Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park, once quoted as being 'a gem among parks' this is the closest to Arusha. There are three distinct zones that contribute to the park's overall allure - Ngurdoto Crater, Mount Meru and the Momella Lakes.
Arusha National Park, once quoted as being 'a gem among parks' this is the closest to Arusha. There are three distinct zones that contribute to the park's overall allure - Ngurdoto Crater, Mount Meru and the Momella Lakes. Formed some 15 million years ago, Ngurdoto Crater is today a steep sided pudding dish surrounded by forest. The floor is covered by lush swamps and riverine forest and is home to rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, olive baboon and the black and white colobus monkey. Mosses, ferns, lichen and orchids thrive here, giving way to mahogany, olive trees and wild date palms on the drier walls.
Mount Meru (4,565m/14,990ft) is the fifth highest mountain in Africa - much more than the achievement, the climb is rewarding for the multitude of beautiful and interesting plants and animals found along its forested slopes. The Momella Lakes were formed as a result of the volcanic activity that gave birth to Mount Meru. Surrounded by mixed moor and grasslands, this group of seven alkaline lakes are fed by underground streams and are quite shallow. These beautiful lakes are the haunt of over 380 species of birds.
The park is famous for its diverse topography. The main features are Ngurdoto - remains of a large volcano, Momella lakes and Mount Meru. Wildlife in the park is in abundant. It is believed that the largest concentration of giraffes in the world lies in Arusha National Park. Other animals include the colobus monkey, which would make a good photo entry as they swing from branch to branch. Elephants, hippos, leopards, hyenas, zebras, antelopes can also be spotted.
It is estimated that about 400 different species of birds in the park inhabit with the park with the waterfowl being the most common. Given it's geographic location, the park is perfect for mountain climbing, and Mount Meru in particular. Meru is a dormant volcano at 14,990 feet (4, 566m) high. You do not have to be an expert in climbing - your enthusiasm and passion will carry you to the top. The vistas are a real treat and include stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds with its snow- capped peak. We strongly recommend you take a guard on your hike to be safe as some buffalos may be vicious.
Vegetation in the park is diverse, with the Ngurdoto crater area being surrounded by forest, while the crater floor is swampy. Momella lakes is alkaline. Mount Meru is a cross between lush forests and bare rocks.