Arusha National Park, at a Glance

Situated just a short drive from Arusha and Moshi, Arusha National Park is one of Tanzania's most convenient parks and is a fantastic destination for a day trip and makes for a great beginning or end to any Tanzanian itinerary.

Arusha National Park hosts a wide variety of landscapes, ranging from vast savannah and rainforest through to acacia woodlands and up to alpine vegetation on the higher reaches of Mount Meru.

At just over 200 square miles, Arusha National Park has great wildlife densities, and it is home to the world's largest population of giraffe.

Arusha National Park

Tarangire has some of the best wildlife densities in Tanzania

Cape buffalo, elephants, hippos, zebra are found here in abundance, and the occasional lion and leopard can also be sighted on a game drive.

Some great activities at Arusha National park include game driving, canoeing, hiking Mount Meru, and walking safaris.

It is one of the few national parks in Tanzania where you can go on walking safaris. 

Walking safaris are a great alternative to the traditional safari experience, and over the last year national park authorities have allowed walking safaris to take place in other parks on the northern safari circuit such as Tarangire National ParkLake Manyara and some fringe concessions on the edge of the Serengeti National Park

Arusha National Park

Lying low, keeping quiet, slightly unbelieving - Mara Naboisho

Where Does Arusha National Park Fit Into Your Tanzanian Adventure?

Arusha National Park can generally be explored in a day and is a great stand-alone adventure due to its proximity to Arusha and Moshi, and thanks to its small size.

It also pairs well with longer itineraries on the northern safari circuit, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park

If you're looking to squeeze in a short safari after climbing the steep slopes of Mount Meru, Arusha National Park is also ideal as it lies at the foot of it. 

Arusha National Park

Easy pickings, Serengeti National Park

Things to Do

Game Drives

Thanks to its vast diversity in natural habitats and small size, Arusha National Park has fantastic wildlife densities.

Many game drives occur in the Ngurdoto Crater and the surrounding forest, where the largest densities of elephants, buffalos and hippos are found. 

The Serengeti Ndogu, or little Serengeti, is a vast and golden savannah grassland where many of the plains game graze and is also a great addition to any game drive.

Head out in the early morning for the best game viewing opportunities, and pack a picnic lunch for when you get hungry.

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Kenya

Walking Safari

Accompanied by a park ranger, you will make your way through the various forest and savannah habitats, observing wildlife from a safe distance.

This is also a great opportunity to spot some of Tanzania's wonderful birdlife. 

One of the highlights on a walking safari is walking up to the top of  Tululusia Hill, a former lookout point during Tanzania's tribal wars, which has panoramic views of the lower reaches of Arusha National Park.

You can join a larger group or opt to go privately on your walking safari. 

Arusha National Park

Walking safari, Mara Naboisho

Canoe Safari

Drift along the shallow waters of the Small Momella Lake in a canoe while enjoying scenic views of the surrounding bush and wildlife coming to the shores for a drink.

Canoe trips often last 2-3 hours and are a great alternative to the traditional safari experience. 

The fibreglass canoes fit two people, and at the time of writing, cost $24 per adult and $12 per child (8-years old and above only).

Apart from Arusha National Park, only Lake Manyara (when the water level is sufficient) and Lake Duluti also in Arusha offer canoe experiences. 

Arusha National Park

Where to Stay

The Kili Villa is a luxurious retreat situated on a golf and wildlife estate close to the park and only 30 mins from Arusha International Airport. 

On offer are three exclusive villas, as well as individual luxury rooms.

Each Villa is distinctively decorated to showcase the best local African design and craftsmanship combined with colonial-style furniture

This lodge offers horse riding, Canoeing and Game drives.

Alternatively, The River Trees Country Inn is a charming country estate that was once an old coffee farm. It still maintains the nostalgic air of a well-loved homestead.

Sprawling across ten acres on Mount Meru's sloping foothills,  beautifully rustic cottages are dotted along the river and nestled under tall trees. Lush lawns and birdsong add to the tranquil surroundings.

The restaurant concocts tasty meals of garden-fresh ingredients, old family recipes, and oven-fired pizzas.  Delicious candle-lit dinners are served by the warmth of the fireplace or under the stars on the patio. 

Arusha National Park

When to Go & Getting There

The best way to get to Arusha National Park is by driving, it is only a 45-minute drive from Arusha, the beginning point of any northern circuit safari in Tanzania. 

The best time to visit Arusha National Park is from June to September and December to March during the dry seasons.

Wildlife spotting and other activities are the most enjoyable at this time of year, and it lines up with The Great Migration if you plan on doing the Serengeti too.

March and April, and October to December are the wet seasons, and it is advised to avoid these months, as rain can ruin or lead to cancellations of planned activities. 

Arusha National Park

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