbuck, waterbuck, black and white colobus monkey, bushbuck, blue monkeys and colorful turacos and trogons, buffalo, zebra, dik-dik, Giraffes, warthog, leopard, hyena and among other mammals
Momela lakes provide the best place for bird watchers. Over four hundred species of birds have been recorded in the park. Some of the birds are migratory while others are permanent residents.
Although the size of the park is small, it has diverse habitats with different vegetations. The areas are the Momella Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater and Mount Meru. Here one will encounter alkaline lakes, mountain rainforests, open savannah, and even a volcanic crater.
More about Arusha National Park
The National Park is situated in Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town and the size of Park is approximately 552 sq km
How to Get to Arusha National Park
The Park is situated about sixty kilometers from Kilimanjaro International Airport and approximately forty-minute drive from Arusha, making it possible one to have day or half-day excursions to the park.
Arusha can be accessed through the Kilimanjaro International Airport for international flights which is 40km away or through Arusha Airport which is mainly used for domestic flights within Tanzania.
When to visit
A traveler can visit the park throughout the year. For those interested in climbing Mt Meru, the best time to climb is between June and February though it may rain in November. To have the best view of Kilimanjaro is between December and February.
Where to stay
There is accommodation within the park where one can stay. There are 2 lodges, 2 rest houses, camp sites and 2 mountain huts; more lodges are located at Usa River outside the park and many hotels and hostels in Arusha town.
- Nature walks/ walking safaris
- Forest walks
- Canoeing to explore the Momela Lakes
- Gentle game drives
- Mt Meru climb, one of the best acclimatization for Kilimanjaro