ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
It is a popular destination for day trip visitors who are about to embark from the town of Arusha on longer northern circuit safaris. The small national park includes the slopes, summit, and ash cone of Mt. Meru, the Momela Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater, 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 criss-cross 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.
A DAY TRIP AT ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
Wildlife Watching, Bird Watching, Walking Safari and Trekking Mt. Meru
Sighting zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, klipspringers, dik-diks, buffaloes and hippos. There are also elephants, red duikers, black-and-white colobuses (most often sighted near the Ngurdoto Museum) and rarely seen leopards.
Bird life is abundant, with around 400 species recorded in the park. Raptors are common at higher altitudes. Like many in the Rift Valley, the seven spring-fed Momella Lakes are shallow and alkaline and attract a wide variety of wading birds, including year-round flamingos.
Walking safaris (US$25 per person per half-day) are popular. Several trails pass below Mt Meru and another follows the Ngurdoto Crater rim trail (descending into the crater is not permitted). The walk to Njeku Viewpoint in the Meru Crater floor.
trekking mt. meru
At 4566m, Mt Meru is Tanzania’s second-highest mountain. Although overshadowed by Kilimanjaro in the eyes of trekkers, it’s a spectacular volcanic cone with one of East Africa’s most scenic and rewarding climbs, involving a dramatic walk along the knife edge of the crater rim.