depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife
habitats of Arusha, Tanzania
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National Park is considered to be a little gem
in Tanzania's 'Northern Safari Circuit', just
40 minutes drive from the safari gateway town
of Arusha. Many visitors head straight for other
nearby safari destinations including Mt Kilimanjaro,
Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and
the Serengeti, without leaving time to visit
this scenic park.
The park is made
up of three particular features; lush swamps
of the Ngurdodo Crater, changing colours of
Momela Lakes and rugged alpine peaks of Mt
Meru. Habitat ranges from highland montane
forest to lowland swamp.
The major peaks
of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru surround the
park, with Kili (as this grand mountain is
the distant horizon, and Mt Meru dominating
the immediate vicinity. Mt Meru is a dormant
volcano 14,990 feet (4,566m) high which last
erupted 100 years ago.
can be climbed in a couple of days and although
you don't have to be a mountaineer, you should
be a keen hiker.
climb takes you through startling patches of
red hot pokers, zones of dripping moss with
soft clover underfoot, rising to open heath
spiked with giant lobelias several metres high.
From Mt. Meru's craggy summit, you look towards
Mt Kilimanjaro looming tall and impressive with
its glacial sides and snowy peak glinting in
Arusha National Park contains all the wildlife
you have come to expect, (except for rhino and
lions). The beautiful black and white colobus
monkey is the park's mascot and these graceful
canopy dwellers swan-dive from branch to branch
with their long tails billowing. The park also
contains blue monkeys and lots of olive baboons.
Other species in evidence are elephants, giraffe,
hipppo, leopard, hyena, zebra and a wide range
The park is famous
for its 400 species of birds, both migrant and
best time to climb Mt Meru is from June to February,
avoiding November when it may rain. The clearest
views of Mt Kilimanjaro are from December to
Rainy Season: Short rains are
November and December when it gets hot and humid,
and the long rains are from March to June.
Dry Season: typically it is
dry in the cooler winter months of July to October,
which is the best time to view game.
• Black and white colobus monkeys
• Views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro
• Close proximity to Arusha town - gateway
to northern safari circuit
The park covers an area about 53 miles²
Follow the links below to Tanzania's premier wildlife regions
and game reserves.
Reserve Index | Wildlife