Arusha National Park is stated to be the gateway of the all the African Safaris. It is located 37 km from Arusha town, is one of the most easily accessible and beautiful national parks in Tanzania. Spread over 137 sq. Km, of land, this small national park has one of beguiling diversity of flora and fauna in the country.
Arusha National Park is apt for day trips as you can discover the enticing varied habitats within a few hours. However, this little jewel is often overlooked by travellers and safari goers.
Arusha offers some of the breathtaking landscapes in Tanzania and varied wildlife. The spectacular Ngurdoto Crater lies in the south-east region of the park, the tranquil Momella Lakes in the north-east while the fifth-highest peak of Africa Mount Meru dominates the park’s horizon. You can have great views of the majestic Kilimanjaro from Meru’s Peak, which is the perfect warm-up trek before summiting Mount Meru’s modest cousin of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Arusha has a diverse wildlife within its varied habitats of shadowy montane forest, grassy hills, wooded Savannah and alpine deserts. You can spot giraffes, zebras, dik-dik, elephants, buffaloes, hippo, warthog, black & white colobus monkeys and blue monkeys. And if luck favours you can also spot leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog and wildebeest.
It also has a varied aviary population with over 400 bird species, making it one of the favourite spots of bird lovers. You can spot augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle and water birds such as flamingo, duck, pelican, a variety of heron, little grebe and wader at Momella Lakes. Migratory birds can also be witnessed from November to April, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.
Arusha National Park is open for tourist all year-round, However, the best time to visit Arusha for wildlife viewing is during the Dry season, as the vegetation is thinner and the animals gather at predictable water sources during this period. But if you want to trek Mount Meru then June-February is the month for you while December-February offers you the best view of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Arusha National Park has a rich concentration of wildlife in its smaller area due to its varied topography and ecosystem. This picturesque national park has one of the largest giraffe populations in Tanzania. Apart from giraffes, lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippo and waterbucks can be easily spotted in this park. Leopard, cheetah, hyena, and wild dog can also be noticed occasionally. It also hosts more than 400 bird species including Augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, flamingo, duck, pelican, a variety of heron, little grebe and wader to name a few.
Aside from the diverse flora and fauna, the other attraction of Arusha is the majestic Mount Meru, spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, and stunning Momella Lake. So don’t forget to include this in your Tanzania Safari itinerary.
Arusha National Park one of the most easily accessible national park in Tanzania due to its proximity to Arusha Town.
It is just 45 min driveway from the Arusha Town. You can easily find accommodation along the road.
You can take direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and then take a domestic flight to Arusha Airport.
Direct charter flights to the Arusha National Park are also available.