Arusha National Park in Tanzania is a green jewel and home to the fourth-highest mountain in Africa – Mount Meru (4,566 m). Anyone visiting this park will be thrilled by the breathtaking landscapes ranging from the Meru Crater in the west, the Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east to the grasslands and of course the alkaline Momella lakes in the north-east. This park is often overlooked by visitors, worried they will not see that much wildlife.
However, Arusha National Park has a lot to offer and dazzles with a perfect mix of flora and fauna and diversified landscapes. Passing the “small Serengeti” during a game drive, you are likely to spot peaceful herds of buffaloes, shy bushbucks on the edge of the forest as well as warthogs and zebras.
Outstanding Wildlife Diversity.
Arusha National Park’s highlights can be seen in a single day, and the park is the only park in Tanzania’s northern circuit in which a walking safari is possible. Due to the varied landscapes that exist within the park, there is an unusually high level of diversity when it comes to wildlife.
Not only is the park home to Africa’s largest giraffe population, but visitors can also expect to see water bucks, cape buffalo, elephants, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, turacos, trogons, and even the occasional lion or leopard in the right conditions. The park also boasts an incredibly diverse variety of bird life, making it a popular stop for birding enthusiasts.
Africa’s fifth-highest mountain cuts a striking figure at 4,566m (14,990 feet). While Kilimanjaro is often shy and hides behind clouds, Mt. Meru is generally visible throughout the year. An active volcano, Mt. Meru is also a popular climbing destination for visitors to Tanzania and a good introductory mountain for those wishing to climb Kilimanjaro.
Not only does the climb offer a spectacular view of Kilimanjaro from the summit, but the hike itself is also an incredibly rewarding walking safari that takes you through multiple habitats where you can encounter giraffes, elephants, antelopes, and more. For those interested in climbing Mt. Meru, Shadows of Africa can arrange climbing permits, armed ranger escorts, all camping equipment, and even stays at the Miriakamba or Saddle Huts if necessary.
Canoeing the Momella Lakes.
The Momella Lakes within Arusha National Park is a series of seven shallow lakes: Big Momella, Small Momella, Kusare, Lekandiro, Tulusia, Rishateni, and El Kekhotoito.
Alkaline lakes with considerable algae growth, each of these lakes is a different shade of green or blue. While the water is not suitable for drinking, it is possible to see a variety of birds (including flamingoes) and animals such as water bucks, giraffes, zebras, and dik-diks in the surrounding area. It is on Small Momella Lake that canoeing safaris are possible.
Visit Arusha National Park on a guided tour or a self-drive Tour in Tanzania. Other places of interest on the same package include Kilimanjaro mountains great for Hiking and then Serengeti or Ngorongoro National Parks.