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.