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Arusha National Park is on the slopes of Mount Meru and a short drive from Arusha. It can be used as an alternative overnight destination to Arusha on arrival or departure into Tanzania (Kilimanjaro Airport). Worth a short visit.

Arusha National Park is 552 sq km in size and is situated in northern Tanzania, just north east of Arusha town. The reserve offers remarkable natural beauty and protects the slopes of Mount Meru. It is the closest national park to Arusha town and approximately one hour away.

Activities in the park include forest walks, beautiful picnic sites and 3-4 day trips to Mount Meru, the fifth highest peak in Africa, which offers good acclimatisation for Mt. Kilimanjaro. The best time to climb Mt Meru is from June to February however it may rain in November. The best views of Kilimanjaro are between December and February.

Lake Ihema is located in the south of the Akagera National Park in the savannah region of the Eastern province of Rwanda. The Akagera River feeds a complex of a dozen of lakes including Lake Ihema, which is located at an altitude of 1,292 m. It is the biggest lake in the park, it covers an area of about 90 square kilometers, with a depth varying from 5 to 7 metres depending on the area and the season. The eastern lakeshore forms the border between Rwanda and Tanzania.

This park has the very unusual backdrop of the town of Arusha. Seeing game feeding and ambling with the Tanzania's bustling city in the background is quite extraordinary. There are no lions in the park, while leopards are seldom seen, making this park more of an on-foot activity location.