TArusha National Park Tanzania, Arusha NP isn’t on many safari itineraries. This is mainly because it doesn’t offer a chance of seeing the Big Five. The park is at the base of Mount Meru, which is good for climbing. It has a range of habitats including forest – home to the black-and-white colobus monkey – and the park is excellent for birding.
Wildlife & Animals
Wildlife Safaris in Arusha NP is more low-key than in the other parks in northern Tanzania. Animals that are easily seen include buffalo, giraffe, and several antelope species. More exciting is the black-and-white colobus monkey that lives in the forest, and a large number of bird species. Several lakes often host flocks of flamingo.
Arusha National Park is the greatest national park in the northern safari circuit. It doesn’t offer the usual range of wildlife that the other parks do. Of the Big Five, the only buffalo are regularly seen, and lion and rhino are absent. It is appeal lies in the scenic beauty and unusual animals. The charismatic black-and-white colobus monkey is the flagship species. Arusha National Park Tanzania
The park’s appeal is mainly its scenery. The habitat diversity spans from the montane mountain rainforest to moist savannah to alpine moorland. The most prominent landmark is Mount Meru. Other highlights are a massive extinct volcano and several scenic lakes, with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background on a clear day.
The forest in Arusha National Park is home to species not often encountered in other parks in northern Tanzania, including a blue monkey and black-and-white colobus. If you are lucky, you might also spot a shy red duiker. More common is the even smaller Kirk’s dik-dik. Giraffe is very common in the area around the Momella lakes.
Arusha National Park can be visited throughout the year, but the Dry season from June to October is the best time for wildlife safaris. Wildlife is easier to spot because the vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources. In the peak of the Wet season (March to April), some of the roads might become difficult to navigate, which can interfere with your wildlife viewing experience.
Arusha NP should be on every bird watching itinerary in Tanzania. Over 400 species recorded in such a small park is quite an impressive count. Momella Lake is one of the best places in Tanzania to see water birds: flamingo, pelican, little grebe, a variety of heron, duck, and wader are common. Augur Buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, and other cliff-associated raptors can often be seen flying above Ngurdoto Crater. Migratory birds are present from November to April. Arusha National Park Tanzania
Arusha NP is good for birding year-round. From November to April, minatory birds from Europe and North Africa are present, and resident birds have their breeding plumage. Bird watching is at its very best during these months, but wildlife watching is easiest (and at its best) in the dry season – June to October.
You can practically freeze at night in Arusha during the drier months (June to October) when the occasional cold front sweeps through. But that’s the only real challenge of visiting at this time. The wildlife watching is at its best, and the sunshine at its brightest. The wetter months mainly appeal to those keen to see the arrival of migratory birds. Wildlife Safaris in Arusha National Park is good throughout the year but is at its best in the Dry season, from late June to October. Arusha National Park Tanzania
The beautiful scenery is most impressive in the Wet season, from November to May, although March and April can be very wet and grey. The clear skies from December through February give you the best views of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro.
Arusha National Park’s climate is normally pleasant and mild. It is usually cool to cold at night and in the early morning and it rarely gets hot during the day. important to pack warm clothing for use in the evenings and game drives in the early morning. Arusha National Park Tanzania
The Dry season is from June to September, and there are two Wet seasons: the ‘long rains’ (March to May) and the ‘short rains’ (November to December). The rainy season consists of afternoon thundershowers, but it would be rare for it to rain all day. Arusha NP incorporates Mount Meru and the area at the base of the mountain and tends to get slightly more rain and clouds.
Dry season –June to October
Temperatures in the afternoon are generally around 19°C/66°F. Sunny weather and clear skies are common during the day.
June, July, August & September – Expect cold nights with temperatures around 9°C/48°F at a minimum. There can be occasional cold fronts with temperatures near freezing. Warm clothes are strongly recommended for early morning game drives.
October – The ‘short rains’ could start in October when they arrive early.
Wet season –November to May
The wet season’s temperatures are mild, similar to the Dry season’s. Temperatures in the afternoon are usually around 23°C/73F°, while temperatures at night are around 11°C/52°F.
November & December – A month-long time of unpredictable rains usually occurring between November and December. The rains rarely affect your safari since it is unusual to rain all day long during this time. Showers during the afternoon are likely. Arusha National Park Tanzania
January & February – Usually, there is a dry period between the rains that is not possible to predict with accuracy.
March, April & May – These months are the wettest. It rains most days, but rarely all day long. Clouds are common.
Arusha NP is only a 45-minute drive away from the town of Arusha, the starting point of any safari in northern Tanzania. There are several ways to get to Arusha. The easiest is to get a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated about 46km/29mi from Arusha. Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), near Dar es Salaam and get a connecting domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK)
Most parks and reserves in Tanzania, Arusha National Park is very safe in our opinion. Most visitors to the park stay in Arusha town, and normal safety precautions should be taken when walking around urban areas. Get advice from your hotel before heading out, never carry unnecessary valuables, and don’t walk around after dark, rather take a taxi. For more information, see ‘Cities & Other Urban Areas: Arusha National Park Tanzania
it is highly unlikely that you will run into any issues.
Precautions against malaria and certain vaccinations are advisable (consult your local healthcare professional before traveling). Precautions against malaria include taking ant malarial medication and using mosquito repellent (those containing DEET are most effective). It’s also a good idea to cover up exposed skin in the evening.