Arusha National Park
Many have aptly referred to this picturesque park as a hidden treasure. The tarmac route from Arusha town, the safari hub of northern Tanzania, takes just half an hour. A sense of tranquility and seclusion permeates the landscape, which consists of verdant mountains, valleys, lakes, and tiny plains.
Mount Meru, the third-highest freestanding mountain in Africa at 4,566 m (14,980 ft), dominates the landscape.
Arusha National Park displays a huge array of landscape, from expansive savannahs and rain-forests to acacia woodlands and, on the upper slopes of Mount Meru, alpine vegetation. With the highest concentration of giraffes anywhere in the world, Arusha National Park is teeming with wildlife. There are a lot of animals here, like cape buffalo, elephants, hippos, and zebras. On a game drive, you might also see a lion or a leopard.
Getting There and getting around Arusha National Park
Through the Park winds a network of wildlife watching roads and tracks that are both well-maintained and well-signposted. Along these routes, visitors may often see the majestic Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro.
From Arusha, the starting point of any northern circuit safari in Tanzania, it is only a 45-minute journey to Arusha National Park, making driving the best option. During the dry seasons (June–September and December–March), Arusha National Park is at its most beautiful point in the year and this is the best time to visit it.
Wildlife in Arusha National Park
Many different kinds of mammals call this area home. Some of these include elephants, giraffes, monkeys, duikers, baboons, water bucks, and hippos, among many others. With over 450 species documented, the bird life is quite breathtaking. You may get up close and personal with lesser and greater flamingos by following the game viewing track that around the Momella Lakes.
The black and white colobus monkeys, as well as their resonant, guttural territorial calls, are best heard and seen in Tanzania’s Arusha National Park.
Approximately 1 ½ million years ago, Mt. Meru was a dormant volcano. Around eight thousand years ago, an internal eruption turned Meru’s caldera lake into superheated steam, causing one side to explode. The formation of hillocks, valleys, and small lakes was caused by one of the biggest mudslides ever recorded on Earth. According to geologists, Mount Meru was once a towering, symmetrical volcanic spire nearly as tall as Kilimanjaro before it blew its top.
At the base, you can find areas of brush and forest; higher up, you’ll find virgin rain forest covering this fascinating and fractured landscape.