The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.
Arusha National Park is 552 sq km in size and is situated in northern Tanzania, just northeast of Arusha town. The reserve offers remarkable natural beauty and protects the slopes of Mount Meru. It is the closest national park to Arusha town and approximately one hour away. Activities in the park include forest walks, beautiful picnic sites and 3-4 day trips to Mount Meru, the fifth highest peak in Africa, which offers good acclimatisation for Mt. Kilimanjaro. The best time to climb Mt Meru is from June to February however it may rain in November. The best views of Kilimanjaro are between December and February. This park has the very unusual backdrop of the town of Arusha. Seeing game feeding and ambling with Tanzania's bustling city in the background is quite extraordinary. There are no lions in the park, while leopards are seldom seen, making this park more of an on-foot activity location.
Arusha National Park offers beautiful landscapes and diverse animal, bird and plant life. This magnificent park is characterised by waterfalls and lakes, steep cliffs and gorges, swamps and waterholes, providing the ideal sanctuary for animals and plants. Guests can enjoy Africa at its best and experienced guides will accompany guests on walking safaris, canoeing trips on the lakes or exciting game drives. Arusha is home to groups of forest elephant, many buffalo, water and bushbucks, duikers and dik-diks. Spotted hyenas, leopards and civets are some of the predator inhabitants. A major attraction is the large number in primates; especially the black and white Colobus and the shining Sykes monkeys, which are very likely to be seen on a game drive or a walk in the park. There are no lions in this park, and leopards are present, but not often spotted. These are elusive cats and do not often come out to hunt until dark. Arusha National Park offers more of a peaceful environment with less of the thrill of big game viewing.
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