Arusha National Park is only a few Kilometers from Arusha and is a small but beautiful park set in the shadow of Mount Meru. There is a sting of lakes in this park and canoeing has recently been added to the tourist activities in this park
One lake known as 'Small Momela' successful launched the canoeing safari this year. This is a great way to see the park from a new perspective. It is good to get out of your vehicle and actually get some exercise and get 'down and personal' with the African Bush. This chance to view the animals in their natural habitat should not be passed by.
The Tanzania Government have handed the operation of this canoeing safari to an Arusha based company called Green Footprints Adventure. These canoes can be booked direct or though your operator, or even you driver/guide will be able to organize this mini-adventure for you.
From the lake you are able to get a closer look at hippos and the amazing bird life that normally would go unnoticed from your safari vehicle.
Even though this park is very accessible the parks authority claim only 7,000 visitors in 1995 this has dramatically increased to an expected 50,000 for this year. Lying between the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru, Arusha National Park is outstandingly beautiful, with a wide range of habitats, form a string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched through the highland mountain forest to the imposing summit of Mount Meru at 4,500 meters above sea level.
The forest contains a wealth of birds and other animals like the bushbuck which are easily glimpsed between ancient cedar trees or the striking black and white colobus monkeys climbing along their branches.
The interesting geology of the area is reflected in the impressive view of the ash cone and cliff face leading to the summit of Mount Meru. Those who ascend the summit of the mountain are rewarded with unparalleled views of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Rift Valleys.
I would recommend a visit to this most underrated park. It is very accessible to any itinerary based in the north of Tanzania.