Arusha Park
Arusha Park

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is a gem of varied ecosystems and spectacular views of Mt. Meru, the crater that gives the region its name. Brobably good for a day trip from Arusha, before embarking on your main safari circuit, this small national park offers a calm and quiet space for enjoying the richness of Tanzanian wildlife. At a laid-back pace, you can take the time to look up into the canopy and spot the acrobatics of the rare black and white Colobus monkeys, as well as playful blue Monkeys, and the dazzling colors of Trogons and Turacos.

If the three days trek up Mount Meru isn’t for you, still you can enjoy a relaxing exploration of its lower slopes, along trails that wind around crystal clear mountain streams and attractive waterfalls. The tranquil greens and blues of the Momela Lakes often provide a backdrop for thousands of vibrant Flamingos, as well as a rich diversity of migrant Waterfowl, and both Giraffes and Zebras graze on the grassy hills. There may be no Lions to see here, and Elephants are uncommon, but you might be lucky enough to see some pleasing to the eye leopards and spotted hyenas during morning and late afternoon.

The slopes, summit, and ash cone of Mount Meru dominate this small park, as do lush highland forests of ancient fig trees. When the clouds clear on the eastern horizon, you might even get a glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro.

Size: 552 sq km (212 sq miles).