BEAUTIES OF ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
Beauties of Arusha National Park : Arusha National Park is one of the mysterious national parks located in the Northern Tanzania, Northeast of Arusha city. It is famous for being a home to the Tanzania’s highest mountain, Mount Meru and the world’s largest population of giraffes. It covers 552 square kilometers. It is 25 kilometers east of Arusha, 58 kilometers from Moshi and 35 kilometers from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). It takes about 40 minutes’ drive to reach Arusha National Park from KIA. This park is highly preferred because it offers both single day visits and multi day visits to visitors from Arusha city. This means a visitor can do a day visit at Arusha National Park and return to his/her hotel at Arusha city on the same day. Despite being small, Arusha National Park have spectacular landscapes and beautiful species of flora and fauna.
Arusha National Park is the best choice of park to either start with of wind up with because it is very close to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). You can book your hotel at Arusha and take a drive to the park for either a day visit or camping. Good tarmac roads leading to the park makes it easily accessible from Arusha, something which smoothens your drive. Arusha National Park is blessed with the following spectacular scenes:
Mount Meru is Tanzania’s second highest and Africa’s fifth highest mountain, having a total height of 4566 meters above the sea level. Its beautiful ash cone makes it very attractive, as well as good for trekking and/or hiking to the summit. This is among the best ‘warm up’ hike before going to the mysterious Mount Kilimanjaro. It also a good trek for those who can’t tolerate higher and colder altitudes like that of Mt. Kilimanjaro. At the Mt. Meru you will enjoy activities such as;
Hiking through the dedicated route.
The hike takes about three to four days. There are two campsites where you will stop for a rest and sleep on your route; the first campsite is Miriakamba huts campsite and the second is Saddle huts campsite. Both campsite have modern facilities such as flushing toilets, with rooms, kitchen and a hall. All these are there to make your route to the summit as sweet as possible.
Viewing the beautiful snow-caped Kilimanjaro from far.
Climbers always reach the Socialist peak (Mt. Meru’s peak) during the morning of the third or fourth day of the route. At the peak they enjoy themselves for setting a record of reaching the second peak in Tanzania and Africa’s fifth peak. They also enjoy sunrise and the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Another Kilimanjaro view point is when you reach at 1870 meters on your route. These views are clear on the day without skies. The gorgeous pictures of Mount Kilimanjaro are said to be captured from these viewpoints.
Here you will meet the collection of lakes known as momella lakes. They are Big momella, Small momella, Kusare, Lekandiro, Tulusia, Rishateni and El Kekhotoito. These lakes are alkaline and support the growth of algae. Most of them appear blue or green depending on the concentration of algae. If you are a biologist, you would be lucky to discover other undiscovered species of algae. Activities associated with these lakes include;
Canoeing; in of the seven lakes, Small momella canoeing safaris are possible. You will encounter with dozens of aquatic animal and plant species.
Commonly known as ‘Serengeti Ndogo’, a Swahili word for mini Serengeti, it is one of the grasslands within the Arusha National Park. It is about 500 meters north of Ngongongare gate, next to the road to Momella gate. It is home to various herbivores which come together for grazing. Such herbivores are buffaloes, zebras, warthogs, elephants and waterbucks. A morning ride to this place will give you a wonderful scene of a collection of herbivores grazing together. These herbivores are rarely seen during the noon time.
At mini Serengeti you will enjoy game viewing, walking safaris close to the animals and photographing with the animals at the background. It will you make you feel like you are the great Serengeti.
Uwanja wa Mbogo
This is another open grassland hosting buffalo, giraffes and warthogs. It is a good destination for walking safaris and for hikes to the Tululusia waterfalls and to the Mount Meru. It is on this place where you will be surprised with the mutual relationship of the warthogs and buffaloes.
Buffaloes eat long grass making them shorter and more accessible to warthogs. Warthogs also use buffalo’s biomass to avoid their enemies. Warthogs on return use their good eyesight to warn buffaloes on an enemy by running with their tails on air. What a positive relationship between these two animal species.
Other activities to do at Uwanja wa Mbogo includes taking pictures, taking a walk and viewing beautiful flowers like jasmine and other plant species like fig tree and acacia.
Ngurudoto Crater is also one of the beauties of Arusha National Park. Along with Ngorongoro, Maasai, Olmoti and Empakaai, Ngurudoto is one of the five stunning caldera in Tanzania. It has a depth of 300 meters and a diameter of 3.2 kilometers. Its floor is a swamp making it a swampy crater within Arusha National Park. It is home to Cape buffaloes, elephants (rare), monkeys, baboons, warthogs, antelopes, just to mention a few. It is surrounded by Ngurudoto forest which is highly inhabited by the colobus monkeys, dik diks and birds.
The presence of animals in this crater, makes it a superb viewpoint for visitors interested in viewing animal species and beautiful landscapes of the caldera.
In this museum you will see different examples of animals which can be found within the Ngurudoto Crater and within Arusha National Park as whole. You will observe skeletons, remains, taxidermy and information about these animals. The museum do holds various plant species with all available information you would like to ask.
Tululusia hill is one of the beauties of Arusha National Park. It is Known for hosting elephants, buffalo, colobus and some tree-dwelling pythons, Tululusia hill is covered with vegetation, which decorates it with the green color. It is at this hill where you will meet Tululusia waterfalls. Falling from about 28 meters, such a large water falls for you to take a water-fall bath. The Tululusia water falls are also associated with falling pebbles. Therefore, you will have a chance to view Tululusia waterfalls at a distance.
Within the Arusha National Park, you will meet the only freshwater lake in the park. Although its water is not good, it is a good place where buffalos and other animals get water after a long thirsty day. This lake enables you view various herds of herbivores coming for water, especially during the day time.
Other activities at Arusha National Park include visiting various attractions on single day or multiday visits. These include hiking, walking safaris and camping.
The hiking safaris include the luxurious and ordinary trips that are offered by various companies. Their cost variation is due to the number of sites to be visited on such trip alongside with the services to be offered on the course of the trip. The cost of the trip might also be affected by the number of people on board. A bus tours for instance, happens to be cheaper compared to private tours. Walking safaris are common in grasslands like Mini Serengeti and Uwanja wa Mbogo. Most of these have undefined destinations. An armed ranger has to be with you for ensuring safety.
When it comes to camping, we do have three public campsites namely; public campsite number 1, public campsite number 2 and public campsite number 3. As the name suggests, they are all public with modern facilities like flushing toilets, showers, modern water basins and kitchens. These campsites are segmented into sides for men and women. An armed ranger ensures your safety at night. Other campsites such as Miriakamba and Saddle huts campsites are special for Mount Meru trekkers on their route to the summit. In these campsite, the houses are divided in a dormitory like structure, where each can accommodate up to four people. Camping allows you to take a rest while reflecting on beauties of the scenes you encountered during a day.