Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds. Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east. Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometre axis of Africa’s most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east.

Mount Meru

Is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 metres (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the ninth or tenth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition. Mount Meru is a serious 3-4 day trek and is often used as a practice run to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. A guide/ranger is mandatory on every trek because of the significant numbers of buffalo commonly encountered. There is one official route up to the summit and it is well marked and huts along the way offer simple, comfortable beds.

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Mount Meru

Lake Momella

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Flamingos at Lake Momella

Momella Lakes, group of shallow alkaline lakes that are fed by underground streams. They differ in mineral contents and algae that cause the colors of their water also to differ slightly. The mineral and algae present in these lakes attract and support many water birds including flamingos Egyptian goose, and fowls. Among the lakes in Momella is lake Rishetani, which is green in color, Great Momella Lake with a variety of birds. There are also Tulusia and Lekandiro Lakes, as well as the Small Momella Lake, in which groups of hippopotamus can also be seen. The lakes are within the Arusha National Park Safari. Canoeing safari is a tourist attraction which has been introduced around one of the lakes in Momella

Ngurdoto Crater

Is well known as mini-Ngorongoro. It is a 3 kilometer wide, and 400 meters deep volcanic caldera, is a part of Arusha National Park. The crater is under the government protection; there is no road to the crater and visitors are not permitted to go there. However, there are some points at the crater rim dedicated to enable people to have a good view of the crater floor and Mount Kilimanjaro from a distance. Large herds of buffalo can be seen on the crater floor, warthog, the black and white Colobus, and blue monkey can be found in the forests around the crater slopes.

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The Ngurdoto Crater

Wildlife

Despite its small size, Arusha National Park has a rich variety of wildlife. Within the park’s three vegetation zones, many different kinds of animals can be found. Near water, reedbuck and waterbuck can be spotted, while shy bushbuck and duiker keep to the forested parts of the park. The Mount Meru eco-system is especially diverse, and home to some of the more elusive larger mammals, such as leopard and hyena.

Almost 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Some of them are migratory and only present between October and April, others are permanent residents. Especially the Momela lakes are a great place for bird watching, which host a large concentration of waterbirds, including flamingos. There is also a variety of raptors, which hide in the forested areas of Mount Meru.

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