Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is located about 25 km from the city of Arusha and although it is one of smallest parks in Northern Tanzania (it covers 137 square kilometers) it has many different habitats within it.
Arusha National Park: what to expect on a Safari
The altitude of the Park area varies from 1,500 meters to over 4,500 meters, creating a great biodiversity and the ideal habitat for a large number of animal species.
Three main areas can be distinguished which correspond to as many different habitats.
At the center of the park there is Mount Meru which with its 4,566 meters represents the second highest peak in Tanzania (after Kilimanjaro). For trekking lovers, it is possible to climb Mount Meru in 3/4 days. During the climb you can observe the magnificence of Kilimanjaro. At the top, there is a volcanic crater in which there is a small peak resulting from the latest volcanic eruptions, the ash cone.
In the eastern part there is the crater of Ngurdoto, the caldera of an extinct volcano which is sometimes called “little Ngorongoro”. The crater cannot be visited but it can be observed from some panoramic points on the crater ring. Inside, it has a prairie where many animal species live including buffalo, elephants, monkeys, antelopes and leopards as well as a large variety of birds.
In the rain forest, which covers the slopes of the crater, there are very rare white and black colobus, one of the main park’s attraction. To the west of the crater there is the Small Serengeti, a small portion of grassland where elephants, giraffes, warthogs and buffaloes reside.
Going to the north, it is possible to find the Momela Lakes, 7 small lakes that were formed as a result of the eruptive activity of Meru mountain. They have shallow and alkaline waters, capable of attracting many species of birds including flamingos.
Another incredible experience is the canoe safari in the small lake Momela. During the 2 1/2 hours of rowing, it is possible to observe giraffes, buffaloes, hippos and other animals, surrounded by the splendid panorama offered by Meru mountain and Kilimanjaro.
Although the lions are not in this area, this park is an excellent starting point for both long safaris and lovers of activities in close contact with nature such as canoeing or walking safari.