Common Animals To See In Arusha National Park In Your Safari Game Drive : Arusha National Park, the nearest national park to Arusha town—the safari hub of northern Tanzania—is a multifaceted gem that is frequently missed by travelers while providing the chance to experience an enticing array of habitats in a few hours.
The entrance gate opens into a dark montane forest home to curious blue monkeys, as well as brightly colored turacos and trogons. This is the only location on the northern safari circuit where one may easily spot the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey. The breathtaking Ngurudoto Crater is located in the middle of the forest. Its broad, swampy bottom is surrounded by rugged, steep cliffs that are home to herds of buffalo and warthogs.
Moving farther north, the serene Momela Lakes, with their many shades of blue and green, are surrounded by undulating grassy hills. The lakes are home to a diverse range of resident and migratory waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks showcase their big, lyre-shaped horns on the watery borders. Their shallows are occasionally tinted pink with hundreds of flamingos. Between grazing zebra herds, giraffes glide across the grassy slopes, and pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dash into scrubby undergrowth like spindly-legged giant hares.
While lions are hardly ever seen in Arusha National Park and elephants are rare, one can still witness spotted hyenas and leopards sneaking around in the early morning and late afternoon. The cloud cover on the eastern horizon is also most likely to lift around twilight and morning, showing the magnificent snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro, which are only 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
But the dominant feature of the park’s skyline is Mount Meru, the modest relative of Kilimanjaro, which stands at 4,566 meters (14,990 feet) and is the fifth tallest peak in Africa. With its summits and eastern footslopes preserved inside the national park, Meru not only provides outstanding views of its well-known neighbor but also makes for a worthwhile hiking destination in and of itself.
The ascent of Meru begins with a ride through forested savannah, a common sight for buffalo and giraffes. It then leads into woodlands covered in Spanish moss and ablaze with red-hot pokers, culminating in a high, open heath crowned with enormous lobelias. The alpine desert is covered in everlasting flowers, and the hike’s progress is indicated by klipspringers with delicate hooves. Rising to the rocky peak, Kilimanjaro seems naked and blushes in the dawn light.
COMMON ANIMALS TO SEE IN ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
The only other game park in Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is Arusha National Park. The anticipated fauna that is frequently found in other parks is absent from this location. Buffaloes are the most frequently sighted of the Big 5 animals; lions and rhinoceros are not found in the park. Its amazing landscape and uncommon animal species are what make it special and alluring. The most popular type of animal is the seductive black-and-white colobus monkey.
The forest of Arusha National Park serves as home to several kinds of monkeys, including the blue and black colobus monkeys, which are difficult to spot in other game parks in Tanzania’s northern region. If you’re lucky, you could even catch a glimpse of the shy red duiker. All of them have the smaller Kirk’s dik-dik in common. Additionally, the area around the Momella Lakes is home to a large number of giraffes.
Despite its small size, Arusha National Park is home to a wide variety of animals, including flamingos, buffaloes, zebras, warthogs, giraffes, and the unusual black-and-white colobus monkeys. Moreover, though they are rarely seen, African elephants and leopards can be found inside the park. There are no lions residing in Arusha National Park. The forest’s birdlife is incredibly rich, with many forest species much easier to spot here than in any other location along the tourist route. The variety of starling species provides a relatively less conspicuous interest, while the Narina and bar-tailed trogons may be the highlights of any birder’s visit.
There are three distinct vegetation zones in the park that provide habitat for various animal species that have been observed there. Reedbucks and waterbucks can be seen close to water sources, and shy bushbucks and duikers can be seen in the park’s forested locations. Particularly diverse is the eco-system of Mount Meru, which is home to a few more formidable big mammals like leopards and hyenas.
Wide-eyed dik-diks, who typically travel in pairs, may be seen leaping into the scrubby brush, and overgrown hares can be seen sprinting on their spindly legs. Giraffes stroll leisurely across the broad grassy slopes, while herds of zebras are typically observed grazing. The first part of your journey will take you through the forested savannah, where giraffes and buffalos can often be observed. As you climb Mount Meru, you will come across woodlands that are covered in Spanish moss and sprinkled with enormous lobelias. The everlasting flowers never leave the mountain desert, and the hikers with their expertly hooved klipspringers indicate their progress. With its rocky summit strewn with peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro is a striking sight at dawn.
THE BEST TIME FOR GAME VIEWING IN ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK
The best time to see wildlife in the park is from the end of June through the end of October, which is known as the dry season. Since most animals congregate close to known water sources and the vegetation is not dense, it is much simpler to spot the creatures.