Arusha National Park
Arusha, located on the foothills of Mount Meru, is the safari capital of Tanzania. Only 45 minutes outside of the city center lies Arusha National Park – a multifaceted jewel and often overlooked National Park in the Northern Circuit. This National Park offers the unique opportunity to explore a large diversity of habitats within a few hours by foot, canoe or car.
- Located in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania close to Arusha Town
- Flight Connection in/out to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
- Established in 1960
- Size of 542 km²
- Alkaline Soda Lakes
- Montane Forest
- Dry: June to October
- Wet: November to May
- Game Drives
- Canoe Safaris
- Forest Walks
- Mountain Climbing
Flora & Fauna:
Arusha National Park is one of the most stunning and topographically varied parks in the Northern Circuit. The park offers diverse vegetation zones due to its different altitudes and geologies. These zones can be distinguished in three main areas: the Ngurdoto Crater with its swamp-filled floor and surrounding forest, the shallow and alkaline Momella Lakes and Africa’s fifth highest peak Mount Meru.
Arusha National Park has a large variety of wildlife despite its small size. After entering at the park gate the road leads through a lush montane forest, which is home to monkey families like the graceful Mitis monkeys and the famous Guereza black-and-white colobus as well as many bird species such as trogons and turacos.
As the road continues the forest changes into riverine ending at the edge of the well-known Ngurdoto Crater. The crater floor is swampy with a wide grassland plain in the west, named ‘Little Serengeti’, being home to herds of buffaloes, bush-bucks, warthogs and zebras.
Continuing north, the legendary seven Momella Lakes will be reached with its shore lines colored in pink with thousands of flamingos. The Momella Lakes are fed by underground water springs with each having a varying mineral content. The mineral content is decisive for the algae growth, resulting that each lake appears in an exceptional color. This is also recognized by the flamingos who come to feed at the lakes – whereas the Lesser Flamingo prefers alkaline lakes, the Greater Flamingo favors water with crustaceous. The Momella Lakes play an important part in the ecosystem of this National Park as they support a large variety of waterfowls such as cormorants, pelicans, storks, fish eagles and kingfishers. In the lush hills surrounding the lakes one finds often grazing giraffes.
Elephants, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen on very rare occasions.
Mount Meru, who’s appearance is omnipresent in Arusha National Park, offers a remarkable venue with its foggy forest, famous for its moss-covered trees and red-hot pokers, and its alpine desert. The unique appearance of Mount Meru is the result of a volcanic eruption that destroyed the eastern wall and left a horseshoe-shaped crater behind. Everyone climbing Mount Meru will be rewarded with fantastic views of its famous neighbor Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley.
Arusha National Park Activities:
Arusha National Park offers a wide variety of activities. Get out of the vehicle and do not hesitate to ask our office team how to combine them with your safari.
Guided Canoe Safari
Climbing Mount Meru
Accommodation in Usa River:
Usa River is located only 45 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and close to Arusha National Park. Our accommodation suggestion for your stay are:
Accommodation in Arusha Town:
Arusha is a multi-cultural and fast-growing city. The city center concentrates around ‘Clock Tower’. A large variety of hotels and our accommodation suggestions are: