This park was established in 1960.It had contained Ngurdoto crater and Momella lakes, until 1967 when Mt. Meru was made part of the Park. It covers an area of 137 sq. kilometers and lies between the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. It sprouts from 1500 metres at Momella to 4566 metres at the top of Mount Meru. From the main road between Arusha and Moshi it is about 10 kilometers to reach Ngurdoto Gate. As it is known for all mountainous altitudes, the flora and fauna varies with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp. It is the nearest National Park to both Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport and is thereby an easy day trip.
The best time for visiting is during the dry season from July-March. The best months to climb Mount Meru are June-February (although there are some rains in November). On clear days, magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru can be seen from almost any part of the park. The best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are from December to-February.
The Park’s wildlife content are primates, herbivores, and predators. Species include black and white colobus monkeys, elephants, baboons, buffalos, hyenas, hippos, giraffes, leopards, waterbucks, warthogs and a wide range of antelope species. No lions in the park although you can see leopards if you are lucky.
The Mount Meru (4566 m) sector of the park has a variety of forest, landscapes, moorlands, plains and a lava desert. You should be accompanied by an armed game warden because the wild animals are not friendly. From the Mount Meru summit, you will have an impressive view of the crater and of the eruption cone 3000 metres below.
Arusha National Park is famous for its 400 species of birds. The Momela Lakes offer plenty of bird watching opportunities The birds here are both migrant and resident such as red sharks, spurwinged gooses, hamerkops, woodpeckers, herons, Grey parrots, secretary birds name it.