Arusha National Park

Arusha town is the gateway to safaris in Tanzania; at the foot of Mount Meru in the Great Rift Valley. It has an airport for regional flights and Kilimanjaro International Airport is where most visitors arrive; a short drive to Arusha. From Arusha, your can fly or road transfer to the many safari attractions in Tanzania such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, or the beaches of Zanzibar.

Due to flight arrival or departure times; it is often necessary to spend a night in Arusha. There are many great places to stay; often offering views of Mount Meru and on coffee plantations. Alternatively; a stay at Arusha National Park is very rewarding.

Arusha is an attractive town with a number of activities on offer and some great restaurants and bars. A visit to the Shanga Workshop and Shop; a project dedicated to supporting and empowering community members with disabilities. To find out more about this visit their website.

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is a treasure, a rich tapestry of habitats, teeming with animals and birds. Popular for day trips from Arusha town; just 25 km east of Arusha, and it is a rewarding day trip from Arusha or Moshi which is the gateway to climb Kilimanjaro.

Arusha National Park is a gem of varied ecosystems and spectacular views of Mt. Meru & Kilimanjaro. The small national park includes the slopes, summit, and ash cone of Mount Meru, the Momela Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater; nicknamed ‘Little Ngorongoro” due to its beauty and rich wildlife; and the lush highland forests that blanket its lower slopes. Safaris around the Momela Lakes is at a quiet pace, and while passing through the forest; many visitors stop to search for troupes of rare colobus monkeys playing in the canopy.

Arusha Black and white colobus monkey
Black and white colobus monkey in Arusha National Park

More than 400 species of bird; both migrant and resident; can be found in Arusha National Park alongside rare primates; such as the black and white colobus monkey. 3 of the Big 5 are found here; namely; leopard, elephant, and buffalo; with lion and rhino being absent. Arusha National Park also has the highest population of giraffes in Africa.

Climbing Mount Meru

Climbing Mount Meru or enjoying the smaller trails that crisscross its lower slopes is a popular activity for visitors. The three-day trek to reach the crater’s summit is quieter, and some say more challenging alternative; than the famous peak of nearby Mount Kilimanjaro. The rewarding climb up Mount Meru; passes through forests of dripping Spanish moss and rises to open heath, spiked with giant lobelia plants. Delicate klipspringer antelope watch the progress of hikers; from the top of huge boulders, and everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert underfoot. Once astride the craggy summit, the reward is a sight of Mount Kilimanjaro, breath-taking in the sunrise.

Best time to visit Arusha National Park or climb Mount Meru

The best time to visit Arusha National Park is during the dry season from July to September; or after the short rains from December to March. The best months to climb Mt Meru are June to February; with the best views of Mt Kilimanjaro seen from December to February.