Arusha national park
Arusha national park is located in Arusha region in the north eastern region of Tanzania, the park covers an area of 137 square kilometers stretching around mount Meru and situated at a distance of 25 kilometers east of Arusha town and 35 kilometers from Kilimanjaro international airport. Arusha national park is a very scenic national park with spectacular landscapes created by distinct physical features that is Meru crater funnels, Jekukumia River, peak of mount Meru in the west region of the park, Ngurdoto crater and Momella lakes in the north- east region of the park.
Attractions in Arusha national park
Arusha national park is a small national park but regardless the size of the park, it is a home a variety of wildlife species though not in huge numbers like other protected areas in Tanzania, animals in the park include giraffe, shy red duiker, kirk’s dik-dik, leopards though rarely seen, cape buffaloes, zebras, warthogs and in the forest galleries of the park there is various species of primates such as blue monkey, black and white colobus monkeys. These animals are easily spotted in the park while on a game drive safari.
Arusha national park is a home for a variety of bird species, the park is covered by a series of vegetation cover including forests and green savannah grasslands which are perfect home to over 400 bird species. Birds habiting in the park include Red-billed Fire finch, African Fire finch, Quail finch, Red-headed Weaver, Baglafecht Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, Taveta Golden, collared Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, African Dusky Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, African Gray Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Cape Robin-Chat, Violet-backed Starling, Red-winged Starling, Waller’s Starling, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Hunter’s Cisticola, Rattling Cisticola, Winding Cisticola, Siffling Cisticola and many more.
Momela lakes in Arusha national park are shallow alkaline lakes consisting of 7 small lake with a big one big Momela, small lakes making up Momela lakes include small Momela, El Kekhotoito, Kusare, Rishateni, Lekandiro and Tulusia. These lakes attract many birds and animals on their banks though their water is not used by animals as they are alkaline type of lakes.
Ngurdoto crater is a magnificent feature situated in Arusha national park, the crater is a 3 kilometers steep- sided bowl surrounded by riverine forest and a lush swamp on the crater floor. The crater hosts many animals such as elephant, African buffalo, a variety of monkeys and baboons and birds such as hammerkop, spur-winged geese, herons and many more. The crater has many trails which are used to tour the crater.
Mount Meru is a magnificent feature creating a beautiful scenery in the park, the mountain is ranked as the fifth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest in Tanzania forming part of Arusha national park. The mountain has featured slopes and has a summit cone with a symmetric caldera, mount Meru facilitates breathtaking mountain hiking safaris.
Activities in Arusha national park
Arusha national park offers amazing game drives for wildlife viewing, the park is a home for many animals, and the park consists of beautiful views of mountain Meru, Ngurdoto crater and Momela lakes. Game drives in Arusha national park takes you on a drive using trails running through the park where you spot many animals such as giraffe, shy red duiker, kirk’s dik-dik, leopards though rarely seen, cape buffaloes, zebras, warthogs, blue monkey, black and white colobus monkeys and may more.
Arusha national park offers amazing bird watching expedition in Tanzania, the park is a home to over 400 bird species including migrant bird species which are present in the park in the period of November to April. A walk in the park is an opportunity for you to encounter colorful bird species such as African fish eagle, African olive pigeon, Augur buzzard, Bar-tailed trogon, Bearded vulture, Black saw-wing, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Egyptian goose, Great crested grebe, Hartlaub’s turaco, little grebe, Narina trogon, Peregrine falcon, Red-fronted parrot, Scaly francolin, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Southern Pochard, Tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Cape Robin-Chat, Violet-backed Starling, Red-winged Starling, Waller’s Starling, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Hunter’s Cisticola, Rattling Cisticola, Winding Cisticola, Siffling Cisticola and many more. The most amazing birds to view in the park are cormorants, kingfishers and pink flamingoes.
For bird watching safari, the best experience is got in the period of June- October which is a dry season with short vegetation and dry trails making the activity easy and the period of November to April when migrant bird species are present in the park.
Canoe safaris in Arusha national park is a thrilling activity done on peaceful Lake Momella, this activity is done in a duration of 2-3 hours and it is an amazing retreat for enjoying the calm waters of the lake, view many animals such as bush bucks, giraffes, hippopotamus and many birds at the shores of the lake such as African fish eagle, African olive pigeon, Augur buzzard, Bar-tailed trogon, Bearded vulture, Black saw-wing, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Egyptian goose, Great crested grebe, Hartlaub’s turaco, little grebe, Narina trogon, Peregrine falcon, Red-fronted parrot, Scaly francolin, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Southern Pochard, Tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle and many more
Guided nature walks
Arusha national park is a habitant for less number of dangerous which makes guided walking safaris in the park possible, this activity is a chance for a tourist to come up-close with the animals in the park. Nature walk in the park takes 2- 3 hours taking on a visit to places like Jekukumia River, waterfall and Lake Momela. As you walk you view many animals such as giraffe, warthog, zebra, bush buck, buffalo and many more. You also see many birds such as African olive pigeon, Augur buzzard, Bar-tailed trogon, Bearded vulture, Black saw-wing, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Egyptian goose, Great crested grebe, Hartlaub’s turaco, little grebe, Narina trogon, Peregrine falcon, Red-fronted parrot, Scaly francolin, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Southern Pochard, Tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle. The best spots to see these animals and birds is at Momela Lake and montane forests with views of mountain Meru.
Accommodation in Arusha national park
Accommodation in Arusha national park is got from many beautiful accommodation facilities which are situated both in in the park and in Arusha town, accommodation facilities include
Ngurdoto mountain lodge
Ngurdoto mountain lodge is situated in Arusha town at a distance of 11.9 miles from Arusha national park, this lodge is a perfect accommodation facility with amazing facilities that is 3 restaurants, golf course, an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, coffee shop, an outdoor tennis court and many more. Rooms at Ngurdoto mountain lodge are well equipped with en-suite bathroom facilities.
Arusha coffee lodge
Arusha coffee lodge is an amazing lodge located in a few minutes’ drive from Arusha city centre built in one largest coffee plantations, the lodge’s accommodation is offered in chalets with a collection of 30 furnished rooms featuring a living room, mini-bars, and a private deck. Arusha coffee lodge consists of a restaurant, a bar, swimming pool, business center, gift shop and offers free wireless internet connection.
Other accommodation in the park include green mountain hotel, WF kiboko lodge, Meru view lodge, Tulia boutique hotel and spa, royal city lodge, new pamodzi lodge, Mount Meru hotel and many more.
How to get to Arusha national park
Arusha national park is located in north east of Arusha town at a distance of 25 kilometers from the city to the main gate, Arusha national park is accessed from various cities and other destinations. From Moshi city the park is at a distance of 58 kilometers, from Kilimanjaro international airport is at a distance of 35 kilometers. Arusha national park is accessed by road and by air, by road there is well maintained routes from Arusha town leading to the park. By air, Arusha city is served by two airports that is Kilimanjaro international airport handling flights from all over the world and Arusha municipal airport situated on the border of the city and handles local flights to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Domestic flights to Arusha national park are offered by Air Viva and other companies to Arusha town.