Nestled between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro is the Arusha National Park. It is dominated by Meru, 4,566 metres above sea level, the second highest mountain in Tanzania.
It is perfect for walking safari expeditions and among the few lion-free parks in the country, known for its giraffes, herds of buffalo and forest elephants.
Arusha Park seven Momella lakes are a paradise for water and terrestrial birds. There are about 450 bird species including migratory birds — Egyptian goose, Lesser and Greater flamingos, Gray headed kingfisher and Crested cranes.
Early morning safaris are recommended with a hike to the amazing Ngurdoto Crater.
Although overshadowed by Mt Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru attracts climbers for a three-day trek to the crater’s summit, and is considered a challenging alternative to Kilimanjaro.
The lower slopes offer relaxing ambience of rivers and waterfalls for low-altitude hikers who shun the rather arduous climb.
The park is accessed through Arusha town, a one-hour drive the country’s safari capital. Accommodation here is plentiful with hotels, lodges and guesthouses in Arusha city and the nearby Usa River Township. Within the park also are tourist lodges and camps.
Although Covid has affected number of visitors here, a sizeable number of locals and East Africans visit the park every month.
Parks fees are low and affordable.