Northern Circuit National Parks

Northern Circuit National Parks

Arusha National Park

This mini park with its 137 sq km lies between the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru in Tanzania’s north-east, near Arusha town. Until 1967 it was known as Ngurdoto Crater National Park; its new name, the Arusha National Park, as well as the name of the Arusha town derive from the Waarusha people who traditionally lived in this area.

The Park is known for its rich flora and fauna and walking safaris; it is the only park where you can have a walking safari in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania.

It consists of three impressive features: the shallow alkaline Momela Lakes, where thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingos as well as migratory birds can be seen (roughly 400 species including Crowned Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill, Egyptian Vulture, and Hammerhead Stork). The volcanic Ngurdoto Crater (3km wide, 400m deep), known also as ‘Little Ngorongoro’ is rich with wildlife on its crater floor, including Buffalos, Elephants, Baboons and occasionally Black Rhinoceros. The park also boosts the second highest peak in Tanzania, Mt. Meru (4.566m, metric converter). On clear days of both highest Tanzania’s peaks can be seen from the Arusha National Park, Mt. Meru and further afield in its own park Mt.Kilimanjaro.

The vegetation of Arusha National Park varies according to the altitude and geology of the area. The Momela Lakes are alkaline; the Ngurdoto Crater is surrounded by forest whilst the crater floor is a swampy area. Mt. Meru is a combination of bare rocks and tropical forests. The different habitats of this Park are home to Giraffes, Zebras, Hippos, various antelopes, Warthogs, Hyenas, and Leopards. It is a rare place where you can spot fluffy-tailed Black and White Colobus Monkeys (Guereza) in large numbers.

Walking safaris, Game drives, Bird-watching, Photography, 3-4 day Mt. Meru climb. Great daytrip option form Arusha.