Craters and lakes in Arusha National Park : Momela Lakes. Arusha National Park is home to the seven shallow lakes known as the Momela Lakes, or Momella Lakes: Big Momela, Small Momela, El Kekhotoito, Kusare, Rishateni, Lekandiro, and Tulusia.

Every lake has its own unique spring water source and varies in colour from green to turquoise. These variations are caused by different minerals found in each lake; in fact, even if they are close to one another, each lake has a unique mineral composition that sets it apart from the others. The various algae that grow in each lake also contribute to the lakes’ unique colours.

Alkaline volcanic debris from Mount Meru’s eruption 250,000 years ago generated the Momela Lakes. Zebras and birds can be seen on the banks of the lakes, however animals do not drink from them due to their alkaline waters.

Since the water’s alkaline qualities have drawn thousands of flamingos and other bird species to the craters, bird watching safaris in Tanzania has become a popular pastime around the lakes. Specifically, enormous flocks of pink flamingos, both larger and smaller, cover the beaches of the Great Momela, giving it a pink hue.

Different birds are drawn to different lakes due to the unique mineral and algal composition of each one. Many aquatic birds that are found in the park, both resident and migratory, like the larger pink flamingo, smaller pink flamingo, pelicans, Egyptian geese, guinea fowls, African fish eagles, African jacanas, and many others, find their ideal home in these lakes.

You can go on canoe rides on the lakes as well. You can engage in a unique experience in Tanzania’s North Park by going on a canoe Tanzania safari. Canoes silently traverse the lake, giving you up-close views of the many animal species that call this area home. On a clear day, you can even see the Meru Mount and Kilimanjaro on one side of the lake.

As you move closer to the Ngurdoto crater, you will come across more small lakes like Longil Lake, which is freshwater as opposed to the Momela lakes. Here, you may frequently spot buffalo and waterbucks, who are always found close to the water that they need to survive.

The Tanzania safari tours attractions of Arusha National Park’s Easter region, which includes the Mount Meru forest, include the Momela Lakes.

A picnic area located just west of the Momella lakes, perched on a little hill. This makes it one of the few locations within the Arusha National Park where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Meru, the Ngurudoto Crater, and the Momella Lakes, which are located far below.


Situated close to the Momella lakes in the north-eastern region of Arusha National Park is the Momella lakes viewpoint. In addition, it is the highest point in relation to the nearby grasslands and small trees that make up the majority of the area. It features a few concrete seats where people can sit, albeit they are difficult to see from the road. It’s a quiet spot as well, with just the sporadic far-off noises of the natural world to be heard.

How to get there

By car, it takes 45 minutes to go to the Ngongongare gate and roughly 30 minutes to get to the Ngurudoto museum. Any kind of vehicle can be used, though non-4-x-4 vehicles may occasionally find the final stretch off the main road difficult.

Walking and cycling are other options for getting about, although you might also want to hire a park ranger and speak with the park officials first. Please contact the Focus East Africa Safaris team for additional information about park fees and permits; they have also attended.

Ngurdoto Crater

Located within the Arusha National Park, the Ngurdoto Crater is the caldera of an extinct volcano. It is also referred to as “Little Ngorongoro” because, similar to Ngorongoro, it has evolved into a type of “reserve within the reserve” over time.

Ngurdoto Crater is a volcanic crater located in Tanzania’s Arusha Region. The crater is 100 metres (110 yards) deep and has a maximum diameter of 3.6 km (2.2 mi). The crater floor is a wetland, and the crater is surrounded by vegetation.

Craters and lakes in Arusha National Park
Ngurdoto Crater

This pear-shaped Ngurdoto Crater, which resembles a tiny version of the crater, has five places to observe the mikindu, including the Rock, Buffalo, Glade, and Leitong, which is the highest point. It is easy to observe the lower slope with the human population, Momella Lakes, and the snow-capped top of Mount Kilimanjaro from this location. The Ngurdoto Crater has contributed significantly to the ecosystem, supporting a variety of animals that has called this enormous, breathtaking crater home.

The base is covered with marshy grassland, which is home to several animal species such as head hammers, spur-winged geese, and herons, as well as buffalo, elephants, warthogs, some antelopes, monkeys, baboons, and spotted hyenas.

There are also blue monkeys and baboons in the jungle. Unlike colobus, these animals prefer to spend their days on the ground and only seek cover from trees at night or in the event of a threat. The tiny dik-diks, tragelafo striatum, and timid red duiker may even be visible to you with a little bit of luck. This woodland is home to a variety of birds, including turacos, bee-eaters, and silver cheek hornbills.

In order to conserve and safeguard the crater’s ecosystem, it is not possible to go below it. However, you can walk around the crater rim in a circular route and encounter many observation sites. The lookout locations with the best views are located on the northern edge.

From here, you have a 360-degree view of the park below and, on a clear day, a view of Mount Kilimanjaro.

How to access Ngurdoto Crater

The road leading to the caldera’s edge, which requires a 4×4 vehicle, is encircled by a thick rainforest. It is in this area that there is a greater chance for visitors from Tanzania to see the uncommon white and black colobus, which is frequently the reason behind their decision to visit the Arusha National Park.

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