Sprawling across 552 square kilometres of terrain flecked with dazzling lakes, craters with forested slopes, and the ancient ash cone of Mount Meru is Tanzania’s inimitable Moshi National Park. The park is located just north of the peaceful “coffee” capital of Moshi and has many waterfalls, swamps and natural waterholes attracting wildlife.
The small park is a complete jumble of ecosystems, appealing to visitors wanting to view wildlife in spectacular settings on the northern safari circuit. The park was designed to protect the majestic Mount Meru, which has pride of place on the landscape. The surrounding Momela Lakes draw in abundant birdlife, with plenty of dramatic sightings of flamingo flocks.
Experiences are the order of the day here. From game viewing to trekking up Mount Meru, and canoeing across lakes, Moshi has something for everyone.
Getting to Moshi is easy. It is the gateway town for many safari destinations in the area—in particular Mount Kilimanjaro. The easiest way to get to Moshi National Park is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Moshi National Park is known for its tranquil atmosphere and serene views. The park is more of a retreat than a predator viewing destination, but animals do prosper in the park—in particular primates.
Handsome black and white Colobus monkeys, and silky-smooth Sykes’ monkeys are the most commonly spotted primates in the highland forest areas. The Moma Lakes host thousands of flamingos and attract plenty of general game to its shores. The lakes are the best bet for bird watching and draw-in high numbers of water-birds to their shores.
Bovids and pachyderms are present, and make-up the bulk of the big game sightings. There are prolific buffalo sightings in the area and occasional sightings of forest elephants. Other inhabitants residing in the park include spotted hyena, waterbuck, leopard (rare), civets, bushbuck and duikers. Antelopes are generally spotted while hiking the upper reaches of the national park.
The best time to visit Moshi National Park is in January and February and between June and October. The main activity in Moshi is hiking and walking, which requires clear skies and easily navigable trails, which is not attainable during the summer season. January and February do experience a few showers, but they provide respite from the heat.
From March to May is the wet season, which isn't good for hiking. During summer, the rains pelt down, creating muddy slippery terrain.
The landscape of Moshi is characterised by mountainous terrain, lending itself to some incredibly rewarding hikes. The town of Moshi -is an hour away and is the gateway town for hiking Kilimanjaro.
Moshi region is all about gentle walking safaris, and summiting the breathtaking and unforgettable peaks. Mount Meru is the epicentre of Moshi National Park and is worth climbing. Sweeping vistas of Kilimanjaro, observing the lower slopes teeming with wildlife, and unbelievable views of pristine landscapes are encouragement enough to trek Tanzania’s second-highest mountain.
Guided walking excursions to plummeting waterfalls and shimmering blue waters from the hot springs provide yet another way to uncover the rich natural rewards of this remarkable park. There are picnic spots aplenty and viewpoints at the base of many of the waterfalls.
Visitors shouldn’t forget to explore the main town of Moshi, the coffee capital of Tanzania. It’s here where internationals purchase wholesale coffee, and connoisseurs can visit the coffee-roasting factory in the town centre. Activities in Moshi National Park combine cultural, wildlife viewing and landscape experiences, providing a more holistic safari experience.
The town centre of Moshi is only an hour away from the park, so accommodation options are in abundance—and very varied. Most visitors stay in the town of Moshi and head into the national park for a day trip because it’s so close. Accommodation is typical mountain lodges, backpackers, basic bed and breakfasts, and luxury hotels. Luxury hotels have swimming pools, bars and restaurants; and are generally historical style buildings.