ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
This beautiful Park has often been called a little gem and rightly so. It’s only half an hour by Tarmac Road from Arusha Clock Tower, the safari centre of northern Tanzania. With mountains, valleys, lakes and small plains clothed green, it is dominated by Mount Meru, a dormant volcano about 1.5 million years old., which at 4,563 meters (14980 ft) is the 3rd highest freestanding mountain in Africa. One side exploded about 8,000 years ago as Meru’s caldera lake was transformed into superheated steam by an inner eruption. One of the largest landslides of mud and rock ever measured worldwide took place, forming hillrocks , valleys and small lakes. This interesting and broken terrain is now clad in patches of forest and bush at the lower end and pristine rainforest on the upper slopes. At the bottom end of the park there is another small, but complete, volcanic crater called Ngurdoto, which has recently been opened to guided hikes. It is a secret paradise, with a lake on one side and and elsewhere clothed in virgin forest and a a network of open grassy glades. A track follows the rim with lookout points established where one can relax with a picnic and look down into this secret world of swamps and plains. Visitors can spot water buffalo, warthogs and occasional an elephant enjoying its peaceful surroundings. A well maintained game viewing road and tracks wind through the park offering frequent views of spectacular beauty, with both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro often in sight.
It is habitat for a wide variety of mammals including bushbuck, giraffe, elephant, leopard (rarely seen), monkeys duiker, baboon, buffalo, waterbuck and hippo. The bird life is spectacular with over 400 species recorded. The game viewing track that winds around the Momella Lakes ia a great way to get close to and watch lesser and greater flamingo. This is probably the best park in Tanzania to watch black and white colobus monkeys, and also to listen to their loud and guttural territorial calls echoing through the forests.
Attractions in Arusha National Park
1: Ngurdoto Crater
Ngurdoto Crater is a volcanic crater in Meru District, Arusha Region, Tanzania. The crater is 3.6 km in diameter at its widest and 100 metres deep. Ngurdoto Crater is surrounded by forest whilst the crater floor is a swamp.
2: Mount Meru
Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres west of Mount Kilimanjaro in southeast Arusha Region, Tanzania. At a height of 4,562.13 metres, it is visible from Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the fifth-highest of the highest mountain peaks of Africa,
3: Black Colobus Monkeys
catch a glimpse of the black-and-white colobus monkeys at the Arusha National Park,The colobus is the most arboreal of all African monkeys. These monkeys rarely descend to the ground.They live in territorial troops. They live in troops of about five to ten animals — a dominant male, several females, and their young.