The Arusha National Park has a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes (where many water birds congregate) to the highland forest and further up to the imposing summit of Mt. Meru. The interesting geology leading to the summit of Mt. Meru is reflected in the impressive view of the ash cone and cliff face.

The three distinct and spectacular features of this park include the Momella lakes, the Meru Crater, and the Ngurdoto Crater. Both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru can be seen from the park when the weather is clear. The vegetation in the Park is correlated toВ  the altitude and geology of the area. Ngurdoto Crater is surrounded by forest whilst the crater floor consists of a swampy area.

The Momella Lakes, like many in the Rift Valley, are alkaline, and Mt. Meru is a mixture of lush forests and bare rocks. Those who ascend the summit of the mountain will be rewarded with unparalleled views of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Rift Valley.

There are different types of animals within the different vegetation zones of this area. Migrating water birds settle on the lakes, waterbuck and reedbuck are found near water, while the shy bushbuck and duikers keep to the forested areas. White and black colobus monkeys can be seen climbing the branches of ancient cedar trees. Arusha National Park is also home to plenty of buffalo, very elusive leopard, Hyena, Baboon, Giraffe, Elephant and Hippo. Within this wide range of habitats almost 400 species of birds have been recorded in the Park. Some of these are migratory and present themselves between October and April, while others are permanent residents of the forests.

About Arusha National Park

Size: 552 sq km (212 sq miles).

Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town.

Getting there
An easy 30-minute drive from Arusha, or about an hour from Moshi. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) 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 circuit safari.

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