Arusha National Park

Size: 325 sq. miles (137 sq. km.) Best Time to Visit: July – March

Arusha National Park is one of the most easily accessible of north-eastern Tanzania. Situated between the peaks of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro (less than an hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport and only 20 minutes from the city of Arusha itself) the park is home to many varieties of smaller game as well as giraffe, elephant, leopard, hippo, colobus monkey, water buffalo, bushbuck, and over 400 species of birdlife.

The views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are breathtaking but it is Mt. Meru that dominates the park. Excursions can be made to Meru’s summit (with an armed ranger because of the animals) and it is a popular “practice” run for those whose destination is the peak of Kilimanjaro. Although not as high as Kilimanjaro, the view from Meru’s peak is spectacular and includes a magnificent crater and eruption cone. The hike itself traverses a variety of landscapes including plains, forest and lava desert. For the less ambitious, Arusha National Park is one of the few parks where a walking safari is possible (also with an armed ranger). Walking safaris can be as short or as long as desired..

The slopes and summit of Meru are only one type of protected habitat in the park, others include the Momela Lakes region and the Ngurdoto Crater, all of which afford spectacular views of the African countryside and wildlife. The lakes are very salty and the animals do not use them for drinking but the high mineral content gives each lake a different colour and each supports a unique array of insect and bird life. The Ngurdoto crater, which measures nearly two miles across, remains undisturbed by humans. The views from the rim are magnificent and a variety of wildlife can be spotted grazing on the crater floor.

For those on safari, one of the unique aspects of the Arusha area is its dense population. It is possible to experience Africa as its modern inhabitants do by visiting one of the local communities that has initiated grassroots tourism. You’ll be charmed by the authentic African meals, songs and the hospitality of Mama Anna as she demonstrates her cheese-making techniques. You may also be able to purchase coffee – and even help roast and grind it using traditional methods! For a small fee, breakfast lunch and/or dinner can be provided.
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Accommodation

Moivaro Coffee Plantation Lodge

Built on a former coffee plantation, the Moivaro Lodge (link) features individual thatched cabins, beautiful gardens and a large colonial style verandah that can’t be beat for relaxing with a cool drink after a long day or breakfasting in anticipation of one. Moivaro has nature trails on the grounds and is optimally located near Arusha and Kilimanjaro airport.

Mountain Village

Similar to Moivaro, although somewhat older, the Mountain Village Lodge offers individual cabins and fantastic views. Nature walks can be arranged and the hotel is located near Arusha town and Kilimanjaro airport.

Novotel Mt. Meru

The Novotel at Mt. Meru is a large, western-style 1960’s hotel just at the edge of Arusha town. The Novotel is a pick-up point for shuttles to and from Nairobi and is slightly more central to the town and airport than the above-mentioned lodges.

Mountain Village

Similar to Moivaro, although somewhat older, the Mountain Village Lodge offers individual cabins and fantastic views. Nature walks can be arranged and the hotel is located near Arusha town and Kilimanjaro airport.

Dik-Dik

Named for the smallest of the African antelope, the dik-dik is a newer hotel, centrally located and features 18 double suites all with modern amenities. Typical east African flora can be viewed throughout the grounds.
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Tanzania, safaris and cultural tours.

Situated on the Indian Ocean just south of the equator, the wilds of Tanzania attract photographers, adventure travellers, retirees, divers, animal lovers, archaeologists and beach lovers alike.

The country’s political stability and established tourist trade combined with an unspoiled frontier make it ideal for every traveller – from the most adventuresome wanderer to the uninitiated greenhorn.

Most visitors to Tanzania visit the north-eastern and northern coastal regions. This area is home to some of the most famous wildlife preserves on the planet including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest point in Africa – calls northern Tanzania home, as does Olduvai Gorge, where George and Mary Leakey discovered Australopithecus, the oldest known ancestor of man.

In addition, the spice islands of Zanzibar and Pemba just off the north-eastern coast entice many adventurers with their rich, romantic histories and ancient cities.

For those seeking the less travelled road, western and southern Tanzania are home to vast conservation areas and many cultures that are not experienced by travelling the northern circuit. For example, observing and photographing chimpanzees in the wild is a joy reserved for visitors to Tanzania’s western conservation areas. The famous studies of Jane Goodall were carried out in Gombe Stream National Park. A visit to Lake Victoria affords glimpses of different ways of living, a sampling of freshwater seafood and fantastically unspoiled islands.

I Dream of Africa is a very experienced and professional Tanzanian Company and we would be delighted to help you explore all the corners of our country as well as taking you to the roof of Africa for the experience of a lifetime!

Day by Day Safari details and Safari list

You can simply state the length of time for your safari and Christopher will design it for you. Alternatively you can take one of the standard safaris off the list or design your own trip. Just send an email to christopher@idreamofafrica.com.

Click here to discover all the most popular safaris destination in Tanzania.