Located between gorgeous Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Arusha National Park is in the Northern part of Tanzania and Northeast of Arusha city is known for harbouring Tanzania’s second highest mountain Mount Meru which covers 552 square kilometres. The park is 25 kilometres east of Arusha, 58 kilometres from Moshi and 35 kilometres from Kilimanjaro International Airport. It’s home to various wildlife species that cannot be got in other national parks for example vegetation types like the lush rainforest, savannah vegetation, with animals like buffaloes, warthogs, zebras, red duikers, elephants, giraffes, leopards, hippos and other primates with bird species like flamingos, African fish eagle, among others. Arusha national park is composed of a beautiful landscape with three distinct areas that are the Meru crater, the Ngurdoto crater in the south-East and the shallow alkaline Momella lakes with different algae colours in the northeast.
History of the Park
In 1960, it was known as the Ngurdoto Crater National Park was established. The region around Mount Meru was added to the park in 1967. The Park was subsequently renamed Arusha National Park. The Waarusha locals who formerly inhabited the region are the source of the name Arusha.
Attractions in Arusha National Park
Being an active volcano with an altitude of 4,566 m (14,990 feet), mount Meru is the fifth-highest mountain making it the second-highest in Tanzania. With not much ice and mist around its peak, it even makes the mountain visible all throughout the whole year and more interesting since it’s not the same case as the mountain Kilimanjaro which is usually covered behind clouds filled with ice. Climbing it would be an activity worth memory since you could see what many could not do. Furthermore, the climb offers a spectacular view of Kilimanjaro from bottom to top and you could also encounter a wide range of wildlife species like giraffes, elephants, antelopes and many more
The Momella Lakes
Arusha National Park harbours a series of Momella Lakes such as the Big Momella, Small Momella, Kusare, Lekandiro, Tulusia, Rishateni, and El Kekhotoito not forgetting the alkaline lakes with considerable algae growth. Each of these lakes is a different shade of green or blue. The water from the Momella lakes is really not safe for drinking, the lakes are definitely good for canoeing not forgetting the possibility of watching birds like flamingoes and animals such as giraffes, zebras, and many more within the scenery.
Ngurdoto crater is a swampy crater that has components of many wild animals of different varieties of animals and it’s also known for stopovers during the game drive activity. While enjoying the game drive here, be relaxed to encounter animals like elephants, monkeys, baboons, warthogs, and different antelope species. Just near the crater, there is Ngurdoto Forest which is home to the playful black and white colobus monkeys.
Having a view from above the Ngurdoto Forest and with its populace of black and white colobus monkeys, the Ngurdoto Museum encloses a wonderful collection of various animals, birds, and insects that are found in the park.
Lake Longil being the second-to-none freshwater lake at Arusha National Park is, therefore, the most convenient venue for viewing the buffaloes and waterbucks because it is where they are most comfortably habited making it where wild animals like buffaloes and waterbucks can be found
Tululusia Hill is currently well known for hiking making it a site that offers visitors an exceptionally beautiful view of the whole scenery of Arusha National Park as well as the two mountains where the park is located Kilimanjaro and Meru.
Tourist Activities to do in Arusha National Park
Hiking Mount Meru
The mountain is next to Mount Kilimanjaro and also Tanzania’s second-highest mountain and Africa’s fifth-largest mountain. Mount Meru is taken as an alternative adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is also common to many people that before climbing Tanzania’s tallest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, its better you take on an adventure to climb Mount Meru to test your abilities and shape for the bigger fish Mount Kilimanjaro. Despite it being underrated, Mount Meru is one of the best attractions in Tanzania and Arusha national park because it has it with almost all: adventure, fun mountain cabins along the way, and memorable views and scenery from the ash cone and crescent volcano crater’s peak. When hiking around Mount Meru on a good clear day, you will enjoy marvellous views of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is around 50 miles away and close to Moshi town
This is another marvellous tourist activity that you can uptake while at Arusha National Park since it has numerous and various special kinds of attractions such as wide range populations of wild animals in particular the giraffes. Game drives within the Arusha national park can be organized or arranged at any time of the day be it early in the morning, afternoon, or night, the early morning game drive is majorly being the best time of all just because most of the animals within the national park are easy to see and observe in the morning and they get to reduce as the afternoon time approaches. In addition to wildlife creatures, during the game drive at Arusha National Park, you will also be able to see a variety of habitats as well as a variety of bird species. For one that would like to see as much wildlife as possible, it’s recommendable to go for a game drive during the dry season.
Arusha National Park does not have numerous to many predators as compared to other national Tanzanian parks for example the Serengeti and Ngorongoro. As a result, the walking safari is simple to be performed and can be done in peace and order without being disturbed by dangerous creatures. Walking relaxed alongside Tanzania’s habitats and wildlife provides visitors with a different unique feeling or experience, just because it is the only tourism activity that gives visitors to get up physical and close personal feeling with Arusha national park nature and wildlife. On a walking safari in Arusha National Park, you will be on an activity of walking at the ground levels of Mt. Meru surrounded in the environment by woods, lakes, waterfalls, and a large population of giraffes but not only giraffes but also other wild animals like the Colobus monkeys which may also be seen swinging from one branch to another of the trees within Arusha National Park. This activity is just one of the many activities that can be enjoyed within the mighty park while putting into consideration whether there are few predators within the area, the walking safari is always escorted by an armed park ranger to make sure your safety is put first into consideration
Canoeing on Lake Momella
The Momella lakes, which is located within Arusha National Park and is habitant to the flamingos within the park, is the correct and appropriate venue to catch on a canoe safari and fully appreciate the unlimited beautiful nature of Arusha National Park. Canoeing within the shorelines of little Momella Lake on a tranquil and enjoyable canoeing moment of activity is just another perfect experience one can ever have. On this journey of canoeing around the lake for probably a two-hour canoe safari, you will be able to encounter the various wildlife species such as hippos, buffaloes, giraffes plus other varieties of water birds that live near the water. Arusha National Park and Lake Manyara National Park are the only sites in Tanzania’s northern safari parks where one can go and experience the beauty of canoeing.
Arusha National Park is amongst the parks in Tanzania and Africa that make the beauty of bird watching come to life in a precious manner. Unexplainable bird-watching opportunities may be found in Arusha National Park, particularly in the Momella Lakes. More than 400 different migrant and resident bird species can be got around and within the national park such as eagles, geese, hamerkop, red sharks, spur-winged geese, woodpeckers, herons, secretary birds, and grey parrots are among many of the well-known bird species within the Arusha National Park. The park has both permanent and temporary or in other words migratory birds that arise from the nature of the many environments around the park, the Arusha National Park is home to a variety of bird species, for example, woodland birds, water-loving birds and other bird species. Bird watching from Arusha national park is perfectly done during the wet season because the rainy months are mostly when most of the birds have arrived from different parts of the world.
Visiting the Ngurdoto Museum.
Being one of the attractions within Arusha national Game Park that allows visitors from different places of the world to explore the park plus all the natural splendour within it. The Ngurdoto Museum, which is just above the beautiful Ngurdoto Forest that majorly harbours the black and white colobus monkeys as the major wildlife species around it includes an incredible collection and combination of representatives of the park’s various and different animals, birds, and insects. Egrets, grey herons, kingfishers, and fish eagles, as well as butterflies, primates, and reptiles just colour and make the area the perfect and unexplainable environment for nature lovers around the world.
Other Arusha national park tourism activities or things to do include visiting different waterfalls that are located within the national park, such as the cave waterfalls and Tululusia waterfall and also visiting the local people in the Arusha region for example the residents of the Waarusha and Maasai tribes and also taking a more advanced tour in the Arusha town to discover more hidden beauty that lies in the national park of Arusha
Location and how to get to Arusha national park
Arusha national park is located northeast of Arusha town and just a distance of 25 kilometres from the town is an easy 40-minute drive to the main gate of Arusha National Park and also approximately half an hour from Kilimanjaro International Airport which is also about 35 km to the main entrance of the national park. Arusha not being that large in size and has three main areas, the areas can be seen in a half-day tour around the park, but one full-day adventure with a picnic and delicious lunch plus a perfectly guided walk is a far easier way to tour the beauty within the park
Arusha national park can be accessed from various cities and other many destinations for example by road there are well-maintained routes from Arusha town heading to the park and also by air, Arusha city is home to two airports namely Arusha municipal airport located on the border of the city and Kilimanjaro international airport
Best time to visit Arusha National Park
The best time to visit Arusha National Park entirely stands on one’s personal choice preferences. The time of your visit can greatly disrupt your wildlife experience and journey. The park is well known to be a great place to view various bird species with the best time between November to December and March through May because This is when the temporary and migratory birds such as the flamingos come through to the park.
However, if you ever want to see mammals then the perfect and best time to tour then would be during the dry season which is usually between June and October because during the driest period of the year. Furthermore, the dry season is when the water is scarce meaning this is the perfect and great chance to spot wildlife around one of the freshwater sources within the park. The dry season is also that perfect time when one would plan to take an adventure on mount Meru However the wet seasons may be fun to visit the park but it can also lead to cancellations of the various planned activities
Accommodation at Arusha National Park
Ngurdoto Mountain lodge
Ngurdoto Mountain lodge in Arusha national park is a luxury accommodation established just between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge is an architecturally pleasing lodge with a blend of beautiful vegetation and boasts magnificent views of the snow-capped mountain Kilimanjaro and mount Meru. The Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge is ideally placed between the city of Arusha and the Kilimanjaro International Airport. The resort has two reception spaces that guests can use for check-in and check-out.
The Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge has 139 rooms to facilitate visitors. These rooms usually involve 30 chalets with 60 rooms, 72 rooms in the main house, and 7 presidency suites, which can cater for a sum of 350 guests per night. These rooms include a bathroom, telephones, a bar, satellite TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, safety deposit lockers including many more. There are also rooms for disabled guests and these rooms are very close to the reception and other public areas.
Services offered at Ngurdoto Mountain lodge
- BBQ ranch
- Business centre
- Tennis courts
- Badminton court
- Swimming pool
- Children’s play area
The Africa Tulip
The Africa Tulip Lodge in Arusha National Park is a gorgeous, opulent luxury hotel that provides first-class lodging and amenities to park visitors. It is situated along Serengeti Road in the centre of Arusha town. The hotel is perfectly designed to accommodate safari travellers and various other tourists and travellers
The African Tulip comprises 29 guest rooms situated over 3 floors which are easily accessed by the staircase, these rooms include 9 suites, 20 deluxe rooms plus a honeymoon suite. Each room has comfortable mattresses, fine bedding, luxurious bedrooms, flat wide-screen television, laptop-sized safes, air conditioning facilities, Wi-Fi, telephone for room service, hairdryer, coffee and tea making facilities including Suites that are 9 rooms that are well decorated and spacious, bathroom, seating area, balcony, bar, chairs, reading table. There is also a family suite with two large bedrooms, a lounge and a bathroom not forgetting Deluxe rooms 20 rooms in number with each room having its own different interior decoration, seating area, bathroom and reading desk.
Services offered by The Africa Tulip
- A business centre
- Conference room
- Swimming pool
Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa
Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa in Arusha national park is a luxury hotel that can boost the authentic experience of Arusha national park experience. This hotel is located near Lake Duluti on the slopes of Mount Meru and caters to luxury visitors who are on a safari through the park. The architecture of the Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa is reminiscent of the colonial era since it has a stone-built reception hall that extends to cottage-style suites that are tastefully situated among landscaped lawns and vibrant banks of Bougainvillea. The country-manor interior of the hotel, which features unique artefacts, leaded windows, and French doors that open to the lovely expansive gardens with a lake view, further highlights the building’s colonial era remnants.
Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa consists of 42 guest rooms which are used to offer accommodation to the visitors of the lodge, these rooms are beautifully designed with In-room amenities such as One king or two double beds, Wireless internet, Private balcony with lake or garden views Coffee and tea making facilities, Bathroom and slippers, Flat-screen TV with channels, Deposit safety box Work desk and chair including table
Facilities offered at Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa
- Shoe shine services
- Dining room
- Conference room