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Arusha National Park is nestled on the foothills of Mount Meru, Tanzania's second highest mountain and one of Africa’s most beautiful volcanoes. On a clear day visitors in this park may also see Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. The park is easily accessible from both the towns of Moshi and Arusha. It is only about 45 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport and also 45 minutes from Arusha city center. Among wildlife safari enthusiasts and insiders, this park is known as "the diamond amidst the shadow of the giants" being it beautiful but smaller and less popular than other national parks in Tanzania's northern safari circuit. 



Arusha National Park has a rich variety of wildlife, but visitors shouldn't expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other national parks in Tanzania's northern circuit. Visitors to the park may spot the following animals during game drives and walking safaris: giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, different types of antelopes and primates, hippopotamus, and flamingos and other birds. Leopards are present but they are rarely seen. A resident elephant population is also present in the park but they're a bit of a challenge to spot due to the thick foliage and foresty nature of the area. Due to the absence of predatory animals such as lions and cheetahs, Arusha National Park is perfect for exciting walking safaris accompanied by armed rangers where you walk in the bush up to the waterfalls. Walking freely alongside wildlife offers a truly unique experience where visitors are surrounded by green forests, streams, and lakes. There is also high probability of close encounters with giraffes while trekking on-foot to the waterfalls.This is a different experience compared to the 4x4 game drive safari. Another peculiarity of Arusha National Park is the white and black Colobus monkey population that is hardly spotted in other northern circuit parks.

The park is excellent all the year for bird watching, and especially between November and April when migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are present and the local birds have their breeding plumage on display. In the months of September and October many pink flamingos inhabit the Momela lakes, a sight not to be missed. Moreover, bird life in the forest is prolific with many forest species more easily seen here that elsewhere on the tourist route. Aside from game drives and guided walking safaris, visitors to Arusha National Park can also do horseback-riding, climbing Mt. Meru, and kayaking in Lake Momella.


Size: 552 sq km

Established: 1960

Activities: game drive, walking safari and canoeing

Here is the map of the park with the most interesting sites like the Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela lakes and milestones for the climb to the summit of Mount Meru.



  • Valid passport (and photocopy of picture page)

  • Visa (you may get upon arrival for $100 for US citizens and $50 for citizens of other countries

  • A picture ID (e.g. driver’s license) other than passport



  • Driving in the parks is allowed between 6 am and 6 pm only.

  • The speed limit in the parks is 50km/h and 25km/h in the Ngorongoro Crater.

  • Animals always have the right of way.

  • Never feed animals. It will upset their diet and lead to an unnecessary dependence on people.


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