Arusha National park overview
Located just a short drive from Arusha and Moshi, the Arusha National Park is Tanzania’s most accessible national park and the perfect place for a day trip or as the first or last stop on a longer itinerary. At just 552 square kilometres, it’s a small park with a lot to see. Arusha National Park is also a perfect place to get out and stretch your legs – with both walking safaris and canoe safaris available within the park.
Arusha National Park is also home to the world’s largest population of giraffes, making it a great place to visit for fans of these long-necked, beautiful animals. Arusha National Park boasts a broad variety of landscapes, ranging from open savannah through acacia shrubland to rainforest and, eventually, to alpine conditions on the higher reaches of Mt. Meru
Wildlife in Arusha National park
Arusha National Park’s forest in is habitat to species that are not easily seen in other game parks in the northern part of Tanzania, such as the black & white colobus monkeys as well as the blue monkeys. In case you are fortunate you might even see the bashful red duiker. Common of all is the smaller Kirk’s dik-dik. Not only is the park home to Africa’s largest giraffe population, but visitors can also expect to see water bucks, cape buffalo, elephants, and even the leopard in the right conditions.
The Birdlife inside the forest is very abundant, with several forest species much more easily spotted here than in any other areas along the tourist route – Narina Trogon as well as Bar-tailed Trogon are together possible highlights on any of the birders’ visiting, while the array of starling species offer a fairly less flashy interest.
When to go to the Arusha National park
During the dry season which begins in June to the finish of October is the finest time for viewing wildlife inside the park. The animals are much easier to see since the vegetation is not thick and most of the animals gather near knowable water resources.
What to do in Arusha
Arusha National Park is often overlooked by travellers heading to the more famous sights of the Ngorongoro Crater,Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Serengeti. However, with a little time. Arusha National Park offers some lovely walking safaris accompanied by a ranger and lasting for up to four hours, during which you will stop for a break at one of the park’s lovely picnic sites.
You can also explore the further reaches of the park by vehicle, taking in some of the lovely views and keeping an eye out for wildlife. Another good activity here – one not found in Tanzania’s other parks – is a canoeing safari exploring the Momela Lakes. Climbing Mt Meru takes 4 days and is a great preparation or acclimatization tour before climbing Kilimanjaro.
Climate in Arusha
Dry season (June to October); The Afternoon temperatures are about 21°C or 70°F. The days are generally clear with peaceful skies. It is likely for the short rains to begin in October, must they start early. At night It cools down and the temperatures drop to nearly 11°C or 52°F. The irregular cold fronts may lower the temperatures to freezing. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you carry warm clothes if taking a game drive in the early morning.
Wet season (November to May); Similar to the dry season, the temperatures are fair in the wet season too. The Afternoon temperatures are normally about 26°C or 79°F and the night temperatures are approximately 13°C or 79°F.
November and December (Short rains); Between November to the end of December you will have 4 weeks of unpredictable rainfall, however it is hard to predict when they will start. It will hardly ever have a bad effect on your safari, since it is rare for it to rain the entire day. It usually rains in the afternoon. The Daytime temperatures are basically approximately 25°C or 77°F and at night and in the early mornings are nearly 13°C or 55°F.
March, April and May (Long rains); For the majority of the days it rain since this is the wettest time of the year although it hardly ever rains for the whole day. The skies are really cloudy and the Average minimal temperatures are approximately 26°C or 79°F and then at night 13°C or 79°F. Cold fronts commonly occur in April and May causing temperatures to get much colder.
By Road; Arusha NP is only a 45-minute drive away from the town of Arusha, the starting point of any safari in northern Tanzania.
By Air; 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) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).