Arusha National Park
Attractions in Arusha national park, Tanzania
Located just a short drive from Arusha and Moshi, the Arusha National Park is Tanzania’s most accessible national park and the perfect place for a day trip or as the first or last stop on a longer itinerary. At just 552 square kilometres, it’s a small park with a lot to see.
With diverse wildlife that includes herbivores such as elephants, hippos, buffalo, zebra, and even the occasional wildebeest, Arusha National Park is also a perfect place to get out and stretch your legs – with both walking safaris and canoe safaris available within the park.
Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.
Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east. Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometre axis of Africa’s most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east.
Arusha National Park is also home to the world’s largest population of giraffes, making it a great place to visit for fans of these long-necked, beautiful animals.
Arusha National Park boasts a broad variety of landscapes, ranging from open savannah through acacia scrubland to rainforest and, eventually, to alpine conditions on the higher reaches of Mt. Meru.
Arusha National Park Fact File
Location: Approximately an hour to an hour and a half’s drive from Arusha. Approximately ninety minutes from Moshi.
To Do: Game drives, walking safaris, canoe safaris, picnicking, and climbing Mt. Meru.
Known For: Walking and canoe safaris. Day trip destination.
Best Time to Visit
Game viewing is at its best during the dry season from June to October.
The park is excellent year round for birding, and especially between November and April when migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are present and the local birds have their breeding plumage on display.
Arusha National Park’s highlights can be seen in a single day, and the park is the only park in Tanzania’s northern circuit in which a walking safari is possible.
Outstanding Wildlife Diversity Due to the varied landscapes that exist within the park, there is an unusually high level of diversity when it comes to wildlife.
Not only is the park home to Africa’s largest giraffe population, but visitors can also expect to see water bucks, cape buffalo, elephants, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, turacos, trogons, and even the occasional lion or leopard in the right conditions.
The park also boasts an incredibly diverse variety of bird-life, making it a popular stop for birding enthusiasts