Starting in wooded savannah infected with buffaloes and giraffes the ascent of Mount Meru leads into forest aflame with red hot pokers and dripping with Spanish Moss, before reaching high open heath spiked with giant lobelias. Everlasting flowers adorn the alpine desert, as delicately hoofed Klipspringers mark the hike’s progress.
Arusha National Park often overlooked is in fact a treasure a rich tapestry of habitat, teeming with animals and Birds. From the lush swamps of the Ngurdoto Crater to the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes and the rocky alpine heights of Mt. Meru, the terrain of the park is as varied as it is interesting. Zebra graze on the park’s red grasslands and Leopards lurk next to waterfalls in shadowy forest. More than 400 species of bird both migrant and resident can be found in Arusha National Park alongside rare primates such as the black and white colobus monkey.
Kilimanjaro unassuming cousin Mount Meru the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 meter(14,990 feet)above sea level is the scenic focal point of Arusha National Park, the closest national park to the northern Tanzania ‘safari capital’ of Arusha. And though it is often overlooked by safari goers this small park offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.
Elephant are uncommon here and lions absent altogether but leopards and sported hyenas may be seen slinking in the early morning and late afternoon. It is also at dusk and dawn that the veil of cloud on the eastern horizon is most likely to clear revealing the majestic snow capped peaks of Kilimanjaro.
Location : Northern Tanzania, Northern of Arusha town.
Size : 542 sq Km(209sq miles)
Activities : Game drive, Canoeing, Walking safaris (through different vegetation and habitat),Mt. Meru climbing(good acclimatization for Kilimanjaro), View points and picnic sites.