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A Guide to Arusha National Park | Why visit Arusha National Park?


Arusha National Park (NP) is a 213 sq. mile park in northern Tanzania. Some 37 miles from the town of Arusha and 150 miles from the Ngorongoro Crater. Arusha National Park Safari truly is an amazing place to be for those looking for a diversity of experiences. Book your Arusha National Park Tour.

The park was established in 1960, previously known as a battleground for the Masai people and their neighbors.

Why visit Arusha National Park?

Safari in Arusha NP

Arusha National Park Safari offers visitors the chance to go on guided game drives and walking safaris. Wildlife Arusha National Park Safari includes giraffes, warthogs, black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, flamingos, elephants, and leopards.

Visitors will also spot peaceful herds of buffaloes. Shy bushbucks on the edge of the forest as well as warthogs and zebras. Heading towards the Ngurdoto Crater, visitors will soon find themselves in a lush rainforest a great place to spot the elegant mitis monkey.

An Arusha National Park Safari has inspiring landscapes. It invites visitors to make amazing jeep safaris, beautiful hikes, meaningful treks, canoe on Lake Momella, and climb Mount Meru.

In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the northeast have varying algal colors and are known for their wading birds.


At the base of Mount Meru, and with Mount Kilimanjaro to the east. Arusha park is famed for its large numbers of African elephants, Cape buffaloes, hippos, and zebras with visitors on a circuit of Tanzania. Arusha National Park is home to the world’s largest population of giraffes, making it a great place to visit for fans of these long-necked, beautiful animals. Visitors will also find flamingos, dik-diks, and baboons. Of the Big Five, only buffalo are regularly seen with the lion and rhino absent. Giraffes are very common within the area that surrounds the Momella lakes. 

The charismatic black-and-white colobus monkey is also a key attraction. The park is made of three different vegetation zones that serve as habitats for different species of animals that have been recorded here.  Close to the water sources, visitors will be able to see reedbucks and waterbucks. However, within the forested areas of the park, guests will catch sight of the bashful bushbucks plus duikers. The ecosystem of Mount Meru is in particular varied and serves as home to more hard-to-find mammals such as hyenas and leopards.


Over 400 species of birds can be found, particularly along Momella Lake. Visitors can find the flamingo, pelican, little grebe, a variety of herons, ducks, and waders.  The Birdlife inside the forest is considerable, with several forest species much more easily spotted here than in any other areas along the tourist route. Narina Trogon, as well as Bar-tailed Trogon, are together highlighted on any of the birders’ visiting. On the other hand, the array of starling species offers a fairly less flashy interest.

Also found are the Augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, and other cliff-associated raptors that can often be seen flying above Ngurdoto Crater. Before reaching the top of the park, visitors will come across Kiplinger’s and numerous flowers, hanging onto the alpine desert area. Perfect for attracting birdlife and with wonderful views of Mount Kilimanjaro some 60 km away. 


Other activities at Arusha NP

There are many things to do in Tanzania including walking safaris which visitors may request. Here are some other activities which visitors can consider during their visit to Arusha:

Arusha National Park walking safaris: Explore the Tanzania safari experience with a local guide on a day trip walking safari, an authentic and economical means of exploring the wildlife. A walking safari gives you a whole new and unique perspective of the national park including the scents and sounds of the African bush. Visitors can walk alongside wild, freely roaming animals in their natural habitat. Ranger guides will also provide insights into the unique flora & fauna of Arusha National Park and walk near the lakes where thousands of pink flamingos are often spotted. Explore the wonderful landscapes of the Ngurdoto Crater, Mount Meru, Tululusia Hill, and the Fig Tree Arch.

Boat cruise: Choose a luxury safari boat cruise and feel the Momella Lake breeze while savoring views of the surrounding scenery.

Bird tours: With an incredible range of birds to view including the Hadeda ibis and Helmeted guinea fowl in a tranquil setting. 

Canoeing the Momella Lakes: A fun and relaxed way to discover nature and the beautiful Momella lakes. This provides visitors with magnificent lake views, coming close to giraffes and buffaloes at the shores as well as flamingoes and other water birds. Expect to spend between 2 and 3 hours. 

Ngurdoto Museum: Overlooking the Ngurdoto Forest with its population of black and white colobus monkeys, the Ngurdoto Museum houses an impressive collection of examples of the various animals, birds, and insects that can be found within the park.

Arusha Serengeti safari: Combination safaris are popular with honeymoon safaris and groups traveling to northern Tanzania, looking to take advantage of the incredible landscape Arusha has to offer as well as seeing the Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park and the beautiful baobab trees at Tarangire National Park.  Read more about things to do in Arusha National Park

Useful information


Geography: Located in northern Tanzania, visitors typically fly into the nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), 29 miles/45 minutes drive from Arusha. Visitors often combine trips to Arusha with the Serengeti. 

Weather: Day-time high temperatures range from 17C/62F to 24C/75F with the last of the rain falling in May.

Best time to visit: Wildlife viewing in Arusha National Park is good throughout the year but is at its best in the Dry season, from late June to October. The beautiful scenery is most impressive in the Wet season, from November to May.

Health: Visitors should seek medical advice from their doctor and consider antimalarial medication.