Located between the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, Arusha National Park
covers an area of 137 square kilometers. There
are three main areas of interest in Arusha National
Park: the Ngurdoto Volcano Crater, the Momela
Lakes, and the rugged Mt. Meru. Arusha National
Park is also known for its remarkable range of
altitude, topography, and vegetation, the park
hosts a variety of species particular to forest,
mountain, and aquatic habitats.
The Ngurdoto Crater: Lip to lip, the crater extends 3 kilometers and descends
into a volcanic bowl packed with wildlife. The
view from the rim is spectacular, where buffalo
and warthogs can often be seen on the crater's
swampy floor and the huge crowned eagle have
been spotted flying overhead from time to time.
It is surrounded by highland forest, a prime
setting to also spot black and white colobus
monkeys traveling along the treetops.
Lakes: These lakes, like many in the estimated
20 million-year-old Rift Valley, are shallow,
alkaline and supplied predominantly by underground
streams. Giraffes, hippos, and elephants are
especially common to this area. Remarkably, the
area is also a birder's paradise, hosting an
astonishing variety of migratory and resident
bird life. Over 400 species of birds have been
recorded in the park. In addition to the large
flamingo population, some famous species include
the Crowned Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Silvery-Cheeked
Hornbill, Egyptian Vulture, and Hammerhead Stork.
The Mt. Meru
Crater: Mt. Meru, Tanzania's second highest peak,
is an interesting mixture of lush forests and
bare rocks. It offers one of the most spectacular
landscapes in Africa and is considered to be
the highlight of any visit to Arusha National
Park. The forests contain a wealth of birds and
other animals. Those who ascend the imposing
15,000-foot summit of the mountain will be rewarded
with incomparable views of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro
and the Rift Valley.