Tanzania
 
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Book with peace of mind with Africa A-Z - PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARIS AND TOURS SINCE 2004 (Free, no-obligation quotes)  
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Arusha National Park in Tanzania is a treasure, a rich tapestry of habitats, teeming with animals and birds. Popular for day trips from Arusha town and close to Kilimanjaro National Park.

Viewing point onto the Momella lakes (Hatari Lodge)
 
Arusha National Park is a gem of varied ecosystems and spectacular views of Mt. Meru & Kilimanjaro. The small national park includes the slopes, summit, and ash cone of Mt. Meru, the Momela Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater (nicknamed 'Little Ngorongoro" due to its beauty and rich wildlife), and the lush highland forests that blanket its lower slopes. Game viewing around the Momela Lakes is at a laid-back and quiet pace, and while passing through the forest many visitors stop to search for troupes of rare colubus monkeys playing in the canopy.

Climbing Mt. Meru or enjoying the smaller trails that crisscross its lower slopes is a popular activity for visitors to Arusha National Park. The three-day trek to reach the crater’s summit is a quieter, and some say more challenging alternative than the famous peak of nearby Mount Kilimanjaro. The rewarding climb up Mount Meru passes through forests of dripping Spanish moss and rises to open heath, spiked with giant lobelia plants. Delicate klipspringer antelope watch the progress of hikers from the top of huge boulders, and everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert underfoot. Once astride the craggy summit, the reward is a sight of Mount Kilimanjaro, breathtaking in the sunrise.

Along the lower slopes, paths to rivers and waterfalls make a relaxing day hike for visitors who don’t want to attempt the rather arduous climb. Ancient fig tree forests, crystal clear waters cascading from mountain streams, and a chance to spot colobus monkeys are the attractions and pleasures of Arusha National Park.
More than 400 species of bird, both migrant and resident, can be found in Arusha National Park alongside rare primates such as the black-and-white colobus monkey.
Arusha National Park also has the highest population of giraffe in Africa.

The best time to visit Arusha National Park is during the dry season from July to November, or after the short rains from December to March. The best months to climb Mt Meru are June to February, with the best views of Mt Kilimanjaro seen from December to February. The park lies just 25 km east of Arusha and is a rewarding day trip from Arusha or Moshi.