This comparatively small park is covering only 137 square kilometers. It is often bypassed, since visitors on a limited itinerary understandably want to see the more famous attraction. It is situated a short distance from Arusha itself, making it easy to visit on a day or a half-day trip.
The park has several completely different habitats within its confines, from a flamingo fringed soda lake to dense forest, a crater floor like a miniature Ngorongoro and Mount Meru itself.
You will not see the enormous herds or predator of the plains here, but there are numerous monkeys, birds, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, warthog, gazelle and zebra, and even elephant may be spotted here.
Best time to visit Arusha National Park
You can practically freeze at night in Arusha during the drier months (June to October) when the occasional cold front sweeps through. But that’s the only real challenge of visiting at this time. The wildlife watching is at its best, and the sunshine at its brightest. The wetter months mainly appeal to those keen to see the arrival of migratory birds.
Weather and climate in Arusha National Park
Arusha’s mild climate sees average daytime temperatures ranging from 21°C/70°F to 26°C/79°F. The Dry season (June to October) is the coolest time of year, getting downright chilly before sunrise. Run up if you’re doing an early game drive. The Wet season (November to May) has two periods of rainfall with a dry spell in between. But it’s only during the so called ‘long rains’ (March to May) that downpours might hamper your safari.
How to get to Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is only a 45-minute drive away from the town of Arusha, the starting point of any safari in northern Tanzania.
There are several ways to get to Arusha. The easiest is to get a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated about 46km/29mi from Arusha. Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), near Dar es Salaam and get a connecting domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).