The national park, lying closest to the city of Arusha is the Arusha National Park. The peculiarity of the Arusha National Park lies in the fact that it encompasses a wide variety of biodiversity, which can be explore within a few hours only.
The entrance of the Arusha National Park leads you to a typical mountain forest inhabited by the blue monkeys, the turacos and the trogons. The Arusha National Park is probably the only place in the whole of Tanzania where the majestic colobus monkeys can be seen in their natural habitat, without putting in much effort. As you proceed into the forest you will witness the spectacle of the Ngurdoto Crater. The steep slopes hide a marshy base, inhabited by wild buffaloes and warthogs.
As you keep on moving, the enchanting Momella Lakes will come into your line of vision. The lakes are surrounded by hills covered with lush green vegetation. The Momella lakes support a wide variety of bird life. Flamingos, water fowls, waterbucks can be found in abundance in this region. The animals commonly found over here are giraffes and dik-dik, a variety of deer. Leopards and Hyenas can also be seen during dusk and dawn. If you want to have a view of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the best time to visit the Arusha National Park is during dawn.
If you are adventurous enough, you can indulge in a trekking expedition on Mount Meru. The vegetation on the other side of this mountain is a stark contrast. The open heath abounds in Spanish moss and giant Lobelias
Things to see and do in Tarangire
- Forest walks, numerous picnic sites;
- Three- or four-day Mt Meru climb – good acclimatization for Kilimanjaro.
Best time to visit
Arusha National Park can be visited all year round but to climb Mount Meru should be from June–February although it may rain in November. It offers the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro in December through February.
An easy 40-minute drive from Arusha. Approximately 60 km (35 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of an extended northern safari.