Arusha National Park.
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This beautiful park has often been called a little gem and rightly so. It’s the closest park to Arusha town, the starting point of most safari to the famous northern circuit. It’s only 30 minutes drive by tarmac road from Arusha and one 1hour and 20 minutes from Kilimanjaro airport. With Mountains, valleys, lakes, forests and small plains clothed in green, it has a wonderful feeling of peace and solitude. It is dominated by Mount Meru, which at 4,566m (14,980 Ft) is the third-highest free standing Mountain in the world.
A well-maintained network of game-viewing roads and tracks winding through the park offers frequent views of the spectacular beauty of both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro on clear days. Viewing points where guests can come out of the vehicle and stretch their legs.
It is a habitat for a wide variety of mammals including giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, zebra, bushbuck, waterbuck, baboons, hippopotamus, monkeys, leopards (rarely seen) duikers and hyena (rarely seen). The birdlife is specular with over 450 species recorded. The game viewing track that winds around the Comella lakes is a great way of getting close to watch the lesser and greater flamingoes. Arusha national park is the best national park in Tanzania to watch black and white colobus monkeys.
- Keep your eyes peeled for the prolific birdlife of the park
- Excellent views of both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro
- Photograph big animals with either Kilimanjaro or Meru at the bag ground
- Excellent sighting of Black and colobus monkeys
- Admire both Lesser and Greater flamingoes in Momella lake
- Introduction to walking and canoeing safari.
- Game viewing, are possible on the well-maintained network of roads throughout the year
- A park is a great place for walking safari and a place where one can enjoy the natural forest in comfort because of the cool climate, big animals like giraffes, waterbucks and buffaloes can be seen during these walks.
- It’s possible by prior arrangement on small Momella lakes, with hippos, giraffes, buffaloes, waterbucks and water birds often seen.
It is estimated that at the height of the dry season in October the density of large mammals, elephants, buffaloes, elands, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, ostrich to mention a few are second only to Ngorongoro crater worldwide. This spectacular gathers around the scattered pools of permanent water along the Tarangire River bed, and also around the Silale swamp. Lion and Leopard are frequently seen here as well.
The huge baobab trees are characteristic of these savannahs and have been described by naturalists as a complete ecosystem by themselves, the nooks and crannies provide places for beehives or are occupied by small mammals like a genet, civet, and mongoose while their enormous flowers are pollinated by fruit bats. Many baobabs are hollow and have provided shelter for wandering bands of hunter-gathers in the past.
Tarangire is one of the finest places in Tanzania to watch elephants and spending unhurried time in the presence of these intelligent giants, often from a vantage point at a waterhole or spring is one of the greatest pleasures of a wildlife safari, Tarangire is also one of the few places in Tanzania to see Oryx, and more even gerenuk and both lesser and greater kudu, and even occasionally wild dogs. It’s also a birders paradise with more residence breeding species than anywhere else in Tanzania
When to go
These are a year all around, with the pick game viewing season coming from July to November when all is dry and the River calls all the seasonal migratory big mammals, and clusters around shrinking lagoons and water holes.
- There is an airstrip at Kuro in the centre of the park with daily scheduled flights from Arusha and other safari destinations.
- The journey from Arusha usually takes around two hours to the main gate and this is where the safari starts.
- Game viewing
- Walking safari
- Night game safari. This is the best way to explore the African bush for its sound, the nocturnal animals and the lovely sky for the stars. Balloon Safari
Tarangire fits well to the northern circuit safari itineraries, but if you have time at least give two days for this wonderful park and accommodation picked should be inside the park to offer maximum game viewing.
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