Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park includes Tanzania’s second-highest mountain, Mount Meru, with its rocky peaks and wooded foothills. This dormant volcano is located in the heart of the park at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet) and has two main cones with several small cones and craters. Mount Meru is famous for its stunning views whilst hiking up Meru’s highest peak. The panorama over the park and the lake, where thousands of pink flamingos flock together, is spectacular. The summit cone features a stunning asymmetric caldera with an ash cone in the crater. This is one of Africa’s most rewarding climbs, offering spectacular scenery and wildlife encounters on its forested slopes.
The beautiful Momella Lakes are seven shallow alkaline lakes. Each of these tranquil lakes has its own shade of green or blue. The minerals and algae in the Momella Lakes attracts many water birds including flamingos, waterfowls and the Egyptian Geese. Between the lakeside and grazing zebra, giraffe and Dik-Dik, waterbucks can be seen showing their imposing horns.
Tip from Lomo Expert
Arusha National Park is ideal for day or half-day safaris at the beginning or end of a northern Tanzania safari.
In the east of the park, in the middle of the forest, stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater. This swampy crater stretches 3 km across and is inhabited by a large variety of animals. There are several great viewpoints around its rim where you can stop to see the warthog and buffalo grazing below. The crater provides a natural sanctuary to many African animals, including the elephant, a variety of monkeys, birds like Hamerkop, Spur-Winged Geese and herons.
Game drives, walking safaris, canoeing, mountain biking, picnicking, horseback riding and climbing Mount Meru (3 or 4 days).
Best Time to Visit
Game viewing is at its best from June to October (dry season). Birding is excellent all year round, but specially from December to April when birds fly over from Europe. The best time to climb Mount Meru is from June to February and the best views of Kilimanjaro you get from December-February.