Arusha National Park, Tanzania, is a secret jewel of many facets. It is not only the closest national park to Arusha Town but also one of the most beguiling. This is a treasure, a rich tapestry of habitats, teeming with animals and birds.
The park has three distinct zones that contribute to its variety and beauty: the lush swamps of Ngurundoto Crater; the tranquil beauty of the Momella Lakes, each a different hue, and the chill rocky alpine heights of Mount Meru rising to 4566 meters.
Arusha National Park Tanzania – Mount Meru
Arusha National Park, Tanzania, has Mount Meru which is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east.
Arusha National Park, Tanzania, covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of northeastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colors and are known for their wading birds.
Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometer axis of Africa’s most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east. There are Zebra graze on red grasslands, wild-eyed dik-dik dart into the scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs. Leopards lurk in shadowy forests which are draped with waterfalls. Reedbuck picks through marshy pools. .There are more than 400 species of birds. Fully-tailed black and white Colobus monkeys riot in the damp forest mist. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills.
The park is just a few kilometers northeast of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city. It is also 58 km from Moshi and 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
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