Arusha National Park

 

It’s the closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often seen by safarigoers, despite providing the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.

The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and very colourful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest is the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, rolling grassy hills are the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.

Animals like the elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park,

and lions absent too.However leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen slinking around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at dusk and dawn that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant.

But it is Kilimanjaro’s unassuming cousin, Mount Meru - the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 metres (14,990 feet) – that dominates the park’s horizon. Its peaks and eastern footslopes protected within the national park, Meru offers unparalleled views of its famous neighbour, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right. Passing first through wooded savannah where buffalos and giraffes are commonly found.

Arusha National Park
Size: 552 sq km 212 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town..

Accessibility
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.
Activities
Forest walks, numerous picnic sites;
three- or four-day Mt Meru climb - good acclimatisation for Kilimanjaro.

When to go
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.

Accommodation and Houses
Two lodges, two rest houses, camp sites, two mountain huts inside the park; more lodges at Usa River outside the park and many hotels and hostels in Arusha town.

Places to visit in Tanzania

1

Ruaha National Park

2

Selous Game Reserve

3

Pemba Island

4

Tarangire National Park

5

Mountain Kilimanjaro

Places to Visit in Uganda

1

Bwindi Impenetrable Park

2

Queen Elizabeth National Park

3

Murchison Falls National Park

4

Lake Mburo National Park

5

Kidepo Valley National Park

Places to Visit in Kenya

1

Masai mara,

2

Amboseli

3

Lake Nakuru

4

Lake Naivasha

5

Tsavo East Tsavo

Places to Visit in Rwanda

1

Nyungwe-Canopy Walk

2

Akagera National Park

3

Lake Kivu

4

Volcanoes National Park

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Sunday, 21 January 2018 05:05

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