DAY ONE: ARUSHA – TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast and begin the two hour drive to Tarangire National Park. Along the way you’ll take in the changing landscape as Arusha’s urban jungle is replaced by wide open plains and quaint Masai villages. Checking in at the park offers a good chance to see mischievous monkeys darting about in the shade and you can also pose with a gigantic Baobab at the park’s entrance.
Once inside the park, you’ll see the eponymous Tarangire river lined with acacia and Baobab where game amble to and fro throughout the day. During the dry season, thousands of animals from the Masai steppe migrate to the Tarangire region looking for water so you can see dozens of different species in a small amount of time.
Exclusive to the park are endangered animals such as the Greater Kudu, Fringe-Eared Oryx, and the Ashy Starling. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the park’s picnic areas and take in an unparralelled view of the Tarangire River. Keep an eye on your food though, as the local monkey population will be only too happy to make off with a tasty treat if given the opportunity! You’ll return to Arusha late in the afternoon.
Details of Arusha National Park
Size: 542 square kilometres.
Location: North-east of Arusha.
Best Time: Year round. For climbing Mt. Meru, the best time is June-February. For views of Kilimanjaro, the best time is December-February.
To Do: Game drive, canoeing, walking safari, Mt. Meru climb, and picnic sites.
Known For: Perfect for a day trip from Arusha, and a great place to mix a traditional game drive with a walking or canoeing component.
Arusha National Park is a perfect trip for day safaris, as it is close to both Arusha and Moshi. With terrain that ranges from open savannah to tropical rainforest, the park is dominated by the shadow of Mt. Meru – whose summit offers an unparalleled view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The park’s highlights can easily be seen in a single day, with a morning or afternoon game drive accompanied by either a walking safari or canoeing in Small Momella Lake where the hippos are at play.
Arusha National Park is also home to Africa’s largest giraffe population, and its diverse landscapes are also home to antelopes, buffalo, monkeys (including the blue monkey and the black and white colobus monkey), hyenas, and even the ever elusive leopard.