Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is considered a little gem of the northern part of Tanzania, being only 40 minutes drive from the city of Arusha. Many tourists head straight for other nearby destinations such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti without taking the time to visit this amazing scenic park.
The park consists of three interesting areas: the lush swamps of the Ngurdoto Crater, the color-changing Momela Lakes and the rocky peaks of Mount Meru. Habitats here are very diverse – from mountain forest to lowland swamps.
The park is surrounded by the main peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, with Kili dominating the distant horizon and Meru in close proximity. Mount Meru is a dormant volcano with a height of 4566 m, which last erupted 100 years ago. It can be climbed in a few days, and although it is not necessary to be a climber, you still need to be careful and careful.
The ascent passes through striking red patches of kniphophia, areas of flowing moss with soft clover underfoot, rising to open wasteland lined with spiky giant lobelia several meters high. From the rocky peak of Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro looms in the distance, tall and dramatic, with its ice-covered sides and snowy peak glittering in the sun.
ANIMALS AND BIRDS
Arusha National Park is home to a large variety of wild animals of different species, with the exception of the rhinoceros and lion. The most beautiful colobus monkey is the mascot of the park, and these graceful inhabitants jump here from branch to branch, raising their long tails. The park is also home to blue monkeys and many anubis baboons. In addition, there are elephants, giraffes, leopards, hyenas, zebras and various types of antelope.
The park is famous for its 400 bird species, both migratory and permanent.
The best time to climb Mount Meru is between June and February, with the exception of November when it can rain. The clearest views of Mount Kilimanjaro are from December to February.
Rainy season: short rains occur in November and December when it gets hot and humid, and long rains come from March to June.
Dry Season: Generally dry between July and October, this is the best time for a safari.
FEATURES OF ARUSHA
- Colobus marmosets
- Views of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro
- A short distance to the city of Arusha – the northern gate of the safari
The park covers an area of 137 km².
Kilimanjaro National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro is not the highest peak in the snow-covered range, it stands in total isolation among flat plains where elephants, zebras and other African animals graze.
Kili – as Kilimanjaro is often called – reaches a height of 5895 m, located in a landscape in which, it would seem, the mountain does not fit. If you arrive when this dormant volcano is obscured by clouds, you may not notice it at all, as there are neither massive foothills nor steep valleys to signal its presence. Conquering this mountain is the dream of many visitors to Tanzania, with about 20,000 tourists climbing it every year.
Climbing training is not a prerequisite, but a sufficient level of fitness and direct determination are. Mountain sickness occurs at altitudes above 3,000 m and is often the reason why people fail to reach the summit.
In 1889, it took Hans Meyer six weeks to reach the summit. Nowadays, the hikes last five or six days, and your things can be given to the porters.
Local guides and porters often climb Kilimanjaro once a week, while visitors unaccustomed to such a challenge find this unforgettable hike an exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime challenge.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The ascent takes you on a kind of climatic journey from the tropics to the arctic. The grassy cultivated lower slopes soon turn into lush rainforests populated by the elusive leopards, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes. Above, moorland and marshland appear, dotted with a particularly impressive giant ragwort, reaching five meters in height, along with huge lobelias and massive heathers. This strange world of giants is inhabited by iridescent blue-green sunflowers and dull gray, but piercingly sonorous, one-color modest coinage. At the same time, as the air becomes dry and cold, the landscape turns into a high-altitude desert, then, finally, the snowy and cold rarefied air calms down. The final achievement of this great African challenge is the edge of the crater.
Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round, however during the rainy season the forest becomes more slippery and the summit can be blocked by snow. On the mountain, you should be prepared for bursts of rain at any time of the year. In terms of views, the most attractive time to visit is just after the end of the rainy season. Be prepared for extreme climate conditions, from rain in the forest or intense sun in the high desert to freezing temperatures at the summit.
Dry season: The best time to climb the mountain is during the dry months of late June to early October (cool and dry) or late December to early March (hot and dry).
Rainy season: Rains usually occur from April to June, and also in November and early December. There may be heavy snowfalls.
Temperatures: The lower slopes are warm and pleasant, with temperatures hovering between 15-20°C. Above 4,000 meters, temperatures drop below 5°C, and at the summit, with its icy winds, they drop well below zero.
FEATURES OF KILIMANJARO
- The highest mountain in Africa
- The highest free-standing mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes in the world
- Unique flora and fauna
The national park covers an area of approximately 755 km².
It received park status in 1973.
The mountain is located about 120 km from Arusha.
Six standard hiking trails lead to the summit.
You can rent equipment and hire porters to help you with your things.
Nearly half of those who attempt to climb Kili end up not making it to the summit.
The mountain is not included in the malaria zone, but the surrounding lowlands of Tanzania are.