The park is located in the northeastern region of Tanzania. It lies only 30km from Arusha town. Within the park lies Mount Meru, the second highest peak in Tanzania next to Mountain Kilimanjaro and fifth highest mountain in Africa, elevated at 4566m, it has various landscapes that are located in three different areas of the park. The western part has the Meru Crater, which flows in Jekukumia River, and the peak of Mountain Meru. The southeast has Ngurdoto Crater, and the grassland. The northeastern part of the park has the shallow alkaline Momella Lakes with different algal colors and it’s a paradise for birds. The park is small compared to other parks in the country, covering 552sqm. Before it was established in 1960, the ground was a battle field for Masai group of people and other tribes that live close by. A safari in this park will expose you to several wonderful sights of wildlife, vegetation bird species among others, but the best of it all will be the breathtaking views of Mountain Kilimanjaro that lies only 60km from the park, and wonderful resting grounds.
How to access the Park
The Park can be accessed by both road and air transport.
Air Transport– There 2 options. The easiest way is getting a direct flight from Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport, then from there you will drive to the park which will be at least 46km.
Road Transport– You can drive from Arusha to the park or get a self-drive. Alternatively, if you’re in Kenya, from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you can board shuttles that will drive you to Arusha, then from Arusha, your tour company will pick up.
What to carry
On your safari to this park, you will need to come along with sunscreen, light clothing, shirts and pants, a good camera(make sure you have spare charged batteries), gloves are very helpful during nature walks, drinking water, hiking shoes or boots, sun glasses, a hat, a pair of binoculars, a backpack, ideally water proof, a mosquito net, insect repellent, long sleeved clothing, and warm clothes for the cold nights, snacks, a notebook, swimsuits, sandals, a guide book, among others.
Things to do in the Park
The park is paradise for birds. There birds that have a home I the park and migrants as well. Birds are present in the park all the time but the peak of the activity is in the early wet season when the migratory birds from other continents visit. Guides will locate you to bird’s favorite spots.
These will be arranged in the park to watch the game. Wild animals will be seen up close in the park in the comfort of your car. Along these you will see birds too. Look out for elephants, hippos, buffalos, hyenas, duikers, giraffes among others will be seen.
The beauty of this park also lies in this activity. The higher you go the better views you get. Await to have sight of all that lies in the park and its surroundings. You will not only appreciate the great scenery but also have a wonderful time doing it.
Guided nature walk Safaris
Your guide will lead you through the trails in the park. You will be amazed with what you will see. You will see wildlife, birds, plants and trees of various species. Look out for the primates in the trees.
The park is blessed with lakes that are amazing at sight. You will explore these lakes and have a wonderful time as you sight the beautiful flamingos and other birds along the shores and others wild animals that come for a drink. You will enjoy this for at least 2 to 3 hours.
When to visit the park
The park can be enjoyed all the time but some seasons are better than others as elaborated below. The park has two seasons. The wet and dry season. The best time is making your visit to the park in the dry season which is from late June to October.
The best views in the park however, can be seen in the wet season which is from November to May. Although during March and April, the park registers heavy rains and hence not being a conducive time for a visit. The best views of Mountain Meru and Mountain Kilimanjaro can be achieved in December.
Dry Season (June-October)
During this season, wildlife is easier to be traced, for the grass is low, it is also sunny almost throughout the season so there low or no chances of tourist activities to be interfered, and there no mosquitoes or other insects to spread malaria. However, mornings are always cold.
Wet Season (November -May)
The season registers the peak of bird watching- migratory birds visit, the best views of the mountains in December and January, the park is green with flowers, wildlife will still be seen, and the park is less crowded. However, due to heavy rains especially in March and April, some roads can be difficult to penetrate.
The small park is endowed with wildlife. Await to see primates and other mammals having a wonderful time in the park. These will be seen grazing or roaming the park. Along your game drive, on your walk safari or during mountain climbing. You will see the likes of dik-dik, hyenas, leopards, elands, elephants, hippopotamus, klipspringer baboon, giraffes, cape buffaloes, blue monkey, spotted hyena, water buck, warthog, primates like: black and white colobus monkey, baboon, vervet monkeys, among others. You will enjoy this as you take pictures and videos of them.
The park has over 400 species of birds. These can be enjoyed on a guided nature walk, game drive, and along the banks of rivers in the park. Among what you will see you won’t miss the likes of, turaco, lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, Egyptian goose, Narina trogon, broadbill, red hot poker, red fronted parrot, great crested grebe, African fish eagle, cinnamon chested bee-eater, black saw wing, Twany eagle, Spanish moss, sacred ibis, Macoa duck, bar-tailed trogon among others. You will need to carry your binoculars to have the best views. These can be watched throughout the day. During the early rainy season, the park is visited by migratory birds so the activity gets exciting.
The volcano has attracted many to have a glimpse of its beauty. The mountain is the second tallest mountain in the country, and the fifth country in Africa. Many have climbed this mountain and have dosed the amazing views it offers. At the peak of this mountain you will be able to view mountain Kilimanjaro. The tallest mountain in Africa. Apart from the sights of the mountain, you will also enjoy the beautiful surroundings of savanna vegetation, plants, birds, wildlife in the area, among other things.
The crater is located inside the park it’s overwhelming. It stretches across 3km and is surrounded by riverine forest while at the bottom where it flows lies a swamp. This place has animals’ trails and you will see many of them and birds too. It’s however prohibited to slope down. From up you will be able to view wildlife like buffaloes, baboons, monkeys, elephants, hippos, among others.
They are made up of seven alkaline lakes. Each lake is independent and having different source from underground. The presence of these minerals has made the waters of these lakes not conducive for animals. Each lake supports a different type of algae growth which results to each lake having a different color. The place is a paradise for birds especially flamingos.
Fig Tree Arch
The park has this unique that is a must see. Between this arch a car can fit and an elephant. It’s amazing crossing through it in your car.
The park is endowed with wildlife, birds, savanna vegetation, trees, and plants, among others. These can be enjoyed once you climb Mount Meru. Climbing this beautiful mountain will reward you with the best views in the park and the surroundings. Above all, it’s in this park where you can enjoy the wonderful views of Mountain Kilimanjaro. The mountain lies not so far from the park but climbing the peak of Mountain Meru is a password to explicit views of the mountain. Await to enjoy all this on your safari.
On your safari to the park, you will enjoy a wonderful stay in these up to standard laces of accommodation. Accommodation is available in different categories of luxury, midrange and budget. These include:
- Mount Meru Hotel
- Zawadi House
- Arusha Safari Lodge
- Mvuli Hotel
- Arusha Serena Hotel
- Boulevard Inn Mountain Meru
- L’Oasis Lodge and Restaurant
- Arusha Backpackers Hotel-Hostel
- White House of Tanzania Hostel
In conclusion, all the amazing things that lie in the park can be enjoyed within your limited time. Customized itineraries can be arranged as long as you book with us, and preferably in time. So a safari to Arusha National Park to have an adventure of a lifetime.