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Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park

At the Base of Mount Meru

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Located only 45 minutes drive from Arusha city center, north eastern Tanzania, it’s one of the easiest national park you can visit.

Being at the foothill of Mount Meru ( A prominent volcano mountain) and only 50km (30mi) from Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa), Arusha National Park has a fantastic weather and a view of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The park has spectacular landscapes in it’s three distinct areas.

  • In the west, the Mount Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River where the peak lies on its rim.
  • Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is a grassland where you will find a variety of grazing wild animals.
  • The shallow Alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.

Arusha national park is famous for it’s day safari as it’s 35KM from Kilimanjaro International Airport and 45 minutes drive from the city. This makes a idea park for those with limited time and budget. A tour operator can pick you up from your hotel, go to the park and be back before nightfall.

It has a rich variety of wildlife include giraffe, cape buffalo, warthog, flamingo, zebra, black and white colobus monkey, elephant, hyena, bushbuck, leopard and many other.

Bird life is prolific, with many forest species more easily seen here than elsewhere on the tourist guide.

The entrance gate leads into shadowy mountain forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colorful 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.

Although you are most likely to see a clear, revealing majestic snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, 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 neighbor, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right.

Passing first through wooded Savannah where buffaloes 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.

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