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Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is a small charming park, located in the northeast of Tanzania. It is near the city of Arusha and provides great views of the Mount Kilimanjaro. The park is a scenic and diverse park which offers a wide range of animal and plant species.  And it also has a rich diversity of landscapes. From lakes, waterfalls and swamps to volcanos, mountains and tropical rainforest – the ideal reserve for all kind of animals. The swamps, rainforest and lakes attract many beautiful birds including silvery-cheeked hornbill and thousands of pink-hued flamingos. This park is also the only place in northern Tanzania where you can easily spot the black-and-white colobus monkey.

Mount Meru

Mount Meru is located within Arusha National Park. This dormant volcano is Tanzania’s second highest mountain at a height of 4,566 meters (14,990 feet). It is a beautiful, but challenging mountain to climb. The panorama views from the summit over the steppes of the park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Momella Lakes are spectacular. A day hike on Mount Meru gives you another perspective and offers a nice change. We also organise climbs to the peak…

Canoeing on the lake or walking safari

One of the popular safari activities in Arusha national park is a canoe or walking safari with an armed ranger. The Momella lakes in the northeast for example offer a large variety of animals. They are in an open landscape and are home to hippos and all kinds of birds. Countless bucks and buffalo can be seen near the lakes. A great change to enjoy wildlife up close, from a different perspective than sitting in a safari vehicle. Absolutely a memorable safari experience!

Arusha town is about 45 minutes away from Arusha National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro is about 50 km (31 miles) away.


Check our Tanzania Safaris to see how Arusha National Park can be incoporated into an itinerary.

Most common animals in Arusha National Park

  • Buffalo
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • More than 400 bird species including flamingos.
  • Monkeys: black-and-white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, blue Monkey, baboons
  • Hippo
  • Waterbuck
  • Bushbuck
  • Warthog
Colobus aap in arusha national park, tanzania

Arusha highlights

  • established in 1960
  • 30 km from Arusha town
  • area of 552 km2

Arusha facts

  • Mount Meru, second highest mountain in Tanzania, located in the heart of Arusha National Park.
  • Momella Lakes: seven shallow alkaline lakes.
  • Ngurdoto Crater: swampy crater inhabited by large variety of animals.
  • Stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro on clear days.
  • Beautiful volcanic scenery and rain forest.
  • Giant fig tree forms arch across the road, large enough to drive a car through.

Excursions and activities Arusha National Park

  • Walking safari
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing Mount Meru
  • Visit Coffee Plantation
  • Cultural tour Arusha
  • Lake Duluti walk
  • Mountain bike tour (2, 3 or 5 hours)
  • Visit local marketPrices on request.


Travel time Arusha National Park

  • Arusha City to Arusha National Park: 45 min. drive.
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City: 1 hour drive.
  • Arusha National Park to Tarangire / Lake Manyara: 2,5 hours’ drive.
  • Arusha National Park to Ngorongoro: 3 hours’ drive.
  • Arusha National Park to Serengeti: 5 hours’ drive (or take a direct flight).

Travel tip from our experts about Arusha National park

My name is Qorro and I am a guide in Arusha National Park for 17 years. Our guests mainly like this park due to the abundance of birds and many different monkeys. The canoe and walking safaris are also popular. This offers guests the change to see zebras, giraffes and other animals up close and personal.

How long to stay? 1 day, but if you want to climb Mount Meru 3-4 days

Best time to climb Mount Meru

The best time to climb Mount Meru is from June to March (occasional rains in November). You can enjoy the best views of Kilimanjaro from December till March. Contact us if you want to climb the second highest mountain of Tanzania, Mount Meru.