Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is found in the northern circuit of the Tanzanian wilderness. The Park is found and covers mountain Meru the fourth highest mountain in Africa. It raises above 4566m from the sea level. Arusha national park is also famous for the daily excursions for the people moving from Arusha to the northern circuit.
Mountain Meru is an attractive volcano mainly due to its elevation from all the surrounding areas in the region of northeastern Tanzania. Mountain Meru is also the second-highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. Arusha national park is engulfed by Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater in the west, and Kilimanjaro national park in the east. Arusha national park is a small protected area in Tanzania covering up an area of about 137sq.km, despite, it is remarkable for its spectacular sights of the natural phenomena around it and mountain Meru.
Attractions in Arusha National Park
Wildlife is one of the attractions in Arusha park despite its small size. The park offers the perfect dazzles of flora and fauna, all displayed in the national park. arusha national park is home to a lot of herbivores and rare carnivores, this makes the national park a free place for walking safaris, unlike other parks in the northern circuit of Tanzania. Arusha national park is home to the largest population of giraffes in the world; this factor makes it a favorable place for safaris even with little children.
Wildlife: The park has an outstanding population of unique wildlife; it is rich in wildlife in comparison to its size. There are not a lot of animals like in the other national park in Tanzania‘s northern circuit, but, the uniqueness is what attracts the visitors to Arusha park. Within this park, you have a chance to spot animals like giraffes which are very common in the park, cape buffaloes, zebras, warthogs; you can also, fortunately, spot a leopard although the chances are very sketchy. Your visit to Arusha national park offers a chance to see a number of primates like the black and white monkeys, the blue colobus monkeys and baboons plus an array of flamingos along the lake shores, narina trogon, bar tailed trogon which are prolific and highlight the birding safaris in the pair.
Ngodurto crater features a lush rainforest that acts as a home to the elegant mitis monkey and other primates. Ngodurto crater is like a smaller version of the vast ngorongoro crater; it has a width of about 3km along lake momela, a lot of warthogs can be spotted, reedbucks, warthogs and a lot of water birds, momella lake area has over seven lakes each with different alkalinity and salt concentration. The shores of momera lakes host a lot of flamingos which create a pink spot in the national park.
Game drives in Arusha park will take you through the wooded savannah, where you can spot a lot of buffaloes, giraffes more frequent, and elephants. The moss covers the trees in the forest, the red hot pokers and the spiked lobelias, plus the flowers towards the alpine desert. To note, arusha national park is good for game drives, walking safaris, canoe safaris, picnicking plus mountain climbing.
Mountain Meru is another attraction in Arusha national park, it is the second largest mountain in Tanzania, and the forth on the African continent. Mountain Meru erects into the clear skies of arusha national park. As Kilimanjaro hides behind the cloudy form from the snow capped peak of Kibo, mountain meru stays visible throughout the year.
Mountain Meru is one of the active volcanoes on the African continent; it is also a good destination for mountain climbing in Tanzania. Climbing mountain Meru is a golden chance for you to view the spectacular Kilimanjaro from the summit of mountain meru. The hike to the summit of mountain meru offers a great encounter to some of the wildlife in arusha national park.
The momella lakes are great for canoeing and bird watching; they are seven salty lakes with in Arusha national park. The momella lakes include small momella, big momella, kusare, lekandiro, tulusia, rishateni and el kekhototi. The level of alkalinity in the lakes makes them have distinctive colours from blue to green. The water in the lakes is not suitable for drinking, but it is a good host for birds, giraffes, waterbucks, dik-diks among other animals.
Ngurdoto crater is a swampy crater with a width of about 3km; it hosts a lot of wildlife species in Arusha national park. ngurdoto crater is famous for the game drives in the park; it offers a chance to see animals like buffaloes, elephants, monkeys, baboons, warthogs and a number of different species of antelopes. The ngurdoto crater is surrounded by the forest which acts as a home for the black and white colobus monkeys.
Best time to visit Arusha park
You can visit Arusha National Park any time of the year for all your park activities. However, the dry season, which is experienced from June to October, is the best time for game drives and wildlife viewing. The dry season is the time when the park has thin vegetation, and the dryness makes the animals to gather around the water sources. However, the wet season, from March to April, is not conducive for game drives and nature walks due to slippery roads which happen to be impassable in the wet season. Mountain climbing, on the other hand, is also favorable in months of January to February when the weather is dry, plus in December for clear views of the Kilimanjaro Mountain in the clear skies.
Accommodation in Arusha National Park
The park has a number of lodge facilities within and without the national park premises. Hatari Lodge is one of the finest options for accommodation in Arusha park. it is located on the northeastern edge of Arusha national park with awesome décor to soothe your stay at the lodge. From your African styled cottage, you can have a spectacular view of the mountain Meru and Kilimanjaro in a further distance.
Other lodges are located within the city besides Kia lodge near Kilimanjaro international airport. The accommodation options in Arusha town include Arusha coffee lodge, river trees country inn, Arusha hotel, dik dik hotel, Kibo palace hotel among others found outside the park.
Reasons why you should visit arusha national park
The park is a home to unique primates like the blue colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys which are only found in the park only in Tanzania. Arusha provides a chance to climb the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, mountain meru, and fourth in Africa. You have a 50% chance to spot the snow baboons or the albino baboons in the park near one of the water sources in the park.
The park is located near the arusha town in Tanzania, just a 40 minutes’ drive away, about 60km from Kilimanjaro international airport. Arusha park at a glance and every activity in the park can be included in a one-day excursion for the travelers heading to the northern circuit for more wildlife safari. Despite the briefness, Arusha national park should not be something you miss during your visit to Tanzania.