Arusha national park is located about 55 km north-east of Arusha. The highlights of this park are the Momella lakes, the Ngurdoto Crater, and Mount Meru which is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and a popular destination for mountaineers avoiding the well-trodden Kilimanjaro.
The park is home to a rich variety of wildlife and an awe-inspiring combination of vegetation that includes montane forests, swamps, and grasslands. Common animals include giraffes, the black-and-white colobus monkeys, flamingoes, the blue monkeys, elephants, lions, leopards(present, but rarely seen), cape buffalos, warthogs, and zebras.
The birdlife in this park is prolific; about 400 species of birds can be seen. The Momella lakes are rich in colorful algae that attract a variety of wading birds.
Mount Meru is a dormant volcano standing at 4,562M (14,968 ft); it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest mountain in Africa. The mountain offers a very rewarding climb with unparalleled views, scenery and wildlife encounters.
The mountain is situated 70 km south-west of its bigger brother, the Kilimanjaro. If you make it to the summit, the 360-degree view is spectacular, especially the views of the early morning sun rising over the Kilimanjaro.
The Momella lakes are shallow alkaline lakes that support the growth of colorful algae; these series of lakes is made up of 7 lakes, each fed by a separate underground water source with a varying mineral content. Due to the variance in mineral content, each lake supports the growth of different algae, resulting in a multi-colored series of 7 lakes and an abundance of water birds attracted by the algae.
This crater is 3 Km wide, and at its heart is a lush swamp that provides a natural sanctuary to many animals, birds, and plants. Although it prohibited to descend to the crater floor, the beauty and diversity of animals and plants inside the crater can still be enjoyed from the crater rim, with its beautifully situated viewpoints.