Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.
Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east. Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometre axis of Africa's most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east.
The park is just a few kilometres north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city. It is also 58 km from Moshi and 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
It is not safe to drink tap water in Tanzania. In fact, it is advisable to use tap water only for showering or washing your hands. To avoid health problems, use only bottled or filtered water for drinking and brushing your teeth.
Wildlife viewing in Arusha National Park is good throughout the year but is at its best in the Dry season, from late June to October. The beautiful scenery is most impressive in the Wet season, from November to May, although March and April can be very wet and grey. The clear skies from December through February give you the best views of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro.