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Arusha National Park, Tanzania

This park is certainly no Serengeti, and you will not find any lions on the slopes of Mount Meru, while leopards and elephants are extremely rare; however, Arusha National Park is a perfect day-trip from the dusty Arusha town, and presents some great hiking trails and bird-watching spots. As an alternative to the great Kilimanjaro climbing adventure (or as a complementary hike) you can organize a three-day trek to the top of Mt. Meru, or spend one day navigating smaller hills around it, listening to the sound of waterfalls, and relaxing by mountain rivers. Dry season (June to November) is the best time for climbing and camping.

 

At dusk and dawn, when the sky is most clear, you can even see the snow-capped tip of Kilimanjaro far on the horizon. One other attraction of Arusha Nationals Park are Momela lakes, their waters changing  color between different hues of green and blue and ochre as the cloud move up in the sky.

 

Buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, herds of zebras and waterbucks are permanent inhabitants of this place, and abundant greenery creates perfect habitat for birds and small animals. During summer, the slopes of Arusha National Park are covered in wild flowers. Thick forest grows at the bottom of Ngurdoto Crater, and many travelers wander in to search for wild and loud colobus monkeys jumping in the treetops.

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