Arusha National Park
See Giraffes & A Volcano At Tanzania's Best Walking Safari Destination
For adventure lovers..you can walk, hike or enjoy canoeing
If there is one word that captures the essence of Arusha National Park it would be variety – variety of wildlife, habitats, and activities – things you can’t do in other parks. Here you can easily go on walking safaris, climb Mt. Meru, an active volcano and the second-highest peak in Tanzania, and even paddle over seven colorful lakes on a serene canoe safari.
Throughout all of Arusha’s habitats, you’ll encounter a busy world of wildlife – zebras, waterbucks, buffalo, elephants, hippos, and colobus monkeys. And you can’t miss the many giraffes peeking up from the rainforests and savannahs – the park offers the world’s largest population of the curious long-necked creatures.
A full day at Arusha will bring you to alpine moorlands, a “little Serengeti” plains, mountain rainforests, lush green hills, and even a small volcanic crater. And you’ll enjoy a diversity of animals and birdlife seen in few places. Lovely flamingoes grace the lakes along with cormorants, kingfishers, hornbills, and raptors like buzzards and eagles, sailing above.
Mt. Meru – A Perfect Volcano
And an active one as well. Mt. Meru looks the part of a volcano with its perfect cone structure topping out at 4,565 m (14,980 ft.). You can go for a vigorous several-day climb, trekking up through diverse habitats, and spotting giraffes, elephants, antelopes, and monkeys.
Unlike, its larger cousin, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Meru’s peak is rarely hidden by clouds and you can take in immense vistas from its summit, including views of Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
Arusha Walking Safari
Since the park’s giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, warthogs, and dik-diks are all gentle grazers, Arusha is the perfect spot for walking safaris – a feature many parks don’t offer. Where else can you trek up a volcano, explore woodlands and lush forests, or follow trails perched above a crater, all of it alive with Cape buffalo, monkeys, baboons, and antelope.
Arusha even offers safari-goers its own “small Serengeti” known as Serengeti Ndogo where bushbucks, zebras, and other plains wildlife roam.
Adding more shades of emerald to the colors of the park, each of its seven Momella lakes contains a different alkaline make-up and thus its own bright colorful variation.
Enjoy a canoe safari on the small Momella lake as you pass waterbuck, giraffe, and reedbuck not far off on the lakeshore. Paddling on the tranquil waters will bring you in sight of flamingoes, cormorants, and kingfishers.
Arusha National Park Highlights
Ngurdoto Crater – The trail around this volcanic crater will take you through a luxuriant rainforest filled with black and white colobus monkeys. Though you can’t descend the crater, you’ll still be in proximity to buffalo, baboons, warthogs, and antelope.
Climb Mt. Meru – Though not as tall as Kilimanjaro, the climb up Mt. Meru is still a 3 – 4 day challenge. Moving through multiple habitats, you’ll encounter giraffes and other wildlife. At the summit, expect exciting views from the crater rim, including Kilimanjaro.
Birdwatching – Over 400 species of avian life fill the forests, plains, and lakes of the park. Amongst many others, look for flamingoes, buzzards, and eagles.
Tululusia Hill – Hike this very popular point for spectacular views of the park, Mt. Meru, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. You can camp in this thickly forested area and be in the company of buffalo, monkeys, and sometimes, tree-dwelling pythons!
Arusha National Park Facts & Figures
This very unusual park of 2,850 sq. km (1,100 sq. mi) is a mix of woodlands, swamps, and grassy plains bedecked with distinctive baobab trees.
Just an hour and a half drive from Arusha, in northern Tanzania.
Best safari lodges & tented camps at/around Arusha National Park
Lake Duluti Lodge
Rivertrees Country Inn
This is Arusha
Wildly diverse and yet small enough that you can see the park’s highlights in just one day. You can’t miss the world’s largest population of giraffes, nor the flamingoes flocking to the park’s seven colorful lakes. And where else can you go on both walking and canoe safaris? Only at Arusha.
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