Project Description

“When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind.  Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.”

~ Francesca Marciano

Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Arusha National Park is a secret gem of Tanzania with varied ecosystems and home to the spectacular Mt. Meru (4,566m), the fifth highest peak in Africa. It is a popular day trip option for those spending time in Arusha or those passing through to other parks in the north. It is the closest national park to Arusha town.

Some of the huge draw cards are the ash cone of Mt. Meru, the Momela Lakes and Ngurdoto Crater. The three-day trek to reach the crater’s summit is less busy, than the famous Kilimanjaro. The hike along the lower slopes, with rivers and waterfalls is a relaxing day hike. There are small Maasai farms on the lower slopes and surrounding savannah. Mt Meru is often an acclimatizing hike for those taking on Kilimanjaro.

There is a large troop of blue monkeys, colourful birdlife including turacos and trogons. The marshy floor of Ngurdoto Crater is home to herds of buffalo and warthog. Momela Lakes is a place of stunning beauty and sometimes, full of thousands of pink flamingos. You may also see giraffe and zebra herds here, along with leopards and spotted hyenas. Elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park, and you won’t see lions here.

Where to stay in Arusha National Park?

With such close proximity to Arusha, accommodation in the town is a great option. Moshi is also not too far from the park. There is also a lodge on the northeastern border of the park if you would like to be even closer.

How long should you stay in Arusha National Park?

You can cover the sites here, including Ngurdoto Crater, in a half-day, so it works as a good pre or post option for a longer northern safari. Permits are required to climb Mt Meru.

How to get to Arusha National Park?

The park is an easy 40-minute drive northeast of Arusha town. It is approximately 60km from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

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Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on Earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths?

Brian Jackman