Arusha national park is a small national park with an area of Approx 137sqkm only and is the closest park to Arusha town- about an hours drive only. Its most famous attraction is Africa’s 5th highest mountain- Mount Meru. Besides providing a home to a significant number of animals, the park also boasts of attractive lakes and a spectacular 3km wide/ 400m deep Ngurudoto crater. Habitat diversity includes montane forest to lush savannah to alpine moorland.
Most of the game viewing is done from forest around the crater looking down at the crater floor. In the late evenings and early mornings one can get the best glimpses of Kilimanjaro mountain from the shallow alkaline lakes of Momella. This area is also rich in bird life.
Concentration of Game
Compared to the size of the park, there is quite a number of game that can be viewed at Arusha National Park. Large predators are few and include Leopard and dotted Hyena. Other mammals include Hippo, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo, Warthog, Kirk’s Dik Dik, Baboon, Vervet monkeys, Black and White Colobus, Blue monkeys and various Antelope. Elephants are resent but quite rare. There is also a rich bird life especially in the Momella lakes area, upto 400 different species have been recorded. Some prominent species include: Flamingo, Pelican, Little Grebe, Augur Buzzard, Black Eagle, Hartlaub’s Touraco, cinnamon-chested Bee- Eater, several types of Hornbills, a variety of Herons, Ducks and Waders.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Arusha national park and also climb mount Meru is anytime between October and February. Another good time would be between May and October. The park is however open and accessible throughout the year.
Activities at Arusha national park are mostly game drives in 4×4 vehicles and mountain climbing on mount Meru. Walking safaris on some parts of the park accompanied by an armed ranger is also possible. The MBT Snake Park at the entrance of Arusha National Park has a good collection of sna
Our Recommendations on Arusha National Park
If you have got ample time to spare in Arusha then a day trip to this park will prove very rewarding. Climbing Mount Meru takes half the days you would require for mount Kilimanjaro and half the cost ! We suggest you start with Arusha National park before going to the bigger and more famous parks. This way you will appreciate the park more.
Arusha National Park, being very close to Arusha city, is perhaps the most accessible park in Tanzania. The roads are also good.
The park can be covered as a day trip from Arusha. Most of the important parts of the park can be covered in one day. Spending a night here is also possible. However, it will require 2 to 3 days if you want to climb mount Meru.
for a perfect, well-organized and affordable tour of this beautiful national park.