Arusha safari rewards you with superb sightings whilst helping you recover from jet-lag.
Arusha safari offers a great introduction to the thrilling wilderness adventures of the northern safari circuit.
Experience the best day trip safari to Arusha National Park
A popular day trip from Arusha before embarking on your safari circuit, this small national park offers a calm and quiet space for enjoying the richness of Tanzanian wildlife. At a laid-back pace, you can take the time to look up into the canopy and spot the acrobatics of the rare black and white colobus monkeys, as well as playful blue monkeys and the dazzling colors of turacos and trogons.
If the three-day trek up Mount Meru isn’t for you, you can enjoy a relaxing exploration of its lower slopes and long trails that wind around crystal-clear mountain streams and cascading waterfalls.
Can I see wildlife on safari in Arusha National Park?
The Arusha National Park is home to many primates, including velvet monkeys, baboons, white and red colobus, and even blue monkeys. It also has the highest concentration of giraffes in Africa. The common wildlife seen during your safari experience in Arusha National Park includes giraffe, zebra, hippo, waterbuck, buffalo, bushbuck, and warthog, to mention a few.
Leopards spotted in Arusha Safari Park:
There may be no lions to be seen here, and elephants are uncommon, but you might be lucky enough to see some elegant leopards and spotted hyenas in the early morning and late afternoon.
Flamingos & Other Birds of Arusha National Park
While there are more than 400 species of birds, flamingos are the top highlight. The tranquil greens and blues of the Momela Lakes often provide a backdrop for thousands of vibrant flamingos, as well as a rich diversity of migrant waterfowl, and both giraffes and zebras graze on the grassy hills.
Canoeing and bird-watching experience at Lake Momella:
This unique experience will give you a chance to come up close and personal with birdlife as you glide across the smooth surface of Lake Momella. The canoeing adventure takes 1.5 hours, offering unique sightings of rarely seen birds such as Darters, Giant kingfishers, Fish eagles and hundreds of cattle egrets, only to mention a few.
Guided Walking Safari in Arusha National Park & Mount Meru Trekking
The striking façade of Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second-highest mountain, is the result of a massive volcanic blast that destroyed the eastern flank some 250,000 years ago. Your ascent to the summit will take you on a journey from dry forests to dense mountain rainforests and give way to scrubland.
Higher up, heath and moorland take over until all that’s left is the barren alpine desert. The changing wildlife is equally diverse and impressive, offering regular encounters with big game, such as elephants and buffalo, and you may even spot some leopards as you climb. Of course, it’s essential to be guided by an experienced mountain expert and accompanied by an armed park ranger.
The slopes, the summit, and the ash cone of Mount Meru dominate this small park, capped with lush highland forests of ancient fig trees. When the clouds clear on the eastern horizon, you might even get a glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro.
Ready to start planning a tailor-made safari to Arusha National Park? Our experts make planning your Tanzania safari experience a walk in the park. To help you with trip planning, browse our travel guide to find expert advice on safari in Arusha. Get inspired with our sample itineraries and let our Wito experts customize a dream trip just for you!
Want to explore Arusha National Park for a wildlife safari? Here are the best months to go.
The best to enjoy maximum game viewing is during the dry season, from June through October. The park becomes a paradise for bird lovers from December till March (views of Mount Kilimanjaro from Arusha National Park are impressive during this period). The best time to visit Arusha National Park is from March through June if you want to climb Mount Meru.
The roads in Arusha National Park become inaccessible during the heavy rainy season, so we do not recommend a safari in Arusha National Park during the wet months of April and May.
This is what your typical safari in Arusha National Park would look like:
Depending on where you’re staying while in Arusha, a Wito Africa private safari guide will meet and greet you at your accommodation and transfer you to Arusha National Park, where you’ll begin your safari.
Our game drives are flexible depending on your preferences, so feel free to start your daily safari anytime you want. If you prefer to do a full-day game drive, we will provide you with a packed lunch so you can break whenever you would like to enjoy a classic safari picnic lunch made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
You will also have a chance to do a private guided walking safari (optional), where you will encounter a variety of birds and animals, big and small. After a full-day safari in Arusha National Park, you will be taken to your handpicked safari camp or lodge, where you will unwind and savour some delicious food and sundowners.
How to get to Arusha National Park?
Arusha National Park is easy to access by road transfer from Arusha City, Kilimanjaro, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara. Below are approximate driving times:
- Arusha City to Arusha National Park: only 45 minute’s drive
- Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City: 1-hour drive
- Arusha National Park to Tarangire or Lake Manyara: 2.5-3 hours drive
- Arusha National Park to Serengeti: 6-7 hours drive (maximize your wildlife viewing in Serengeti by taking a direct flight from Arusha)
Since Zanzibar, Mikumi, Ruaha & Selous are a bit far away from Arusha, we recommend you take a quick flight if you wish to combine north, south and Zanzibar.
Ready to start planning? Select your preferred time to travel, then let a Wito Africa safari expert create an itinerary that meets your needs for a safari and incorporates the highlights of that season. We can save you time, money, headaches and heartache by helping you plan your dream safari. To start planning your safari in Arusha, please call us at 1-315.805.4040 or send our safari experts a message via email.
How to Plan Your Arusha National Park Safari Like a Pro
There are many factors to consider when planning your Arusha National Park safari in Tanzania. Deciding which reliable tour operator (s) to use for your dream African safari experience is not an easy task. With a sea of general online tour operators, it is hard to find the ONE that truly speaks to your discerning tastes and genuinely understands your travel needs and expectations.
Start by gathering enough information to help you decide on the best destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can start your Arusha National Park safari from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and even Serengeti. During the dry season, Arusha National Park has so much to offer. We suggest you spend at least one day in this lovely park.
Similarly to many other national parks in Tanzania, Arusha National Park offers a unique setting for safari-goers to stay inside or outside the park. You will be staying in some of the most charming safari camps and lodges, where you will unwind and enjoy delicious food and sundowners.
With several accommodation options to choose from, we can guarantee that your safari experience will be meticulously created just for you with your specific interests, travel style and schedule. Everything will be tailored to your preference, allowing you to enjoy a perfect balance of comfort, adventure and maximum wildlife viewing. We will only recommend the places we have stayed in and inspected thoroughly, and we can guarantee you will be safe.
If you choose to explore the beauty of Arusha National Park on game drives, we highly recommend using qualified local safari guides. With our personalized trips, you will have control over your experience and enjoy all the flexibility you need to plan your daily game drives with your private safari guide.
You can decide when to start your trip and how long your daily game drives should last, as long as it is within the time set by the national park authorities (the park gates usually open at 06h00 and close at 18h30). Ultimately, you will have an opportunity to choose what you would like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you would like to go.
At Wito Africa, we do not limit game drives by restricting drivers on the mileage they can travel per day. Therefore, we are happy to offer you an extensive all-day private game drive with a picnic lunch break between your game drives.
As a standard offering for all our experiences, we provide all meals, bottled drinking water, tea/coffee and juices at breakfast for the duration of your safari. We can accommodate all kinds of dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, and kosher to pescatarian.
Moreover, bottled drinking water and soft drinks will be readily available throughout your safari experience with us. We have a stocked mini-fridge in the vehicle that will cool drinks whilst you enjoy your uninterrupted wildlife viewing from the comfort of your customized safari jeep.
Our unique approach to offering a stress-free safari experience starts with ensuring that you are well-informed about the specific requirements of the country you visit in hopes that you will know exactly what to expect. Understanding how a safari operates, what is involved before and during, and what key points to consider when booking ensures an unforgettable safari adventure. Topics like when to visit, how to get there, and what to pack are addressed by safari experts.
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Ultimately, you will choose exactly what you’d like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you’d like to go.
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Our guaranteed trips are packed with wildlife encounters, sightseeing, and activities that all reﬂect your group’s focus and interests. Most importantly, you will make life-long friends and memories you will never forget!
WHY TRAVELERS CHOOSE US
At Wito Africa Safaris, giving our customers unbiased advice and exceptional safari experiences is what we live and breathe. Our Africa safari experts are well-traveled and have in-depth first-hand knowledge of the places they suggest. To make sure these offerings live up to the expectations of our guests, the experts at Wito Africa routinely inspect new lodges, experiences, and activities. Nothing beats current, pertinent travel advice obtained directly from a local expert. The Wito Africa 'dream team' will be there for you every step of the way to ensure that even your smallest needs are met and no detail is overlooked, so you can embrace your experience with complete peace of mind.
WHERE TO STAY IN ARUSHA NP
Just for you, we have hunted out the very best lodges, villas, camps and even treehouses in Tanzania to suit every budget, itinerary and personal preference. Trust us – you’re going to be spoilt for choice! An awe-inspiring setting is just the beginning… Every one of our recommended accommodation options will blow you away with personal service, attention to detail and various levels of luxury.
Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge
Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge is one of our top picks because of its unique character and the range of facilities they offer. Situated on the grounds of a coffee plantation, we love how the wooden chalets seem to nuzzle into the lush gardens. We prefer the standard plantation rooms to the luxury suites, as we find them more tasteful, just as comfortable, and less pricey.
We particularly like to use Arusha Coffee Lodge when clients fly out of Arusha Airport the next day, as the morning transfer is only ten minutes. This is also an excellent spot for buying extra unique gifts for friends and family before you head off, with a collection of boutiques selling arts and crafts, jewellery, clothes, coffee, cakes and traditional Swahili food.
Arusha, Planet Lodge
Nestled in the heart of Arusha, Planet Lodge will captivate you with the natural beauty of the Tanzanian landscape. Each chalet is tastefully decorated with African decor creating a peaceful immersion in the colors and culture of Africa. Distinctive guest rooms feature oversize panoramic windows, allowing the Tanzanian sunshine to greet you each morning.
Gust chalets are powered by solar and grid electricity, keyed entry, beautiful artisan bedding and spacious mosquito net. Room amenities include a laptop-size safe, a desk & chair, a telephone, a private bathroom with a solar-powered shower, and a balcony to unwind or wake up to singing birds. Our friendly housekeepers and room service staff keep your room tidy and stocked with fresh linens daily.
Set in flowering gardens and surrounded by coffee estates, Katambuga House is an island of serenity.
Katambuga House is an elegant and stylish eight-room lodge. The property is set on expansive grounds on the Endurance Estate near Arusha. With attention to detail, and caring staff offering excellent dining, Katambuga house is a destination in its own right.
The lodge sits in an area of expansive tropical gardens. The peaceful location and welcoming pool will restore your sense of inner calm. You can see countless indigenous birds when you stroll through the gardens and fields, with Mount Meru dominating the skyline to the north. At night wonder at the multitudes of stars above.
Katambuga House offers accommodation for both safari-goers and business travelers alike and is within a 10-minute drive of Arusha’s domestic airport. Arusha town is within easy reach of the lodge. The location serves as a perfect starting point for a safari to the famous national parks of Tanzania.
Casually elegant, the cozy main House features a selection of original photography and African art. The main House features four bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. The adjacent two-family cottages offer two additional interconnecting rooms each, all with private bathrooms. Large king-size beds or twin queen-size beds are available. Katambuga House welcomes up to twenty guests and can be reserved on an exclusive basis.
The stylishly decorated rooms offer a high standard of accommodation and service. All rooms open up to covered verandas, furnished with lounging chairs, overlooking the tropical gardens and the grand views further afield, making for a perfect place to relax before or after a safari. Airy and well-lit, the rooms offer all amenities to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. You will find, in all rooms, an electric combination safe, hairdryers, ceiling fans, mosquito nets, a writing desk, and a comfortable sitting corner.
All rooms include a full breakfast served in the main room; toasted bread and homemade rolls, a selection of 3 different kinds of cereal, milk, yoghurt, a selection of seasonal fruits, raspberries, jams, bacon, sausages, and eggs made to taste are the very basics for starting your day in perfection. We provide our guests daily with unlimited fresh drinking water, fresh linens and room towels, pool towels, daily maid service, free wifi, and a laundry service on request.
With less than a 10-minute drive from Arusha airport, the lodge is conveniently situated as a starting point for a North Tanzanian safari.
Legendary Lodge Arusha
Located in the heart of lush tropical gardens, the cottages of Legendary Lodge are fully equipped to a high standard, and all have private verandahs, offering great views of Mt. Meru. We recommend Legendary Lodge for guests who’d prefer to enjoy their own space, privacy and flexibility.
At Legendary, you can choose whether to take your meals in The Old Farmhouse, on the terrace, or in the comfort of your private cottage. There are two designated family cottages, which work great for families travelling with younger children. This is also a convenient location for our clients as the transfer to Arusha Airport is just a ten-minute drive, and Kilimanjaro International Airport is an hour away.
Onsea House & Machweo Retreat
We love this luxury boutique hotel because it offers more privacy than a lodge, more comfort than a camp, and a level of personal service and attention that you wouldn’t get in a large hotel. Since the opening of Machweo Wellness Retreat & Fine Dining next door, you can enjoy an even greater level of luxury and gourmet indulgence. There are nine rooms, each with five-star amenities and a private balcony so you can take in the views without distraction. This would make a perfect base for your safari, Kilimanjaro trek or beach holiday in Zanzibar, where you can enjoy the extravagance of classic French cuisine and a refreshing refuge at the end of a long day.
Which is the best room at Onsea House & Machweo Retreat?
We would recommend staying in one of these six luxurious cottages for even more of your home comforts. They share the same owners as Onsea House, but we prefer the layout and ambience. Each of the cottages is furnished to a high standard, with satellite TV, WiFi, and even a minibar decorated with stunning African art. Our favorite thing about Machweo is that you get your private terrace, looking out to Mt. Meru and the awe-inspiring African sunset.
Hamerkop House by Lemala
This beautiful private house is managed exclusively by Lemala Camps and Lodges. This private house is located on a wildlife and golf estate, Kiligolf, situated halfway between Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha and offers a great place to start or finish your safari. It is perfect for couples, families or small groups travelling together. Each bedroom is en suite with a private verandah and lounge. The house can be taken on an exclusive use basis or shared and can be booked on a bed and breakfast, half-board, full-board or all-inclusive basis.
Arusha is the gateway to some of Tanzania’s best national parks, and Hamerkop House is a great way to recover from the rigours of your journey to Africa – or to sit and reminisce on your adventures before starting your journey home or beginning your safari experience. Access to Tanzania’s only championship golf course means guests can enjoy a relaxing and incredibly scenic round under the shadow of both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro.
Details and Amenities
- The house enjoys three spacious ensuite rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and private chefs to produce everything from delicious breakfasts to refreshing lunches, afternoon teas and dinners.
- Beautiful garden locations to enjoy sundowner cocktails around the swimming pool, or take a walk to No 16 and enjoy spectacular sundowners with Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro as your backdrop.
- Whether for short or extended stays, there is plenty to do, ranging from early morning horse rides to a round of golf on the 18-hole championship golf course, relax at the Polo Club, take a tour of a fragrant coffee plantation in Arusha or work up a sweat hiking and canoeing around Kilimanjaro and Lake Duluti.
- For those flying out to the bush, you will enjoy access to a private airstrip, Dolly, just 5 mins drive away, which is serviced with daily flight departure all over Tanzania by Auric Air, Coastal and Air Excel, including scheduled flights to the Northern Circuit. It is a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle of Arusha traffic. Simply stepping out of your house to board your flight is an epic memory.
- The staff at Hamerkop offer a very personal service to ensure you have a relaxed stay and cater to all dietary requirements – if notified in advance.
“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.”