Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park, as its name implies, is a small national park located near the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha. Most travelers will not know about this park and few people visit it. And the variety of animals here is limited.
Yet Arusha National Park is full of attractions. Lush forested areas, numerous small lakes, dry savannas, and high mountains. I loved this park and often went there when I lived in Tanzania because of its proximity.
Arusha National Park Tours from Arusha
Most of the safari tours for Arusha National Park depart from Arusha Town. There are half-day tours and full-day tours. If you have an extra day in Arusha, please visit Arusha National Park.
This photo was not taken from a postcard, nor is it a composite. Most photos of Mount Kilimanjaro and animals at the same time were taken in Amboseli National Park on the Kenyan side, and it is rare to see animals and Kilimanjaro together like this on the Tanzanian side.
There are no touristy lions or rhinos in Arusha National Park. (I saw what looked like a lion once, but it was a brief moment and I couldn't confirm it.) But there are plenty of small antelope.
This is a male bushbuck on the left. Bushbuck are quite common here. Below is the smallest antelope, Dikdik.
This is called Ngurudoto Crater and is the remains of an old volcano. It is much smaller than Ngorongoro, which is a World Heritage site, but it is still 1 km in diameter. People are not allowed to go down into the crater, and it is a paradise for animals.
The crater is surrounded by deep forest, one of my favorite places. There are several places here where you can get out of your car and take a short but pleasant walk. You can see large trees, flowers on the forest floor, insects, birds, and if you are lucky, arboreal monkeys, such as the white-colored colobus pictured below.
As I walk along a path in the woods, I see a butterfly resting in the sunlight through the trees. And suddenly you are startled by the sound of insect wings.
This is a type of leafhopper. It has beautiful wings.
This forest is home to rare birds, including the turaco, which lives in the forest. They blend into the forest and can quickly become invisible if you are not careful.
Many waterfowl can be seen in the lakes of Arusha National Park. The photo on the left shows a flock of flamingos. Hippos are also present, but there is no place to get close enough to take pictures.
Another attraction of Arusha National Park is Mount Meru. Although not very famous, it is nearly 5,000 meters high. This photo was taken in the middle of it, at a large fig tree. Can you see me driving?
This is Mt. Meru. You can see that it is a very powerful mountain. Although it is not clear in the photo, the crater in the foreground, where the clouds are floating, is a large crater. From Arusha, it should take about half a day to get there.