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ARUSHA NATIONAL PARK

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TANZANIA
LOCALE

Area (SqKm):542
Altitude (m):1500-4566
# Species*:265
# Excl Vagrants*:265
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:5
Species/100 SqKm*:48.9
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Savanna, swamps, lakes, rainforest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Arusha National Park is the smallest national park in Tanzania but offers varied landscape, mammal viewing, and birding. The most prominent feature is Mt Meru, rising to 4566 m (14,980 ft) above the Serengeti Ndogo savanna. The varied landscape includes forested mountain slopes, two ancient craters filled with swamps and lush savanna, and open savanna. The park is especially noted for the large concentration of Masai Giraffes, which are unusually tame. There are also numerous other savanna mammals, though lions and other big cats are absent. The photogenic Blue Monkey is common in the evergreen forests on the lower slopes of Ngurdoto Crater. The Guereza Black-and-white Colobus Monkey can be found in the tree-tops. Some 300 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Verreaux's Eagles and Bearded Vultures typically nest on the Red Crescent cliffs, among the world's highest. Lesser Flamingos abound in the alkaline Momella Lakes. The near endemic and very localized Taveta Golden-Weaver nests in emergent vegetation along the shores of nearby fresh-water Lake Longil. The rare and poorly described Nairobi Pipit, a subspecies of Long-billed Pipit can be found along the road not far inside the park entrance. Driving up the jeep track toward the climber's hut on Mt. Meru offers a nice altitudinal transect. Around 2000m the habitat changes and one can find higher elevation species such as Red-fronted Parrot, Hartlaub's Turaco, and Abyssinian Crimsonwing.

LOCATION OF SITE

Arusha National Park is located 35 km. east of Arusha town in northern Tanzania. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the park from town.