mount meru arusha tanzania africa

Arusha National Park

It is the closest national park to the city of Arusha, the safaris capital of northern Tanzania; the Arusha National Park is a jewel in many ways.
It is often overlooked by those participating in safaris, although it offers the opportunity to explore enchanting different habitats, which can be visited in a few hours.

The small park includes slopes, peaks and walls of the volcanic cone of Mount Meru, Lake Momella, the crater of Ngurdoto and plateaus covered by lush forests that grow on the lower slopes.

The lakes are home to many water birds (residents and migrants), and also the cobos that show their great lyre-shaped horns.
The giraffes walk on the grassy hills, among grazing herds of zebras, while dik-dik with wide open eyes spring through the bushes like overgrown hares.
Although elephants are rare in the Arusha National Park and the lions are completely absent, you can encounter spotted leopards and hyenas, which run around the lake early in the morning and late afternoon.

The animals around Lake Momella live quietly and visitors passing through the forest stop to watch groups of Colobine monkeys playing among the tree tops.

Peculiarities of Arusha National Park:

  • you can find a very rich variety of flora and fauna;
  • the name Arusha derives from the Wa-Arusha tribe that lives in this area;
  • since 1967 it is known as the Ngurdoto Crater National Park.

In the National Park there are three distinct areas that differ in beauty and variety.

Momella Lake:

  • the lake is shallow and its waters are alkaline, this happens because it is supplied by an underground river;
  • between April and October you can observe pink flamingos that migrate toward those areas;
  • it has different tones and shades from any other lake.

Ngurdoto Crater:

  • also called "little-Ngorongoro" and has a diameter of 3 km;
  • going down along the crater you can find a multitude of wild animals in lush vegetation;
  • from the edge of the crater you can enjoy a wonderful view.

Mont Meru:

  • it is the second highest peak in Tanzania, reaching 4,566 meters and is second only to Kilimanjaro;
  • it is surrounded by savannah and partly covered with forest, on its slopes live many wild animals, including four hundred species of birds, monkeys and leopards.
  • Kilimanjaro can also be seen from the park of Arusha.

What to Do

Bird watching, cultural tourism (trips to Masaai villages), climbing, walking safaris, wildlife safaris, camping, luxury safaris, safari wedding.

Position

The park cover an area of 137 km², its height starts from 1500 meters above sea level reaching 4500 meters on the top of Mount Meru.
It is not far from the border with Kenya and is 21 km from the city of Arusha.

Getting There

It is about 60 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Ngurdoto's lakes, forest and crater can be visited during a half-day trip to the beginning or the end of a long northern safari.

When to Go

The climate is temperate throughout the year.
There are two wet seasons: from November to December (season of the Little Rains) and from March to May (season of the Great Rains), while the driest months go from August to October.
The best period to visit the Park is between July and March, while the best period to climb Mount Meru is between June and February.

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