Arusha National Park

Description

Even though it does not have the same game-viewing experience that can be found in other national parks in Tanzania, Arusha National park does have a rich variety of wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, zebra, warthog, blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkey, many flamingos, etc. There are no lions in the park but there are elephants and leopards. However, these ones are very hard to see. If you like bird watching, you will love Arusha National Park. There are many forest species and they are easier to see here than in any other park. 
One of the most interesting things about these park are the gorgeous landscapes. Though small, one can see three distinct landscapes at one given time. In the west, the second highest peak of Tanzania, Mount Meru, to the south-east, the grassland of Ngurdoto Crater, and to the north-east, the shallow Momella alkaline Lakes. 
The park makes a convenient one day trip from Arusha as it is just 25km east of the city. It's also easily accessible from Moshi/Kilimanjaro.


Wildlife

Large Predators: Leopard and dotted Hyena. 
Other Mammals: Hippo, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo, Warthog, Dik Dik, Baboon, Vervet monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and various antelope. Elephants are quite rare. 
The park has more than 400 different species of birds, including: Flamingo, Pelican, Little Grebe, Augur Buzzard, Black Eagle, Touraco, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, hornbills, herons, ducks and waders.


When to go

Between October and February and between May and October. The park is open and accessible throughout the year.


What to do

Besides 4x4 game drives, it is also possible to do walking safaris accompanied by an armed ranger in some areas of the park. There is a Snake park in the entrance which is very popular among tourists. 
Of course, in this park, you can also climb Mount Meru, the second highest peak of Tanzania (after Mount Kilimanjaro) which is much cheaper than climbing the Kilimanjaro, can be done in 2 to 3 days, and is also a very rewarding experience.


What we suggest

If you have time to visit the main parks, then starting with one day safari in Arusha National Park would be a great idea, specially if you allow yourself to climb Mount Meru.