Arusha National Park was Ngurdoto Crater Highland until 1967. The current national park covers an area of 137 sq km/53 sq m, and is located near the town of Arusha between Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. The park and town derive their name from the Wa-Arusha people who traditionally live in this area. On this one-day excursion leaving from Arusha, Moshi or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will get to know the Ngurdoto Crater, Momella Lakes, highland montane forest, and the rugged Mount Meru (4,565 m/14,977 ft). The park has a wealth of wildlife including Colobus Monkeys, velvet monkeys, bushbucks, buffalos, red forest duikers, hippos, elephants, and giraffes. Birdlife, especially waterfowl, is abundant and interesting.
Arusha National Park the Park is dominated by Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain, 4,565m. There is a good range of animal species represented. From Arusha City, we pick you up from your hotel at around 08.00 for your short, one-hour drive to take you to Arusha National Park. We spend a full day in the park, maximizing our opportunities to spot the excellent range of animal and birdlife it has to offer.
The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and 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 stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.
Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one having a different hue of green or blue. There are shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos. The lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and also shaggy waterbucks that display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, whilst pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.
Although elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park, and lions are absent altogether, 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, which is only 50km (30 miles) away.
But it is Kilimanjaro’s unassuming cousin, Mount Meru – the fifth highest mountain in Africa at 4,566 metres (14,990 feet) – that dominates the park’s horizon. With its peaks and eastern foot slopes 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 frequently encountered, the ascent of Meru leads into forests aflame with red-hot pokers and dripping with Spanish moss, before reaching highly open heath spiked with giant lobelias. Everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert, as delicately-hoofed klipspringers mark the hike’s progress. Astride the craggy summit, Kilimanjaro stands unveiled, blushing in the sunrise.
A picnic lunchbox is included in the day tour. At around 17.00, we make the short return journey back to Arusha City, where we should arrive around 18.00 to drop you off at your hotel.
Included in the price:
- Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) accommodation while on safari
- All game drives viewing in a custom built 4×4 Safari Land Cruiser
- All park and entrance fees
- Transportation with 4×4 vehicles with viewing roofs
- Professional English speaking driver/guide during the safari.
- Bottled water in safari vehicles
- Current Government taxes and levies
- 24-Hour support during the safari from our office in Arusha.
Excluded from the price:
- Internal or International flights
- Transfers to and from the airport
- Entry visa to Tanzania.
- Travel and health insurance
- Gratuities to your guide, hotel staff, and porters
- Meals, drinks, and excursions not described in the itinerary
- Any other items of a personal nature, laundry, telephone and postage
- Item of personal Nature