Arusha National Park in Tanzania is a small park of 137 km² but has remarkable sights including the fourth highest mountain in Africa; Mount Meru (4566m). The transition between the urban chaos and mountain hiking trails is very obvious and sudden when entering Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park is a beautiful park that is often overlooked by safari goers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a charming diversity of habitats within a few hours.
The entrance gate leads into Forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colourful Turacos and trogons – the only place on the Northern Safari Circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white Colobus Monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of Buffalo and warthog.
Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one having a different hue of green or blue. There are shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of Flamingos. The Lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and also shaggy Waterbucks that display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing Zebra herds, whilst pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.
Arusha National Park is special because it is one of the few parks in Tanzania where you have the opportunity to do a safari by foot. An armed ranger will be waiting for you to accompany you on your exciting walking safari. During this activity you get the chance to experience the wildlife up-close, a totally different experience than game-viewing by car. Buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, warthog, zebra, bush-buck and of course the naughty baboons can be seen all year round as well as many different bird species. The walking safari takes 2 to 3 hours during which you cross the Jekukumia River and visit a beautiful waterfall where you can take a refreshing ‘shower’.
The shadowy Montane forest is inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys, many colorful birds and is the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white Colobus monkey is often seen. The guide stops regularly, not merely searching for game, but telling you about birds, insects, trees, animal droppings, the medicinal use of plants and which animals eat which plants.
Enjoy a peaceful and scenic canoeing safari following the shorelines of small Momella Lake. On this 2- 2.5 hours canoe safari you can view buffaloes, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos and many water birds living in and close to the water.
Accomodation: Where to stay near Arusha National Park
Photo By Patrick-Shah