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Arusha National Park

 The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.

The entrance gate leads into shadowy montane forest inhabited by inquisitive blue monkeys and colourful turacos and trogons – the only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen. In the midst of the forest stands the spectacular Ngurdoto Crater, whose steep, rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor dotted with herds of buffalo and warthog.

Further north, rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.

Although elephants are uncommon in Arusha National Park, and lions absent altogether, leopards and spotted hyenas may be seen slinking around in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at dusk and dawn that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear, revealing the majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, only 50km (30 miles) distant.
But it is Kilimanjaro’s unassuming cousin, Mount Meru - the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 metres (14,990 feet) – that dominates the park’s horizon. Its peaks and eastern footslopes protected within the national park, Meru offers unparalleled views of its famous neighbour, while also forming a rewarding hiking destination in its own right.

Passing first through wooded savannah where buffalos and giraffes are frequently encountered, the ascent of Meru leads into forests aflame with red-hot pokers and dripping with Spanish moss, before reaching high open heath spiked with giant lobelias. Everlasting flowers cling to the alpine desert, as delicately-hoofed klipspringers mark the hike’s progress. Astride the craggy summit, Kilimanjaro stands unveiled, blushing in the sunrise.

About Arusha National Park
Size: 552 sq km 212 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, northeast of Arusha town..

Getting to Arusha National Park
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.
NOTE: Mountain Climbing Permits duration time is 12 HOURS.

What to do in Arusha National Park
Forest walks, numerous picnic sites;
three- or four-day Mt Meru climb - good acclimatisation for Kilimanjaro.

When to go to Arusha National Park
To climb Mt Meru, June-February although it may rain in November.
Best views of Kilimanjaro December-February. 

Accommodation in Arusha National Park
Two lodges, two rest houses, camp sites, two mountain huts inside the park; more lodges at Usa River outside the park and many hotels and hostels in Arusha town.

Hatari Lodge African
Original name: Oldonyo Orok Lodge
Location: Latitude 0261826 Latitude 9643071 Altitude 1562M asl
Capacity / Beds: 16
Year of establishment: 1989
Owner: Hatari Lodge African Game Tracks LTD

Momela Wildlife Lodge
Location: Momela
Capacity / Beds: 115
Year of establishment: 1970's
Owner: TANAPA

Campsite No 1
Original name: Public Campsite
Location: Latitude 0259918 Longitude 9641384 Altitude 1611 M asl
Capacity / Beds: 25
Year of establishment: 1972
Owner: TANAPA

Campsite No 2
Original name: Public Campsite
Location: Latitude 0259853 Longitude 9641525 Altitude 1660M asl
Capacity / Beds: 25
Year of establishment: 1972
Owner: TANAPA

Campsite No 3

Original name: Public Campsite
Location: Latitude 0260403Longitude 9640779 Altitude 1688M asl
Capacity / Beds: 25
Year of establishment: 1972
Owner: TANAPA

Ngongongare

Original name: Special Campsite
Location: Latitude 0266283 Longitude 9637718 Aaltitude 1571M asl
Capacity / Beds: 10
Year of establishment: 2002
Owner: TANAPA

Itikon

Original name: Special Campsite
Location: Latitude 0258156 Longitude 9641374 Altitude 1975M asl
Capacity / Beds: 10
Year of establishment: 2002
Owner: TANAPA

Nasula
Original name: Special Campsite
Location: Latitude 0259761 Longitude 9643268 Altitude 1690M asl
Capacity / Beds: 10
Year of establishment: 2002
Owner: TANAPA

 
 
 
 
 

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African Authentic Safaris Ltd.

Suite 110, 1st Floor, Uniafric House, Koinange St.
P. O. Box 4293 - 00200 (City Square) Nairobi - KENYA
Phone: 254-2- 2214172 / 2214173 Fax: 254-2- 2214174
CELLULAR HOTLINE: 254-722- 566725 / 0732 566725
Website: www.authentic-africa.com
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