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Arusha National Park

'A Rewarding Hiking Destination'

Arusha National Park

This beautiful Park has often been called a “little germ” and rightly so. It is only ½ an hour by tarmac road from Arusha town, the safari center of Northern Tanzania. 

With mountains, valleys, lakes, and small plains clothed in green, it has a wonderful feeling of peace and solitude. It is dominated by Mount Meru, which at 4,566 m (14,980 ft) is the 5th highest free-standing mountain in Africa. 

This second highest mountain in Tanzania offers an unforgettable experience and serves as an acclimatization refuge before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Info About Arusha National Park

  • Area: 137 km2 /53 sq. mi
  • Established: 1960
  • Location: Arusha- Region
  • Distance: From Arusha town to Ngongongare gate, it is about 32 km/21mi


The Park can be visited throughout the year; however, the best time is between June to September and from December to early March. The short rainy period is from October to November and the heavy rain season is from March to May.

Getting there

The Park can be accessed by road or air.

By Road: From Arusha town to Ngongongare gate, it is about 32 km/21Mi.

By Air: It is about 40 km/24Mi from Kilimanjaro International Airport.


The Park is gifted with a variety of attractions ranging from wildlife inhabiting the wilderness to craters and mountain peaks.

Serengeti Ndogo

The name which means “Little Serengeti”, describes the open grassland, a place in the park where various animals in large numbers can easily be seen such as buffaloes, warthogs’ zebras, waterbucks, giraffes, etc.


Black and white colobus monkey

Arusha National Park is a home for these acrobatic Black and White Colobus monkeys. These species contribute to visitors’ experience during the Park visit because they can easily be spotted. Other animals include Buffalos, Warthogs, and Giraffes.

Mount Meru

The park holds the second-highest mountain in Tanzania providing a good chance of exploring mountainous habitats inhabited with different animal and plant species that are different from those found in lowlands.

Ngurdoto and Meru Craters

This pear-shaped Ngurdoto resembles just a miniature of the Ngorongoro crater and comprises five viewing points mikindu, the Rock, Buffalo, the glade, and Lei tong being the highest point. From this point, the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Momella lakes, and the lower slope with human settlement can be easily seen


(Lesser and greater flamingos in Momela Lakes)

The famous Momela lakes provide a home and important feeding ground for both Lesser and greater flamingos. It one of the important sites to visit for bird watchers.

Tululusia Hill and waterfall

Tululusia hill meaning “lookout point is a viewpoint that provides an excellent view of the lower areas of Arusha National Park, Mount Meru, and the majestic Kilimanjaro.

Tululusia Waterfall is found on a narrow-sided valley formed as a result of erosion of soft volcanic soil leaving behind a steep gorge with a height of 28m (84ft). It’s a home of nesting Red-winged Starlings and having a chance of getting your photos around this natural environment are usually spectacular!

Lake Longil and Momella lakes

Lake Longil is the only freshwater lake in the park, inhabited with Tilapia fish also there are Papyrus and Mace reed floating as Islands and changes their positions following the wind’s directions

The Momella Lakes with different mineral contents support a different type of algae growth and this gives each lake a different color

Fig Tree Arch

A striking feature of the Fig Tree Arch (Ficus thoningii) with its roots reach the ground while leaving behind an arch enough for a car to drive through.

Ngarenanyuki River (Engare Nanyokie)

This river originating from the montane forest and Meru crater contains a brackish resulting from brown/alkaline water sources from the streams which join the main river outside the park.


Arusha National Park is a Park of multi tourist activities; These activities include game drive, short walking safari, long walking safari, Canoeing, Mountain Climbing, Horse Riding, and Cycling.

Mountain hiking

This is 2 night 3-day adventure using the mountain huts Miriakamba and Saddle huts. It has to be prearranged at the Momella Gate requiring porters and an armed Ranger escort. The hike traverses several vegetation zones including beautiful montane forests. Expect to see wildlife en route including buffalo, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, antelope, and lots of birds.

Walking Safari

Arusha National Park is a great place for walking and a place where one can enjoy natural forests in comfort because of the cool climate. Hiking has to be arranged at one of the 2 Gates. A fee is payable and any walk has to be accompanied by an armed ranger.


Canoeing is possible by prior arrangements on Small Momella Lake, with buffalo, giraffe, bushbuck, waterbuck and hippo saw. Wading and water birds are of course common.

Horseback riding

Horseback trails have been established and can be combined with overnight stays in camps within the Park (but not the horses). By prior arrangement.

Game drive

Game drives are possible on a well-maintained network of roads and tracks. It is an experience that tourists can get in a day game drive from Arusha Town.

Bird watching

The Park has more than 450 bird species including both resident and migratory birds. At Small Momella and Long lakes, both water and non-water birds can be easily sighted.