Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park Tanzania is the closest Tanzania national park to the northern safari capital of the Republic of Tanzania, Arusha town. Arusha National Park is a little gem of 552 square kilometres, comprising of diverse topography and amazing wildlife species. From the rugged peaks of Mount Meru to the marshy depths of the Ngurdoto Crater from where warthogs wallow, and the montane forests filled with monkey species, the Park is a true little gem worth visiting. You shall be amazed at the abundance of giraffes and zebra seen grazing at the grassy hills of Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park is a popular day trip destination for those travellers with limited time to spare while in Arusha, or do not want to travel long distances to spot a variety of wildlife and enjoy a typical African safari experience in Tanzania. Arusha National Park does not complete the list of the big five in its confines, but is a rewarding wildlife safari destination in Tanzania for the wildlife in Arusha National Park say dik-dik, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, and so much more.
Attractions in Arusha National Park
Animals in Arusha National Park
Animals in Arusha National Park are one of the reason that travellers do include the park as one to be visited while on a northern Tanzania wildlife safari. There are a number of animal species in Arusha National Park that travellers can spot while on a wild game drive or walking safari in Arusha National Park say buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, hippos, warthogs, waterbucks, dik-diks, reedbucks, elephants, red duikers, bush pigs, black-and-white colobus monkeys, among others. Big cats like spotted hyenas and leopards can be sighted along the slopes of Mount Meru. The forest areas of Arusha National Park has a number of primates including blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys. Schools of zebras, giraffes and buffaloes can be spotted in the small savannah area commonly known as Serengeti Ndogo which simply translates to Little Serengeti.
Birds in Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park has over 400 bird species all recorded in the park, which travellers can spot with birding safaris in Tanzania. Among the various species of birds in the Park include Bar-tailed trogons, Augur buzzards, Verreaux’s eagles, silver cheeked hornbills, African fish eagles, Egyptian goose, red-tailed teals, cape teals, little grebe, African olive pigeon, golden eagles, crowned eagles, African paradise flycatchers, Hamerkop, and African jacanas among so many others.
Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second highest mountain, after the great Mount Kilimanjaro which can actually be seen on a clear day while in Arusha National Park. Mount Meru is a volcanic cone with a crater at the top, situated east of the Great Rift Valley in the Park.. Mount Meru is one of the best mountains one can choose to enjoy mountain climbing safaris in Tanzania. Mount Meru gives great hikes and amazing views. You shall chance to spot a number of wildlife including buffalos, giraffes and if lucky the leopard.
Ngurdoto crater stretches about 3km across and has steep sides and grassland. The Ngurdoto crater has great view points from where travellers can stand and spot a number of wildlife including warthogs and buffalos grazing and wallowing. The scenery and landscape views are also great while at the Ngurdoto crater viewing points.
Arusha National Park has 7 alkaline lakes all located in the north eastern part of the park. Each of the 7 Momela Lakes has a different brilliant colour, and are a good habit of birds especially the pink flamingos as well as African jacanas, Egyptian geese, guinea fowls, among others.
Activities in Arusha National Park
The Park provides classic game drive experiences for wildlife safari travellers. Game drives in Arusha National Park take travellers through tracks from where they shall marvel at the abundant wild game including large schools of zebras, giraffes and so many more. The most appealing route is the park road which takes travellers to the Ngurdoto Crater and the Momella Lakes immersed with a variety of wildlife. Game drives usually take up to 4 hours or more, depending on the traveller’s preferences, and can be done all throughout the day.
Climbing Mount Meru
Mount Meru gives great hiking or mountain climbing experiences to travellers who do dare to conquer it. At 4566m above sea level, Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania, after the great Kilimanjaro, which adventurous travellers can climb for an adventour. Travellers shall enjoy great views and encounter a variety of wildlife and plant species during your hiking adventure. Climbing Mount Meru is done in the guidance of guides, and there are porters who you can hire to assist you during your hike.
Walking safaris in Arusha National Park
Walking safaris in Arusha National Park are allowed for the fact that there are less predators in the park than in most Tanzania national parks. Walking safaris give travellers an opportunity to walk on foot in the wilderness and get up close to the wild game. The buffalo glade area shall reward travellers with the most amazingly scenic and memorable walking safari experiences in the Park; the area is filled with a variety of wild game as well as bushes and streams which all complement each other.
Bird watching in Arusha National Park
With over 400 bird species in Arusha National Park, this is one of the best places to enjoy bird watching activities in Tanzania. Travellers shall spot a variety of birds like the beautiful pink flamingos among so many other Arusha National Park birds.
Canoeing in Arusha National Park
A scenic canoeing safari in Arusha National Park has travellers enjoying the nature and wildlife of Arusha National Park. Canoeing safaris can be done on the Momella Lakes in the Park. While on a canoeing in Arusha National Park experience, travellers can encounter wild game like buffalos, bushbucks, giraffes, storks, hippos, giant kingfishers, among so many others.
Also for the fact that most parts of the Arusha National Park are of savannah vegetation, and there are lesser predators in the park, horseback safaris can take place in the park. Have an opportunity to ride along with or chase the wind with a horseback safari in the park, in the wilderness and get to watch the wild game just near you. Horseback safaris can take from 5-7 hours taking travellers through some scenic and hidden trails and be rewarded with sightings of large crowds of wild game.
Getting to Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is easily reached, having travellers only spend about 40 minutes’ drive from Arusha, which is only 35km away. The Park is near the Kenyan border, and is only 58km from Moshi and 35km from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The best time to visit the Park is all year through, for as long as you do have time for a Tanzania safari experience. The dry season is however the best time for perfect game viewing and Tanzania wildlife safaris.
Accommodation in Arusha National Park
While in Arusha National Park, travellers have a variety of accommodation options to stay in, depending on their budget. Some of the accommodation in Arusha National Park, as well as outside the park that travellers may choose from include Ngordoto Mountain Lodge, Africa Tulip, Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge, Momella Wildlife Lodge, Mount Meru Game Lodge, Itikoni Seasonal Camp, among others.
Arusha National Park is a beautiful Tanzania national park that travellers intending to visit the northern safari circuit in Tanzania should include on their travel itinerary. Take time to plan out your perfect Tanzania safari tour, visiting Arusha National Park.