Arusha National Park is a real jewel, often bypassed on Tanzanian safaris. Set beneath the majestic peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, its mountain forests, crater lakes and savannah offer good wildlife viewing and are in easy reach of major northern circuit parks.

The park incorporates the second highest mountain in Tanzania (with excellent hiking), the bird-rich Momela Lakes and the beautiful Ngurdoto Crater. An excellent starting point for northern safaris.

Mt Meru, Momela Lakes Ngurdoto

This small and varied park falls into Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. Its three spectacular and distinct landscapes offer a variety and ease of access not present in its more famous neighbours:

i) The Momela Lakes are shallow alkaline lakes that host a variety of waterfowl and spectacular flocks of pink flamingo.

ii) Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania and ranges from mountain forest through to open moorland. Kilimanjaro’s overlooked neighbour has the views but lacks the crowds.

iii) The grasslands of the Ngurdoto Crater. Great for game drives and sunset views of Mounts Kilimanjaro and Meru.

Arusha city is considered to be one of the most pleasant and charming cities in the world. Its views, pace of life and climate make it a great choice for an easy start to Tanzanian safari.


  • Arusha’s wildlife doesn’t compare to the nearby Serengeti, but is still worth a visit. Giraffe, zebra, buffalo, impala, waterbuck and water hog are all common and easily seen.
  • Primates include baboon, black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys.
  • There are no lions, but both hyena and leopard can be found in the park.
  • Birdlife is also interesting, with a good selection of trogons and turacos present.
  • Mount Meru presents a series of hikes, some of which surpass Kilimanjaro for difficulty.


Arusha offers game drives, wildlife viewing and hiking on Mount Meru. From easy day hikes in the foothills to four day treks for serious climbers, it offers incredible views and isolated climbs.

The dry season (July – March) is best for game viewing.

Mt Meru is scalable from June – February but offers clearest views of Kilimanjaro from December – February.

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