Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is located about 1 hours’ drive from Arusha town which is a starting and finishing point for trips to Serengeti national park, Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park and Ngorongoro conservation area.
Tourists from different parts of the world and people of different cultures make stops in Arusha town. Arusha national park is a good location for tourists to get a wildlife viewing experience close to the town.
Arusha national park is found at the base of Mount Meru which is one of the mountains located north of Arusha town and is also the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tanzania tours and safaris are also part of the experience which tourists get as they visit Arusha national park as well as other destinations which are located in the northern part of Tanzania such as Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro crater, Tarangire national park and Lake Manyara national park.
Itineraries which offer combined tours for Arusha park with attractions such as Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro crater enable the tourists to get a big five experience where they can see elephants, buffalos, leopards, rhinos and lions as well as other wildlife species.
You can also visit Mount Kilimanjaro during a safari starting in Arusha as you enjoy hiking on Africa’s highest mountain also located in the northern part of Tanzania. There are different routes which can be used during these hikes on the mountain and they include Marangu route, Machame route, Umbwe route, Rongai route and Lemosho route.
Tanzania tours to Arusha park can take up to a whole day or half a day excursions in the company of ranger guides who provide the necessary information about the different attractions around the national park.
The Park is characterized by montane and rainforest as well as alpine and savannah and alpine moorland.
Park entry for Arusha park is about 45 USD for each person among foreign tourists and this entrance fees are valid for a single entry. East Africans and foreign residents visiting the national park are also liable to different entrance fee charges.
The park is under the management of TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority) which is in charge of formulating rules and regulations, protecting natural resources as well as promoting conservation.
Attractions which can be seen during a safari in Arusha park include the following;
- Wildlife species such as black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, blue monkeys, zebras, warthogs, lions, giraffes and many others can be seen during a safari experience in Arusha park.
- Mount Meru is an attraction which stands out in Arusha park is the second highest mountain in Tanzania. Some of the activities which take place in this national park include hiking. The highest peak on the mountain is at about 4566 meters.
- Bird species of a variety can also be seen in Arusha park and these include lesser flamingos along Momella lake, kingfishers, bee eaters, crested cranes, lapwing plovers and many other bird species which can be seen at birding spots around the national park.
- Waterfalls can also be seen in Arusha park and they are also referred to as “lookout point” where you can enjoy views of the rest of the national park. Bird species such as red winged starlings can also be seen at this part of the national park.
- Momella lakes can also be seen during a visit to Arusha park and these are described as shallow lakes which can be seen in the eastern part of the national park. The momella lakes are about 7 in number.
Activities in Arusha national park
There are different activities which tourists engage in during their visits to Arusha national park and they include the following;
- Game drives
Game drives also takes place in Arusha park as tourists enjoy spotting different wildlife species as they drive around the national park. These game drives take place during the day and wildlife species which can be seen include giraffes, blue monkeys, zebras and many others.
- Walking safaris
Walking safaris are among the activities which tourists can engage in as they explore Arusha national park. This activity takes place in the company of an armed ranger guide as you enjoy the natural forests in your surroundings.
Some of the wildlife species such as giraffes can be spotted during these walking safaris in Arusha park.
- Mountain climbing
Mountain climbing is an adventurous activity which you can engage in during your safari experiences in Arusha park and this activity takes place on Mount Meru. This activity starts from Momella gate.
During hiking safaris on Mount Meru, the hikers are accompanied by rangers as well as porters. The mountain vegetation comprises of montane forests and during the hike, tourists can also enjoy seeing some of the wildlife species in Arusha park such as buffalos, giraffes, black and white colobus monkeys, antelopes among others.
- Horse riding
Horse riding can also be carried out in Arusha park along the different trails in the national park and this activity is carried out prior to the visit in the national park. Tourists can also enjoy viewing the different wildlife species like giraffes, zebras among others while on horseback.
Canoeing is also carried out during a safari in Arusha park and it takes place along the Momella lakes where you will also spot wildlife species such as hippos, buffalos, waterbucks, bushbucks among others.
This activity is carried out at an extra cost and is arranged prior to the visit to Arusha national park. You will also enjoy seeing various bird species such as flamingos during your canoeing safaris along the Momella lakes.
Best time to visit Arusha’s National park
The park which is among the attractions located in the northern part of Tanzania can be visited all year round for wildlife viewing experiences. The best time however which is recommended to visit Arusha national park is during the months of June to October.
In June to October, the grasses in the national park are thinner making it easier to see the wildlife species as they move around Arusha national park. The wildlife species are also known to gather around the water sources in the national park during the dry season.
During the rainy or wet season, it becomes a little difficult to see the wildlife species such as the zebras, black and white monkeys, giraffes and many others due to the thick vegetation and the difficulty to drive around the national park especially during the months of March and April.
How to get to Arusha national park
During Tanzania safaris. tourists can access Arusha park by road or by air means;
- By road, Arusha park is about 1 hours’ drive from Arusha town which is a starting point for most safaris in the northern part of Tanzania.
- By air, tourists interested in visiting Arusha park can get there through flight from Kilimanjaro international airport.
Some of the accommodations which tourists can stay in during their visits to Arusha park include luxury accommodations, midrange accommodations and budget accommodations. There are also different campsites which tourists can stay at during their visits to this national park.
Visit Arusha park and enjoy a wildlife viewing experience close to Arusha town.