Arusha National Park

Thinking of spending your holiday in Tanzania but you do not know which park to visit? Well, Arusha National Park is that one magical wilderness area you need to think of exploring while on safari in East Africa and you won’t be left in regrets. This spectacular natural wonder straddles within the northeastern area of Tanzania. Its small size comes with breathtaking landscapes and amazing views. This park covers parts of Mount Meru a prominent volcano just at altitude of about 4566 meters. Its landscape ranges from west to cover parts of Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River, the incredible peak of Mount Meru lies at its rim. The Ngurdoto Crater is found in southeastern side and comprises of grassland. The shallow alkaline momella lakes in the northeast have differing algal colors and popular for its varied bird species.
Mount Meru features as Tanzania’s highest peak just after that of magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha National Park is located a few kilometers northeast of Arusha and its main gate is about 25 kilometers’ drive east of Tanzania’s capital. It is 58 kilometers off Moshi and 35 kilometers away from Kilimanjaro International Airport. It was founded in 1960 and previously, it featured as a battle ground for the Masai people and their neighbors. It boasts of its distinct floral and faunal species which attract most tourists on African safari to enjoy.
While on safari in this park, you have the best views over diverse wildlife species that call this park their home. They include cape buffaloes, zebras, warthogs, giraffes, blue monkeys, flamingo, elephants, lions, leopards, black and white colobus monkeys as well as birds like bar tailed trogon, Narina trogons, scaly francolin, little grebe, great crested grebe. Red eyed dove, Rameron pigeon, ring necked dove, African green pigeon, white backed duck, white faced whistling duck, Egyptian goose, hartlaub’s turaco, red chested cuckoo, pied cuckoo, African emerald cuckoo, dideric cuckoo, blacksmith lapwing, three banded plover, white browed coucal, little swift, white rumped swift, corn crake, red knobbed coot, black crake, gray crowned crane, yellow billed duck, cape teal, red billed duck, starlings a mention but a few.

What to do in Arusha National Park
Besides its diverse natural wonders, this park also boasts of its varied safari activities that await for you to explore. They include game drive which gets you the best views over the lions, warthogs, buffaloes, hyenas, leopards, zebras, elephants, giraffes, waterbucks and others.
Mountain climbing-this takes you to scenic Mount Meru which straddles at altitude 4566 meters. While on a hike through this mountain, you also have a chance to catch a glimpse at varied species especially the white and black colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons and stunning vegetation with amazing views over zebras and giraffes as they graze.
Canoeing-this takes you through the scenic Momella Lakes of Arusha National Park. While here, you get the best views over giraffes and buffaloes and many bird species. This water sport lasts for about 2-3 hours.
This is one of the most amazing safari activities that is offered in Arusha National Park. A birding tour in this park gets you a chance to sight at bird species like the red fronted parrot, Egyptian goose, great crested grebe, African fish eagle, flamingoes, lammergeyer, black saw wing, cinnamon chested bee-eater and many others.

Nature walks
This is perfect for you to explore the hidden treasures of Arusha National Park. This takes you through trails like Kitoto to Njeku through Meru crater, Momella gate to Itikoni, Ngurdoto crater, buffalo to Kaitong, Laitong to buffalo and Momella gate to Tululusia waterfall.

When to visit Arusha National Park
This park can be reached within 40 minutes’ drive off Kilimanjaro airport and Moshi town at about 58 kilometers. It can be visited at any time of the year and note that the peak season always starts around June to October and this is perfect for game viewing. For hikers, Mount Meru can be best hiked around June to February and birders can explore this park around November and April.
Where to stay in Arusha National Park
For visitor overnight stay, the notable areas to spend a night include Mbega lodge, Mount Meru lodge, Momella Wildlife lodge and others.