ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
This is a smaller national park found in the northern part of Tanzania south of Kenya just outside Arusha Town. This national park has an area of 137 square kilometers (53 square miles) making it to be among the small national parks not only in Tanzania but in the whole of Africa. Some people consider this national park as a sister of the Kilimanjaro national park which is just east of Arusha National Park, though some visitors can visit both the national park mostly the mountain hikers.
Although the national park is smaller, the standards are diverse. There are three main unique areas within the park, the Meru carter located in the western part of the park and it provide runoff into the Jekukumai River. Ngurdoto crater is located in the southern part of the which is features a rich grassland ecosystem. The north east part of the park gives way to Momella lakes which is a haven for birds which come to take advantage of the algae in the lakes.
The surrounding forest is a base and a home for varied wildlife and an abundance of birds. The park recorded over 400 different bird species that makes it a bird watching place. Other animals include, buffalos, bushbuck, eland, warthogs, zebras, elephants, the park has leopards though very not easy to be found.
This is a magnificent feature found in this national park. It lies in the east of the great Rift Valley. Mountain Meru is a volcanic formed mountain and it’s an active with highest pick at over 4566 meters above the sea level and that makes it the second tallest mountain in the whole of Tanzania with a base of 20kilometers. This is said to be the tallest mountain in Tanzania though because of the mass wasting, some of its parts were broken off time back forming a caldera. This mountain is said to have last erupted in 1910 and by now it’s very helpful for tourism activities such as mountain hiking, magnificent scene and its rewarding experience involving a dramatic walk along the knife-edge of the crater rim.
This national park is said to have recorded over400 different bird species within this national park and some of the common bird species recorded and easily seen include, the flamingo birds, African fish eagle, African olive pigeon, bar tailed- trogon, great crested grebe, bronzy sunbirds, Egyptian goose, pelicans, bronzy sunbirds, pied avaced, red crested Oxpeckers, great headed bush shrikes, red fronted parrot, scaly francolin, silvery-cheeked hornbill, Southern pochard, tawny eagle, and the most common birds are the flamingo birds because many of them have spread all over river Momela
This is also one of the most significant attraction found at this national park having seven different alkaline lakes formed as a result of volcanic debris which from the so huge expression that happened about 250000years back. This place is the great part of Tanzania birding safari as they habituate most of the bird species in this park
The fig tree. Fig tree arch in Arusha nation al park is an arch-shaped tree with an arch large enough for a tree or an elephant to pass through. The fig tree is so spectacular photo taking point in this national park offering many angles of amazing pictures such as standing under it or with your head of your safari vehicle while under it. These fig trees grew from the parasitic tree dropped by foraging birds and it visited while on Tanzania hiking safari to the Tululusia waterfalls.
There are other attractions like the Ngurudoto, museum, tulusia hill, Ujambo Wa mbogo.
ACTIVITIES TAKING PLACE AT THIS NATIONAL PARK
There are many activities the visitors can engage in on their safari at Arusha National Park
Because mountain Meru is the second highest national park in Tanzania this activity is so supportive. It’s the fifth mountain in the whole of Africa making the mountain hiking so interesting. With a height of 4566 meters above the sea level. It’s said that mountain Meru was much higher that the todays appearance though some parts are said to have been broken down due to age mass wasting. Hiking to the top of this mountain may take untill2-3 to fully reach at the summit of the park. During the activity, a lot wild animal, birds and a fascinating scene is observed in this fantastic adventure.
Arusha national park is one of the protected canoe rides you can ever think of. The activity is done in smaller Momella lakes with the help of well trained and experienced guide who will be paddling along the lake. During the activity, visitor will enjoy the peaceful and the quiet ride and you will be able to spot different animals like hippos in water, bushbucks, waterbucks, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras among others on the lake shores water birds like the flamingo, ducks fish eagles, are seen and the great pictures are taken.
Guided nature walks.
This is an adventurous activity done at this national park that allows the visitor to explore the park on foot. The Arusha National Park has fewer danger animal thus making the activity smooth. During the walk, you will pass below mountain trail, Ngurdoto, Crater, Kitoto to Njeku viewpoint, Momela gate then to Ikokoni, Tululusia waterfall and then Ujambo wa mbogo area. During the hiking, alotof the birds, animals are seen in the way.
Bird watching, Arusha national park is a home of over 400 bird species including endemic and near endemic species which makes it one of the best birding destination in Tanzania. Birding in the park is best carried out on the alkaline Momella lakes and forests where birders will have incredible views of different bird species such as Verreaux’s eagle, augur buzzard, greater flamingos, little grebes, secretary birds and many others in the way. During the activity, other activity is also taking place like visiting the lakes of Momella
There are many animal species that are seen during the drive. You will follow different tracks in open savannah grasslands such as Serengeti Ndogo where you will be able to spot animals like dik-dik, zebras, reedbucks giraffes, bush pigs, red duikers waterbucks, primates are also may in this place
There are other activities like horseback riding and many others
Accommodation facilities within the national park
Some of the accommodation facilities within the national park of which include, mid-range, luxury and the budget accommodation. And some of the known accommodation facilities include, Fun Retreat Resort hotel, Arumeru River Lodge, Mvuli hotel Arusha, green hotel mountain, Mrimba palm hotel, Boulevard Inn Mt Meru, le Jacaranda hotel and may others making it the best place for making you visit.