Arusha National Park Tanzania

Arusha National Park, located in northern Tanzania, is a diverse and picturesque wilderness area that offers visitors a rich variety of landscapes and wildlife experiences. Covering an area of approximately 552 square kilometers, the park is situated between the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, making it a popular starting point for many safari adventures in Tanzania.


Arusha National Park is located in northern Tanzania, approximately 25 kilometers east of the city of Arusha. It is situated between the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and Mount Meru, the fifth-highest peak on the continent. The park covers an area of approximately 552 square kilometers and is easily accessible from Arusha by road, making it a convenient destination for both local and international visitors.

What You Need To Know About Arusha National Park

  1. Mount Meru: The park’s dominant feature is Mount Meru, an iconic volcanic peak that rises to an elevation of 4,566 meters (14,980 feet) above sea level. Mount Meru offers challenging trekking opportunities for adventurous visitors, with trails leading through lush forests and alpine moorlands to the summit, where breathtaking panoramic views await.
    Features of Arusha National Park
  2. Ngurdoto Crater: Often referred to as the “Little Ngorongoro,” Ngurdoto Crater is a stunning caldera within Arusha National Park. The crater is surrounded by dense forest and features a lush floor filled with grasslands and marshes. Visitors can explore the crater rim on guided walks or enjoy panoramic views from viewpoints along the rim.
  3. Diverse Habitats: Arusha National Park boasts a remarkable diversity of habitats, ranging from montane forests and grasslands to wetlands and alkaline lakes. This variety of ecosystems supports a rich array of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, and various antelope species.
  4. Bird life: The park is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 400 bird species recorded within its borders. From colorful flamingos and waterfowl in the Momella Lakes to the vibrant forest-dwellers of the montane forests, Arusha National Park offers excellent birdwatching opportunities year-round.
  5. Cultural Heritage: Arusha National Park is also rich in cultural heritage, with historical sites such as the Olduvai Gorge, where significant archaeological discoveries have been made, shedding light on early human evolution in Africa.Guided tours to cultural villages offer visitors insights into the traditions and customs of local tribes, including the Maasai and Meru communities.
  6. Activities: Visitors to Arusha National Park can enjoy a variety of activities, including game drives, guided walks, canoeing on the Momella Lakes, and mountain climbing expeditions up Mount Meru. Guided nature walks offer a chance to explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna up close, while night drives provide opportunities to spot nocturnal wildlife.


Getting to Arusha National Park is relatively straightforward, as it’s located close to the city of Arusha in northern Tanzania. Here are the primary ways to reach the park:

Getting To Arusha National park By Road

The most common way to reach Arusha National Park is by road. If you’re staying in Arusha city, you can hire a taxi, take a private car, or join a guided tour that includes transportation to the park. The park entrance is about a 30-minute to 1-hour drive from Arusha, depending on your starting point and traffic conditions.

By Public Transport: If you prefer public transportation, you can take a local bus or minibus (known as daladalas) from Arusha to the town of Usa River, which is located near the park entrance. From Usa River, you can then hire a taxi or arrange for a park ranger to pick you up and take you into the park.

Getting To Arusha National Park By Air/Flight

If you’re coming from further away or prefer to fly, you can book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Both airports are located within reasonable driving distance of Arusha National Park, and you can arrange for transportation from the airport to the park entrance. Once you arrive at the park entrance, you’ll need to pay the entrance fees and register with park authorities before entering. From there, you can explore the park on foot, by vehicle, or by participating in guided activities such as game drives, walking safaris, and hiking expeditions up Mount Meru

Best Things/Activities To Do In Arusha National Park

Embarking on a safari in Arusha National Park promises an unforgettable adventure through diverse landscapes teeming with wildlife. As you journey into this pristine wilderness, you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds, and wonders of the African savannah, surrounded by majestic mountains, lush forests, and shimmering lakes.

Game Drives:

Game drives in Arusha National Park One of the highlights of any safari experience is the game drive, where you’ll traverse the park’s rugged terrain in search of iconic African wildlife. Arusha National Park is home to a variety of animals, including giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, and antelopes, which roam freely across the grassy plains. Keep your camera ready as you scan the horizon for glimpses of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Bird watching:

With over 400 bird species recorded within its borders, Arusha National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. From colorful flamingos wading in the Momella Lakes to majestic eagles soaring overhead, the park offers endless opportunities to observe a diverse array of avian species. Binoculars in hand, you’ll marvel at the vibrant plumage and melodious calls of birds that call this park home.

Mount Meru Trek:

For the adventurous spirit, a trek up Mount Meru presents the ultimate challenge and reward. As the fifth-highest peak in Africa, Mount Meru offers a thrilling climbing experience with breathtaking panoramic views from the summit. Traverse through lush montane forests, alpine meadows, and rocky slopes as you ascend to the summit, where the sunrise paints the sky in a palette of vibrant colors, illuminating the surrounding landscape in golden hues.

Ngurdoto Crater Exploration:

Explore the dramatic landscapes of Ngurdoto Crater, often referred to as the “Little Ngorongoro.” This stunning caldera is surrounded by lush forests and is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes, and monkeys. Take a guided walk along the crater rim, soaking in the panoramic views of the crater floor below and the surrounding countryside stretching out to the horizon.

Cultural Encounters:

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the local communities surrounding Arusha National Park. Visit Maasai villages and learn about traditional customs, rituals, and daily life from the Maasai people, known for their vibrant culture and colorful attire. Engage in traditional dances, sample local cuisine, and browse handmade crafts as you gain insight into the timeless traditions of Tanzania’s indigenous tribes. As the sun sets on your safari adventure in Arusha National Park, you’ll carry with you memories of exhilarating wildlife encounters, awe-inspiring natural beauty, and moments of connection with the rich cultural tapestry of Tanzania.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first African safari, the experience of exploring Arusha National Park promises to be a journey of discovery, wonder, and adventure unlike any other.

Arusha National Park’s Park Entrance Fee

The park entrance to Arusha National Park serves as the gateway to an immersive safari experience in one of Tanzania’s most diverse wilderness areas. Located just a short drive from the city of Arusha, the entrance is easily accessible by road, making it convenient for visitors arriving from nearby towns or airports. Upon arrival at the park entrance, visitors are greeted by park rangers and staff who assist with registration, payment of entrance fees, and provision of information about park rules and regulations. It is essential to complete these formalities before entering the park to ensure compliance with conservation efforts and safety protocols.

The park entrance also serves as the starting point for various safari activities, including game drives, guided walks, and trekking expeditions. Visitors can choose from a range of options to explore the park’s diverse landscapes, from open savannahs and grasslands to dense forests and volcanic peaks. As visitors pass through the park entrance, they are immediately immersed in the natural beauty and wildlife wonders that Arusha National Park has to offer.

From the majestic peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro to the tranquil shores of the Momella Lakes, the park entrance marks the beginning of an unforgettable journey through Tanzania’s wilderness. Whether embarking on a thrilling game drive, trekking to the summit of Mount Meru, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the park trails, the entrance to Arusha National Park sets the stage for a safari experience filled with adventure, discovery, and wonder.


When visiting Arusha National Park, it’s essential to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by park authorities to ensure the safety of visitors and the preservation of the park’s natural environment.

Here are some common rules and regulations:-

  • Stay on Designated Trails: To minimize environmental impact and protect sensitive habitats, visitors should stick to designated trails and roads while exploring the park. Off-trail hiking and driving are strictly prohibited to prevent soil erosion and disturbance to wildlife.
  • Speed Limits: Respect the designated speed limits within the park to ensure the safety of wildlife and visitors. Speeding can startle animals and pose risks to both humans and wildlife.
  • No Littering: Help keep Arusha National Park clean by disposing of trash properly. Littering is not only unsightly but can also harm wildlife and pollute the environment. Pack out all garbage and dispose of it in designated receptacles outside the park.
  • Respect Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from wildlife and refrain from approaching animals too closely. Feeding or attempting to touch wildlife is strictly prohibited and can have dangerous consequences for both visitors and animals.
  • No Hunting or Fishing: The park is a protected area where hunting, fishing, and other forms of wildlife exploitation are strictly prohibited. Respect these regulations to preserve the park’s biodiversity and ensure the survival of its wildlife populations.
  • Campfire Regulations: If camping within the park, adhere to regulations regarding campfires. Only build fires in designated fire pits and ensure they are fully extinguished before leaving the area. Follow any additional guidelines provided by park authorities regarding fire safety.
  • Respect Cultural Sites: If visiting cultural sites or interacting with local communities, show respect for their customs, traditions, and property. Obtain permission before taking photographs or engaging in any activities that may impact cultural heritage.
  • Follow Guide Instructions: If participating in guided activities, such as game drives or guided walks, follow the instructions of your guide at all times. Guides are knowledgeable about park regulations and safety protocols and can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

By following these rules and regulations, visitors can enjoy a safe and respectful experience in Arusha National Park while contributing to the conservation of this unique natural treasure.