15 Things To Do in Arusha National Park 2021

Here are the Best Things To Do in Arusha National Park:

1. Game drives

Driving around the parks Momella lakes will give you an unforgettable experience as you come across many wild animals like; hippos, zebras, elephants, buffalos, monkeys, hyenas, waterbucks, warthogs, lions, and leopards can also be seen occasionally. Arusha national park has the highest number of giraffes in Africa.

2. Visit Uwanja Wa Mbogo (buffalos Glade)

A large natural glade consisting of marsh, bushes, and streams located approximately 500 meters west of Momela gate – Arusha national park. It serves as a feeding ground for buffalos, giraffes, warthogs, and a destination for walking safaris.

The walking safaris that go through this field include the treks up mount Meru and hikes to nearby Tululusia waterfalls.

One of the amazing things about the glades is how the buffalos and warthogs coexist, each depending on the other to ensure survival.

The Warthogs use the buffalo biomass to ward off some of its natural enemies; in return, they use their good eyesight to warn the buffalos of an impending enemy threat by running while holding their tails up in the air – a phenomenon that can be observed as one walks towards the glade.

Security is not the only reason that buffalos and warthogs coexist in this field. The buffalos tend to feed on long grass – making it shorter and more accessible to warthogs, adapted to feeding while resting on their knees. There is yet to be a scientific reason behind this posture.

What to do there?

Hike to the place and take a picture with the animals in the background OR take a picture of the animals themselves – nothing says you’ve been to the wild more than this. Just don’t get too close as they are wild animals after all, and always listen to what the TANAPA ranger says.

There also are several plant species in the same field that you could find, including flowers such as jasmine, the fig tree, and the famous acacia that giraffes love to feed on.

4. Climbing Mountain Meru

The famous Mount Meru stands 4566 meters above sea level, and Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro.

Climbing Mount Meru will give you a thrilling experience as you encounter wild and plant life. As you ascend to the top, the sloping Forest hills will expose you to primates like the white and black Columbus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboon, and many more. At the same time, the wooded Savannah vegetation is filled with giraffes and zebras grazing.

Before reaching the peak, tourists will come across Kiplinger’s and many

flowers clinging to the alpine desert area. Mount Meru also offers excellent views of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just about 60 kilometers afar off.

5. Ngurudoto crater in Arusha National Park

One of five beautiful volcanic calderas located inside the northern Tanzania region of Arusha, along with Ngorongoro, Empakaai, Maasai, and Olmoti. With an approximate depth of 300 meters and a diameter of 3.2 km, it is more like a miniature Ngorongoro; However, the floor of Ngurudoto is softer and otherwise unsuitable for driving on, leaving walking safaris as the only way of exploring it.

The crater is surrounded by a rainforest that is teeming with wildlife. This extends to cover part of the crater floor, with the rest being an evergreen swamp – which serves as a grazing ground for the onsite herd of buffalos.

Other animals include several monkeys, birds, dik-diks, and even elephants that inhabit the forest, with the latter being the hardest to find.

At approximately 1824 above sea level, the Leitong viewpoint is the highest and so far the most scenic of these, offering views of the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Momella lakes and agricultural settlements nearby.

What to do there?

Drive or hike to several or all of the viewpoints and even the crater floor and enjoy its stunning flora and fauna. For those who would love a lengthy adventure, it is possible to hike to the crater floor, although you probably would need an armed ranger from Ngongongare gate as well as a payment of a hiking permit fee. This way, you could get closer to and see more wildlife than the usual drive can offer.

Alternatively, you could drive to any of the six viewpoints and see the crater from different angles, emphasizing the Leitong viewpoint. When done, you could either spend a night at one of the campsites, the rest houses, hotels or even continue to visit the rest of the attractions in the Arusha national park.

6. Lake Momella

The largest of several alkaline lakes that are located inside Arusha national park of northern Tanzania. It serves as a tourist spot, with several animals to see, including greater and lesser flamingoes, hippos, and several other bird species.

It has a maximum and minimum depth of 31 m and 10 m, respectively, and supports microalgae.

What to do there?

Game drives around it and its neighboring lakes Rishateni and – small Momella – with several viewpoints, campsites, and picnic sites from which you could spend time in. Canoeing can also be arranged, from any one of the TANAPA ranger posts, at a special fee.

7. Tululusia Waterfall

A tall and beautiful waterfall located deep inside Arusha national park and on the slopes of mount Meru. With an approximate height of about 28 meters, the height of the falls is so large that it actually is dangerous to stand underneath it, constantly giving off a gushing sound large enough to drown all others in its immediate vicinity.

The actual river is not that large, but the sheer height of the drop is enough to fool anybody approaching it that it is so. The waterfall normally can be heard well before it is seen, usually about 100 meters away, and at the base of it is a pool of water too small to be called a plunge pool, filled with smaller volcanic rocks pebbles.

It normally requires a short walking tour to get there from Momela gate, and it shares the same path as the hikers to the summit of mount Meru use, thus making it possible to visit it before the climb.

What to do there?

Hike to the place and enjoy the sights and sounds of the waterfall. The hike takes you through Uwanja Wa Mbogo and across or along (depending on route) a small river that originates from the waterfall further upstream.

On the way there, you could get to see much wildlife, including buffalo, warthogs, giraffes, and even get the opportunity to take a picture with them in the background.

The area next to the falls is truly an amazing environment to be in, and although not comfortable enough for a picnic, there are many spots nearby that could do the job.

Other things you may see include flowers, smaller fig-trees, and several distinct plant species. Just remember to get an armed ranger from the mobile gate before you head up there.

8. Fig Tree Arch

This is a Fig tree (Ficus thinning) whose roots have grown to take the shape of an arch, large enough for a car (elephant size) to pass underneath. It was formed when seeds of the parasitic tree were dropped by foraging birds in the fork of a host tree, allowing germination to occur and the tree’s roots to reach the ground, thereby strangling its host slowly.

What to do there

It’s a good photo point, with many opting to have one taken while standing under it or with their head popped out of the roof of a safari vehicle that is parked under it. The whole thing’s architecture is also truly amazing, especially if you have never seen a fig tree before – some of which can be seen on the hike to Tululusia waterfalls and at the waterfall itself.

9. Napuru Picnic Site

A beautiful picnic site on Mount Meru’s slopes that sits right next to the ranger’s post and entry point to Napuru falls. Although it is within TANAPA territory, the facilities on site are owned and run by Themi falls leisure park.

These include several picnic benches, toilets, the candy shop that also serves as the kitchen, and an open-air dining area for those rainy days.

What to do there?

Have a drink or meal in a tranquil environment. Even if you are not headed to the falls, the picnic site can still be the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Plus, the hike or drive could also be a great chance to interact with local villagers and even visit other attractions.

10. Kilimanjaro View Point (arusha)

A beautiful picnic site on Mount Meru’s slopes provides amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro from afar, but only on a day with clear skies. More reliable views are those of most Arusha national parks’ lowlands from an elevated altitude, along with that of Ngurudoto crater rim.

The site is more of a natural evergreen lawn, half as large as the public campsites, with an entrance road on one end and two concrete benches. In fact, it is structured like the campsites, except for the buildings.

What to do there?

Hike or drive to the place, have a picnic, animal watching, and enjoy the sights. When done, you could also visit the fig tree arch nearby, the Maio waterfalls, or any other attractions in the park.

11. Rhino View Point

A small human-made clearing atop a small hill on the southern rim of Ngurudoto crater serves as one of few places where one can get magnificent views of its crater floor.

What to do there?

Hiking, game viewing, picnics, bird watching, etc. Some of the first animals that may be noticed at the site include monkeys and birds – most of whom are normally hiding in the rainforest that surrounds the area.

Once you get to the viewpoint, herds of buffaloes can normally be seen grazing far below the crater floor. Please see the section below after the map or the attractions page. for a list of other attractions in the vicinity

12. Leitong View Point

This is one of the 6 points where one can get amazing views of the Ngurudoto crater of Arusha national park. It is located right on the northern part of the crater rim – a clearing in the Ngurudoto forest that surrounds the crater and one of the rim’s highest points.

It is known for providing some of the crater’s best views along with that of the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, the Momela Lakes, and the agricultural settlements around them.

Apart from amazing views, it is a great picnic area with a lawn that stays evergreen throughout the year, concrete benches, and an environment filled with tranquility, along with the occasional sounds of nature.

What to do there?

Enjoy amazing views of the Ngurudoto crater, the Momela lakes while surrounded by nature. You also have the option of hiking in the nearby areas and into the crater to get even more views.

13. Mini Serengeti

Locally known as ‘Serengeti Ndogo’ (Swahili), the mini Serengeti – is an open grassland inside Arusha national park where various animals come to graze, including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, Zebras, Warthogs, Waterbucks, etc.

It is the first attraction that you would see if entering the park using the Ngongongare gate – especially if using the road to Momela; However, the animals only hang around this area during the mornings, becoming increasingly rare day moves on.

It is one of the few places inside the park where you would find an open grassland, and its large size and presence of animals is more than enough to give you that feeling of being in the Serengeti plains. Other open grasslands include Uwanja Wa Mbogo (buffalo’s glade) and a smaller one located on your way to the Momela lakes.

What to do there?

View the different animals you would find grazing there, most of whom would spot you well before seeing them. In fact, this is the only place where you would see such a large collection of animals in the whole park. When done, you could also visit the other attractions in the park or even climb Mount Meru.

14. Canoeing

Tourists can complement their Tanzania adventure holidays by canoeing on the Momella lakes of Arusha national park; this will provide you with magnificent views of the lake shows as you come close to animals like giraffes and buffalos at the shores, but the most outstanding is the number flamingoes and other water birds. This activity always takes about 2 to 3 hours.

15. Bird watching.

The small magnificent Momella lakes that usually change color in the breeding seasons harbor flamingoes and other water birds like; Tawny eagle, Verreaux eagle, red-fronted parrot, African fish eagle, Egyptian goose, great crested grebe, lammergeyer, black saw the wing, and cinnamon chested bee-eater among the rest.

Join The Discussion