Arusha National Park Tanzania

Overview of Arusha National Park Tanzania

Arusha National park is located in the northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town covering a geographical size of about 137square kilometers (52.9 sq miles) mainly with three landscapes that is Mount Meru, Ngurdoto crater and the Momella lakes. According to the guide book the European past of the park goes back to 1876 when Count Teleki, a Hungarian, stayed at the Momella area. He commented on the vast number of hippopotamus and black rhinos he had seen. Miserably, the latter are now no longer found in the park. In 1907 the Trappe family relocated to Momella to farm, using large areas of the present park as a cattle ranch. The elder Mrs. Trappe, the first woman to become an expert hunter in East Africa, voluntarily set aside a large part of the Momella land for a game sanctuary. Arusha National park was established in 1960, as well the farm was incorporated into it and the Ngurdoto Crater National Park was established in 1960 and Mt Meru area also became part of the park in 1967.

Map of Arusha National Park Tanzania

Arusha National Park Tanzania

The name of the park was then transformed to Arusha National Park and it was derived from the indigenous Waarusha people who used to live in the area. The tribe were of Pare origins who used to live in the Kilimanjaro area. They first reached in the now Arusha area in the 1830’s where they lived into the Selian area of town. Most of the people at the time there were Maasais. The Waarusha tribe took on a lot of the Maasai traditions but they are still very different. We agree the Waarusha still speak the same language as the Maasai but they agriculturalists whereas the Maasai have remained pastoralists. The Waarusha pride themselves on being productive farmers and even though they have been farming the same land for generations, they still manage to keep the land fertile through protection of the soil and conservation of nature.Named after the bustling town of Arusha, northern Tanzania’s self-styled ‘safari capital’, this 137 sq. km national park is among the most misunderstood in Tanzania, protecting a diversity of habitats ranging from open lakes and rolling grassland to Afro-montane forest and moorland.

The main feature is the rough Mount Meru, an extinct volcano whose altitude of 4,566 metres makes it the fifth highest mountain in Africa. The game-viewing roads also offer splendid views westward to Kilimanjaro, whose snow-capped peak, only 50km distant, often emerges from its cloudy shroud in the late afternoon. Ultimate outstanding for its lush sceneries and splendid scenery, Arusha National Park makes for an ideal half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended safari in northern Tanzania. Game viewing doesn’t compare to the region’s best-known parks – of the so-called Big Five, elephant and leopard are scarce, and lion and rhino absent altogether – but specialists will find much to taste, from the colobus monkeys that swing flexibly through the forest canopy, to the flocks of flamingo that tinge the lake margins pink.

Wildlife

Arusha National Park has an amusing diversity of wildlife, but visitors shouldn’t expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other national parks of Tanzania’s northern circuit. Despite the small size of the park, communal animals include giraffe, cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, the black and white colobus   monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, elephant, lion and many other African animals. Leopard populations are present, but seldom seen. Birdlife in the forest is productive, with many forest species more easily seen here than elsewhere on the tourist route – Narina trogon and bar-tailed trogon are both possible places of interest for visiting birders, while the range of starling species provide somewhat less flashy interest.

Bottom of FormThe neighboring national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often disregarded by safari goers, despite presenting the chance to discover a captivating diversity of habitats within a few hours. The entrance gate leads into mysterious montane forest inhabited by snooping blue monkeys and colorful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the energetic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily appreciated. In the midst of the forest stands the remarkable Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide muddy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, continuing grassy hills encircle the relaxing beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a diverse kind of green or blue. Their ridges sometimes colored pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich collection of resident and migratory waterfowl, and hairy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the moist fringes. Giraffes float across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into light bush like overgrown hares on skinny legs.

Although elephants are rare in Arusha National Park, and lions absent completely, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen tiptoeing around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at sunset and start that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant. But it is Kilimanjaro’s humble cousin, Mount Meru – the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet) governs the park’s horizon. Its peaks and eastern foot slopes protected within the national park, Meru offers matchless views of its famous neighbor, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right. Read More

The park is just a few kilometers north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city. The park covers a distance of 58 km from Moshi and a distance of 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)

A 40-minutes’ drive from Arusha. Roughly 60km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.

Arusha is served by two airports namely Kilimanjaro International Airport that does regular flights to Amsterdam with KLM, to Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Nairobi. There is also a taxi ride that costs USD50 and as well airlines run shuttle service for free or USD10.

Arusha Municipal Airport (ARK) is on the borders of the city but only runs local flights, mostly to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, and charters. Air viva offers regular flights between Arusha and Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro.

Arusha can be accessed by express coach from Nairobi (Kenya, 6h, daily 08.00 and 14.00 from in front of Parkside Hotel, USD35), Dar es Salaam (12h), and Kampala (Uganda, 17h) with direct services also available from Mwanza, Tanga and Lushoto. Other companies provide first-class tickets which are slightly more relaxed although it is worth noting that standards are generally comparable with most African bus services. Moshi can be reached in about one hour. There are various shuttle buses between Arusha and Moshi which are more comfortable than coaches. Some of these shuttles can be booked in advance. Visas-on-arrival are available at Kilimanjaro International Airport for USD50, or USD100 for some nationalities.

When to go
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.

It is greatly suitable to visit during the summer season from the months March to July if you are planning to be outdoors. If you’re just there to go sightseeing, Mt. Kilimanjaro is at its best between December thru February.

Loads of tourist lodges appropriate to all budgets are spread around Arusha town and along the road linking the town to the national park. For lengthier visitation, the park is serviced by a superb luxury camp, a midrange lodge and a number of campsites

Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge is situated in Arusha, this golf hotel is 8.1 mi (13 km) from Kilimanjaro Golf Club and 11.9 mi (19.1 km) from Arusha National Park. Arusha Golf Course and Mt. Meru are also within 16 mi (25 km) Along with 3 restaurants, this hotel has a golf course and an outdoor pool. Free full breakfast, free Wi-Fi in public areas, and free self-parking are also provided. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and an outdoor tennis court are onsite. All 348 rooms boast jetted tubs and offer free Wi-Fi and balconies or patios. Sitting areas and minibars are standard, as are flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. The lodge has got a luxurious bar/lounge offering excellent stocked drinks, wines, spirits, cocktails and as well with free available in all rooms. Their staff is well qualified, friendly and welcoming and provide the best quality to their hosted guests and as well the rooms present excellent scents and are well vanished.

Arusha coffee lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge is situated fairly a few minutes separate of the city center and built in one of the largest coffee plantations. The chalets are set in a coffee plantation and are nicely spaced out. The rooms are decorated to a high standard and some offer outdoor tubs and showers. This lodge’s nearness to Arusha Airport makes it an ideal choice for those with early morning flights and located for both holiday visitors and business travelers. While at the lodge, visitors can enjoy and experience nature, wildlife, habit and habitat of the fauna and flora in the natural areas. The facility presents a collection of 30 furnished rooms featuring a living room and a private deck, mini bars as well as a restaurant that provides different and special cuisines. The lodge has got a swimming pool business center, wireless internet connection and a gift shop.

The Arusha Hotel is situated by the well-known Clock Tower (halfway between the Cape and Cairo) in the center of the Arusha banking and commercial district, 50 minutes’ drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport and 10 minutes from Arusha Airport. The Arusha is ideal for both business and holiday visitors. The Arusha crows 86 stylishly appointed rooms including 4 suites, 25 executive rooms and 57 standard rooms, all with en suite bathrooms, air acclimatizing, mosquito nets, international direct dialing, wireless internet, tea & coffee making facilities, satellite television, desk & chair. The hotel has a restaurant and bar that provide classic food and beverages both international and local, safari casino, a swimming pool that gives the views of Mount Meru, a gym, a curio shop, a business center, 3 conference rooms and abundant garden grounds where a pavilion can be set for receptions.

Overview

The name of the park was then transformed to Arusha National Park and it was derived from the indigenous Waarusha people who used to live in the area. The tribe were of Pare origins who used to live in the Kilimanjaro area. They first reached in the now Arusha area in the 1830’s where they lived into the Selian area of town. Most of the people at the time there were Maasais. The Waarusha tribe took on a lot of the Maasai traditions but they are still very different. We agree the Waarusha still speak the same language as the Maasai but they agriculturalists whereas the Maasai have remained pastoralists. The Waarusha pride themselves on being productive farmers and even though they have been farming the same land for generations, they still manage to keep the land fertile through protection of the soil and conservation of nature.Named after the bustling town of Arusha, northern Tanzania’s self-styled ‘safari capital’, this 137 sq. km national park is among the most misunderstood in Tanzania, protecting a diversity of habitats ranging from open lakes and rolling grassland to Afro-montane forest and moorland.

The main feature is the rough Mount Meru, an extinct volcano whose altitude of 4,566 metres makes it the fifth highest mountain in Africa. The game-viewing roads also offer splendid views westward to Kilimanjaro, whose snow-capped peak, only 50km distant, often emerges from its cloudy shroud in the late afternoon. Ultimate outstanding for its lush sceneries and splendid scenery, Arusha National Park makes for an ideal half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended safari in northern Tanzania. Game viewing doesn’t compare to the region’s best-known parks – of the so-called Big Five, elephant and leopard are scarce, and lion and rhino absent altogether – but specialists will find much to taste, from the colobus monkeys that swing flexibly through the forest canopy, to the flocks of flamingo that tinge the lake margins pink.

Attractions

Wildlife

Arusha National Park has an amusing diversity of wildlife, but visitors shouldn’t expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other national parks of Tanzania’s northern circuit. Despite the small size of the park, communal animals include giraffe, cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, the black and white colobus   monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, elephant, lion and many other African animals. Leopard populations are present, but seldom seen. Birdlife in the forest is productive, with many forest species more easily seen here than elsewhere on the tourist route – Narina trogon and bar-tailed trogon are both possible places of interest for visiting birders, while the range of starling species provide somewhat less flashy interest.

Bottom of FormThe neighboring national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often disregarded by safari goers, despite presenting the chance to discover a captivating diversity of habitats within a few hours. The entrance gate leads into mysterious montane forest inhabited by snooping blue monkeys and colorful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the energetic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily appreciated. In the midst of the forest stands the remarkable Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide muddy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, continuing grassy hills encircle the relaxing beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a diverse kind of green or blue. Their ridges sometimes colored pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich collection of resident and migratory waterfowl, and hairy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the moist fringes. Giraffes float across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into light bush like overgrown hares on skinny legs.

Although elephants are rare in Arusha National Park, and lions absent completely, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen tiptoeing around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at sunset and start that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant. But it is Kilimanjaro’s humble cousin, Mount Meru – the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet) governs the park’s horizon. Its peaks and eastern foot slopes protected within the national park, Meru offers matchless views of its famous neighbor, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right. Read More

Activities
Getting There

The park is just a few kilometers north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city. The park covers a distance of 58 km from Moshi and a distance of 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)

A 40-minutes’ drive from Arusha. Roughly 60km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.

Arusha is served by two airports namely Kilimanjaro International Airport that does regular flights to Amsterdam with KLM, to Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Nairobi. There is also a taxi ride that costs USD50 and as well airlines run shuttle service for free or USD10.

Arusha Municipal Airport (ARK) is on the borders of the city but only runs local flights, mostly to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, and charters. Air viva offers regular flights between Arusha and Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro.

Arusha can be accessed by express coach from Nairobi (Kenya, 6h, daily 08.00 and 14.00 from in front of Parkside Hotel, USD35), Dar es Salaam (12h), and Kampala (Uganda, 17h) with direct services also available from Mwanza, Tanga and Lushoto. Other companies provide first-class tickets which are slightly more relaxed although it is worth noting that standards are generally comparable with most African bus services. Moshi can be reached in about one hour. There are various shuttle buses between Arusha and Moshi which are more comfortable than coaches. Some of these shuttles can be booked in advance. Visas-on-arrival are available at Kilimanjaro International Airport for USD50, or USD100 for some nationalities.

When to go
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February.

It is greatly suitable to visit during the summer season from the months March to July if you are planning to be outdoors. If you’re just there to go sightseeing, Mt. Kilimanjaro is at its best between December thru February.

Accommodation

Loads of tourist lodges appropriate to all budgets are spread around Arusha town and along the road linking the town to the national park. For lengthier visitation, the park is serviced by a superb luxury camp, a midrange lodge and a number of campsites

Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge is situated in Arusha, this golf hotel is 8.1 mi (13 km) from Kilimanjaro Golf Club and 11.9 mi (19.1 km) from Arusha National Park. Arusha Golf Course and Mt. Meru are also within 16 mi (25 km) Along with 3 restaurants, this hotel has a golf course and an outdoor pool. Free full breakfast, free Wi-Fi in public areas, and free self-parking are also provided. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and an outdoor tennis court are onsite. All 348 rooms boast jetted tubs and offer free Wi-Fi and balconies or patios. Sitting areas and minibars are standard, as are flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. The lodge has got a luxurious bar/lounge offering excellent stocked drinks, wines, spirits, cocktails and as well with free available in all rooms. Their staff is well qualified, friendly and welcoming and provide the best quality to their hosted guests and as well the rooms present excellent scents and are well vanished.

Arusha coffee lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge is situated fairly a few minutes separate of the city center and built in one of the largest coffee plantations. The chalets are set in a coffee plantation and are nicely spaced out. The rooms are decorated to a high standard and some offer outdoor tubs and showers. This lodge’s nearness to Arusha Airport makes it an ideal choice for those with early morning flights and located for both holiday visitors and business travelers. While at the lodge, visitors can enjoy and experience nature, wildlife, habit and habitat of the fauna and flora in the natural areas. The facility presents a collection of 30 furnished rooms featuring a living room and a private deck, mini bars as well as a restaurant that provides different and special cuisines. The lodge has got a swimming pool business center, wireless internet connection and a gift shop.

The Arusha Hotel is situated by the well-known Clock Tower (halfway between the Cape and Cairo) in the center of the Arusha banking and commercial district, 50 minutes’ drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport and 10 minutes from Arusha Airport. The Arusha is ideal for both business and holiday visitors. The Arusha crows 86 stylishly appointed rooms including 4 suites, 25 executive rooms and 57 standard rooms, all with en suite bathrooms, air acclimatizing, mosquito nets, international direct dialing, wireless internet, tea & coffee making facilities, satellite television, desk & chair. The hotel has a restaurant and bar that provide classic food and beverages both international and local, safari casino, a swimming pool that gives the views of Mount Meru, a gym, a curio shop, a business center, 3 conference rooms and abundant garden grounds where a pavilion can be set for receptions.

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