Dominated by majestic Mount Meru, Arusha National Park is one of Tanzania’s most beautiful and topographically diverse areas.
At just fifty-three square miles, Arusha National Park may be small in comparison to other national parks yet within its boundaries lies three distinct and stunning landscapes. To the west stands Mt. Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after the more famous Mount Kilimanjaro. Mt. Meru is a dormant stratovolcano standing 14,968 feet above the savanna floor. To the south sits Ngurdoto Crater, dubbed “Little Ngorongoro”, the floor of the crater is a swamp surrounded by forest. The alkaline Momella Lakes occupy the north-east section of the park and are known for varying algae colors and wading birds.
Arusha enjoys a rich variety of wildlife. Common animals seen in the park include giraffe, Cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, lions, and sometimes elephant. The forests are home to animals not usually found in other parts of Tanzania like the blue monkey, black and white colobus monkey, and the elusive red duiker. Near water visitors can spy reedbuck and waterbuck. Bird watchers will enjoy a chance to spot some of the 400-bird species found in the park. Many of the birds are discovered around Momella Lakes, especially waterfowl such as the flamingo whose pink hues add to the spectrum of colors the lakes’ algae gives off. On the slopes of Mt. Meru, one can sometimes see hyenas and leopards.