Arusha National Park, Tanzania is just 32km away from the town and Arusha airport which was described by Sir Julian Huxley as “a gem amongst parks.” It consists of three spectacular features, the Momela Lakes, Mount Meru and the Ngurdoto Crater.
On clear days magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen from almost any part of the park. The vegetation and wildlife varies with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp.
Arusha National Park, often overlooked, is in fact a treasure, a rich tapestry of habitats, teeming with animals and birds. From the lush swamps of the Ngurdoto Crater to the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes and the rocky alpine heights of Mount Meru, the terrain of the park is as varied as it is interesting.
Arusha National Park’s Wildlife and Nature & Wildlife Safari Experience
The setting for Arusha National Park is magical: Zebras graze on the park’s red grasslands, and leopards lurk next to waterfalls in the shadowy forest. More than 575 species of bird, both migrant and resident can be found in Arusha National Park alongside rare primates such as the black-and-white colobus monkey.
The rewarding climb up Mount Meru passes through forests of dripping Spanish moss, carpeted with clover and rises to open heath, spiked with giant lobelia plants. Delicate klipspringer antelope watch the progress of hikers from the top of huge boulders, and everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert underfoot.
Once astride the craggy summit, the reward is a sight of Mount Kilimanjaro, breathtaking in the sunrise. Recently added tourist attractions include canoe safaris on the Momela lakes and walking safaris around the rim of the Ngurudoto Crater.
The best time to visit Arusha National Park is during the dry season from July-November, or after the short rains from December-March. The best months to climb Meru are June-February, with the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro seen from December-February. The park lies just 25 kilometers east of Arusha, and is ideal for a rewarding day trip from Arusha or Moshi.
Size: 552 sq km 212 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, North East of Arusha town..
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.
What to do
Game viewing drives
Forest walks, numerous picnic sites;
Three- or four-day Mt Meru climb – good acclimatization for Kilimanjaro.
When to go
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.
Two lodges, two rest houses, camp sites, two mountain huts inside the park; more lodges at Usa River outside the park and many hotels and hostels in Arusha town.