Mount Meru in Arusha National Park

Situated at the base of Mount Meru, Arusha National Park offers diverse and beautiful scenery, in addition to an abundance of wildlife. This is a place where you can climb the spectacular Mount Meru, see the multi-coloured Momela Lakes and gaze into the impressive Ngudoto Crater. Arusha National Park is one of the most accessible and topographically diverse areas in Tanzania. With stunning views and landscapes ranging from forests, swampland and mountain terrain to grassland and lakes, the park allows you to completely immerse yourself in nature and experience an authentic African wilderness.

While the breathtaking scenery is the park's main attraction, there is plenty of wildlife to see. Here you can find more unusual animals than you would in other game parks. See the black-and-white colobus monkey in the forest trees and one of the world's largest populations of giraffe roaming the land. Even though you may not find lions here, you are guaranteed to see many other fascinating creatures throughout the park.

Despite its small size, Arusha National Park offers an unforgettable safari experience with its diverse landscape and abundance of wildlife.

  • Best Time to Go

    June - October

  • Average Safari Cost

    $200 - $600 pp/day. Park fee: $45

  • Highlights

    Mount Meru, the Momela Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater, Tululusia Hill, the Fig Tree Arch, canoe and walking safaris, Lake Longil and more.

Why Hike Mount Meru in Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Tanzania. With its wide range of landscapes and sites to see, it is the perfect destination for photography and experiencing the beauty of an African wilderness.

Mount Meru is one of the top highlights of the park and a truly spectacular site to see. Climb to the top and see the impressive crater within its volcanic cone. This volcano is often used as a warm up before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but it is also a challenging and exciting climb itself. Many animals and birds will be encountered on your way to the summit, along with stunning views and beautiful sunrises. Trekking to the top of this magnificent mountain is highly recommended and is a truly rewarding experience.

In addition to Mount Meru, there are many other wonderful sites to see in Arusha National Park. Travel here and look over the Ngurdoto Crater, which consists of lush swampland surrounded by green forest. Plenty of wildlife and birdlife can be seen here as they rest and find shelter. See the seven Momela Lakes, which vary in colour as different algae grows. While animals don't gather to drink at these alkaline lakes, plenty of beautiful, pink flamingos can be seen. Arusha National Park is an exquisite safari destination. Travel here for an unforgettable journey!

Pros and Cons

  • Beautiful scenery
  • Not crowded with tourists
  • Canoeing and walking safaris
  • Very accessible
  • Great for birdwatching
  • Not as many species of wildlife as other parks
  • Roads may be hard to navigate during the rainy months (March-May)

Best Time to Go

The best time to hike Mount Meru in Arusha National Park is during the dry season, from June through to October. This is when the wildlife viewing is at its best as they congregate near the water sources. The days are clear and sunny with moderate temperatures during these months and there is a lower risk for malaria.

The scenery of the park is most beautiful to see during the wet season, from November to May. Temperatures during this time are mild and hot days are very rare. November and December consist of short bursts of rain that don't usually affect safari activities, while March through to May brings the long rains, which can be more disruptive. There is a dry period from January to February, which results in clear skies and spectacular views of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Temperatures are quite cool all year round with very cold nights so be sure to pack warm clothes!

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife and Birds

The main attraction of the park is the hike up Mount Meru. Arusha National Park is not a typical wildlife safari destination, so elephants and leopards are rare and there are no lions in the park. However, plenty of giraffe, buffalo, zebra and the distinctive black-and-white colobus monkey can always be seen in certain areas of the park. Wildlife viewing is best during the dry season when animals gather around the waterholes and swampland. The park is also home to many bird species, including elegant flamingos which gather in their flocks at the lakes.
List of Animals
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Giraffe
  • Wild Dog
  • Zebra

Rare Animals

  • Elephant, leopard, wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, wild dog

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Giraffe, zebra, buffalo, black-and-white colobus monkey

Despite its small size, Arusha National Park boasts an impressive amount of birdlife. With over 400 recorded species of bird, this park is a perfect bird watching destination. Water-birds, such as flamingos and heron, can be found around the waters of the Momela Lakes, while birds of prey soar through the skies over the Ngurdoto Crater.

Endangered Birds

  • Madagascar pond heron, white-backed vulture, gray-crowned crane

Getting There and Safety

There are multiple ways to get to Mount Meru and Arusha National Park. You can fly directly to the Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is only a short distance away from the park, or you could book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport from other parts of Tanzania. Transport to and from airports is often part of safari packages so be sure to check with your operator.

For the flights to Tanzania, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Tanzania.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Tanzania.


Most foreign visitors require a visa, and a valid passport, in order to visit Tanzania. Visas can be obtain upon arrival in the country. The Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs has more information on visa and entry requirements.

For more information on visas see our Botswana Safari - Complete Country Guide.


The vaccinations recommended for Tanzania are typhoid, rabies, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Having a yellow fever vaccination certificate is advised. There is also a risk for malaria, especially from November to May, so anti-malarial drugs are recommended as well as using insect repellent.

It is better to check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are required.

Travel Insurance

Going on a holiday in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Tanzania. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What To Pack

Pack warmly as temperatures are mild during the day and very cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours and white. Climbing and walking gear is needed if you plan to climb Mount Meru. Other essential items are a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, first aid kit, binoculars and camera.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

Mount Meru
You need to make a booking to climb Mount Meru as an armed ranger, guides and porters go with you. Check out our operators and get their free competitive quotes. the climb costs from $600 to $1000.