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With an area of just 137 km2, Arusha National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania. Located just 37km outside Arusha town, it is the perfect place to visit for those looking to enjoy a day trip. Often worried about its small size, most visitors to the park expect not to experience much but contrary to this belief the park dazzles with its perfect blend of wildlife and vegetation. On a visit to the park one may expect to see a variety of animals that includes angulates, primates, the occasional carnivore and a rich diversity of resident and migratory bird species. In addition, the park boasts a broad variety of landscapes, ranging from open savannah through acacia scrubland to rainforest and eventually alpine conditions in the higher reaches of Mount Meru. Game viewing can be done in 3 ways here. You can choose to cruise around in a 4×4 vehicle or get personal with nature on walking or canoeing safaris offered at an extra cost.

The terrain of the park ranges from open savannah to tropical rainforest. The most distinctive features that stand out at Arusha National Park are the Ngurdoto Crater in the south east, alkaline Momela Lakes in the north east, the highland montane forest and the rugged mount Meru that stands 4,575 meters above sea level to the west. On clear days, another neighboring giant, Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen towering 5,895 meters to the east from many locations within the park.

Vegetation of the park is correlated to the altitude and geology of the area. Mount Meru is a mixture of lush forests and bare rocks. The Ngurdoto crater which lies in the south east is swampy grassland with dense green forests decorating its rim. The Momella lakes in the north east which are mostly alkaline have varying algal colors and are frequently visited by wading birds, flamingos being the main highlight.

Despite its small size the park has plenty to offer in terms of wildlife. It is rich in variety with the most common sightings being giraffe, cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, elephant, hippos and bushbuck. Primates such as the playful black and white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboons and blue monkey can be seen in different spots around the park. Carnivores, especially the spotted hyena, though not common, may be seen roaming the park occasionally. This makes the national park a popular site for walking and canoeing safaris for those tempted to get closer to nature. Bird life in the park is also rife. With more than 400 bird species habitually co-existing in the park and its vicinity it is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The most famous species found in the park are water fowls, little grebes, eagles, pochards, geese, hamerkop, larks, woodpeckers, kingfishers, silvery cheeked hornbills, herons, secretary bird and the grey parrot. The Narina and bar tailed trogon species are both possible highlights whilst the range of starling species available provide a less gaudy interest. A day trip is highly advised for this park, though not offering much as its other cousins in the northern circuit, it is the perfect place to jumpstart your safari, just to get those wild juices going.

Lying at the foot of mount Meru the park experiences a temperate climate throughout the year. The weather here is variable, influenced by the microclimate present on the slopes of mount Meru where it rains a lot more often than in the surrounding area. You are likely to experience cold mornings and nights with temperatures soaring during the day but hardly ever too hot. Light rainfall is experienced in November and December while heavy rains are experienced in April and May. Dry season starts from June to August and temperatures are at their lowest during these months with July being the coldest. September and October experience no rains and temperatures begin to rise. The sky is usually clear during this period as well.  

Arusha being a tourist hub has a huge volume of accommodation options ranging from budget camping and guesthouses to upmarket luxury boutique hotels and lodges. Self-catering accommodation and apartments are also on offer to long term visitors and new residents within and on the outskirts of the city. With online accommodation services such as AirBnB, it has become relatively easy for one to find accommodation best suited to their needs and taste at a rather fair price as compared to booking into well established lodges and hotels depending on their length of stay.

  • Game drives
  • Walking Safaris
  • Canoeing
  • Birding
  • Mount Meru Climb
  • Photography
  • Waterfall hikes
  • Mount Meru Climbs
  • Picnics


The park is situated 37 kms from Arusha, a small city in Northern Tanzania that is served by two main airports, the domestic Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport

By Road:

  • Transfer time to/from Arusha CBD: 50 minutes
  • Transfer time to/from Arusha Airport: 1 hr 10 minutes
  • Transfer time to/from Kilimanjaro Airport : 1hr 20 minutes

COVID – 19: Nisimulie Africa SOP’s

In light of the world opening up slowly amidst the current pandemic, we have been preparing to welcome tourists back to Tanzania by making changes to the way we provide our services. New SOPs are in place for every touch point and guest experience that characterizes your stay with us as your esteemed hosts. Our SOPs will be updated in line with the Government of Tanzania’s instructions to the tourism and hospitality industry. Our priority is to ensure that we provide the safest possible environment for our guests while providing top-notch safari experiences.


Standard Operating Procedures

1.     To keep social distancing, safari vehicles with 6-window seats will be redesigned to take only 4 people in the passenger cabin. Safari vehicles with 6-window seats will still be available for families wishing to travel together in one vehicle

2.   The driver-guide will be at hand to oversee guests observe the recommended physical distancing at park entry gates, museums, picnic sites, and while checking in at accommodation facilities.

3.   City transfer and safari vehicles will be regularly disinfected before picking up clients, especially the high-touch surfaces and seats

4.   Sanitizers (anti-microbial agents) will be provided in the vehicle for guests' use

5.   The driver-guide will take necessary personal protection precautions at all times. Guests are encouraged to come with their own masks; packaged masks will be available at an extra cost.

6.   Health condition of driver-guides will be monitored for not less than a week before being assigned to take clients on safari, including measuring body oxygen level (recommended 95% and above) and body temperature not exceeding 37.5 degrees centigrade.

7.   There will be three health centers dedicated to COVID-19 rapid response and support network; one center will be in Arusha town (Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre), one in Karatu near Ngorongoro, and the third in central Serengeti at Seronera. Ambulances will be on standby.

8.   For clients needing more medical attention, Nisimulie Africa Tours and Travel will arrange evacuation by Flying Doctors. The Flying Doctors package covers evacuation to a hospital in Nairobi. We can also arrange evacuation to Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a fine facility with high rate of recovery for COVID-19 patients. The evacuation to Dar es Salaam will involve some extra charges to be met by the patient. Clients are required to have medical insurance to cover hospitalization expenses. 

9.   The welcome briefing to guests will include details of our safety and hygiene measures in place and what is required of guests during their stay (including the use of masks and gloves and keeping safe distances from other guests).

10. Not limiting these procedures to ourselves, we work with other third-party suppliers who ensure and adhere to the set international standards of travel as defined by the Ministry of Tourism and WHO.


Game drives 

·      A maximum of four people will be permitted per vehicle with the exception of groups that   are travelling together.

·      Guides will wear face masks and gloves on arrival at the airstrip, when in the main area of the airstrip and when handling guests’ luggage.

·      Guests must also wear facemasks at the airstrip; however, this is optional while on the game drive.

·      Once the group has left the airstrip, the guide will remove the face mask and gloves to speak with guests, as the safety risk is greatly reduced outside of the airstrip.

·      Game drives will take place in safari vehicles, as usual, which will be disinfected after each game drive.

·      Hand sanitizer will be available for guests and guides and is to be used on arrival at the airstrip, on boarding the vehicle and throughout the game drive.

·      Guests are asked to sensibly practice social distancing throughout the game drive and if meals are served.


Communal Areas:

·      Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the camps and soap and individual hand towels will always be available in public bathrooms.

·      At the Bar: The barmen will wear facemask and gloves to handle drinks and snacks and serve on a tray. 

·      A staff member is assigned to regular sanitization duties of surfaces (including door handles, metallic surfaces, counters, etc).

·      Social distancing rules apply, and seating will be arranged to ensure at least one-meter distance between guests.

·      Dining:  All surfaces will be disinfected after each meal.

·      Pool water (where available) will be monitored to maintain a chlorine level between 1 to 3 parts per million and a pH level between 6.8 and 7.4 in order to provide a virus free experience.

·      In sitting areas and on sofas:

·      Guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing.

·      Around campfire: guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing.

·      Disposable towels and bins will be placed in strategic areas.

·      In harmony with our vision, our team has had a lot of fun working hard together to put our SOPs in place to ensure the safety of our guests. We are now ready to warmly welcome our guests back to Tanzania.


“Nature took a rest from the usual and is now more exquisite”

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