Arusha National Park

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Arusha National Park is possibly one of the most underrated national parks in Tanzania. It is a small and beautiful park located in the northeast of Tanzania, covering an area of 552 square kilometers. The park is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters to 4,500 meters above sea level and is known for its varied landscape, ranging from the lush rainforests to the rugged peaks of Mount Meru. Arusha National Park is a popular destination for tourists and is well known for its unique flora and fauna, including the rare black and white colobus monkeys, flamingos, and the elusive leopards.

The park was established in 1960 and is managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). It is also home to the Ngurdoto Crater, a large volcanic caldera which is over 3 kilometers wide and 400 meters deep. The crater is home to a variety of animals such as buffalos, elephants, and giraffes.

Arusha National Park is also known for its diversity of birdlife, with over 400 species of birds recorded within the park boundaries. It is also the only place in Tanzania where you can see the black and white colobus monkey. The park is also home to several species of primates such as the vervet monkey and baboon.

Things to do

Game drives

Arusha National Park offers several game drive routes that allow visitors to explore the park’s diverse wildlife. The park’s varied terrain means that visitors can see a variety of animals, including buffalos, elephants, zebras, and giraffes. The game drives are usually conducted in open-sided 4×4 vehicles, which provide excellent views of the surrounding scenery and wildlife.


Arusha National Park is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts. The park offers several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the park’s varied landscapes, including the rainforest, Mount Meru, and the Ngurdoto Crater. The hiking trails range in difficulty, from easy walks to more challenging treks.


Arusha National Park is home to several small lakes and waterways, which are ideal for canoeing. Visitors can rent canoes and explore the park’s waterways, which offer excellent views of the surrounding scenery and wildlife. Canoeing is a relaxing and enjoyable activity that is suitable for visitors of all ages.


Arusha National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 400 species of birds recorded within the park boundaries. Visitors can take guided birdwatching tours, which offer excellent opportunities to see the park’s diverse birdlife.

Cultural tours

Arusha National Park is also home to several Maasai villages, which offer visitors the opportunity to experience Maasai culture and traditions. Visitors can take guided tours of the villages, which provide an insight into Maasai life and customs.

When to visit?

to October. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, and the wildlife is easier to spot as they congregate around the park’s water sources. However, it is also the peak tourist season, so visitors should book their accommodation and activities well in advance.

The rainy season, which runs from November to May, can make it difficult to explore the park’s terrain. However, it is a great time for birdwatching, as the park’s vegetation is lush and green, and the birdlife is more active. The rainy season is also a good time for hiking, as the trails are less crowded, and the scenery is more vibrant.

In generall, the best time to visit Arusha National Park will depend on your interests and preferences. If you are interested in seeing the park’s wildlife, then the dry season is the best time to visit. If you are a birdwatcher or enjoy hiking in lush green surroundings, then the rainy season may be a better choice.


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