A full day can be spent at this park. It takes about 2 hours to drive to the park from Marangu, and one can then spend several hours driving around the park’s main attractions of Ngurdoto crater, and the Momella lakes which teem with bird life and where hippo can also be seen. Towering over the park is Mount Meru. This is Africa’s fifth highest mountain, often ignored because of the proximity of Kilimanjaro, but a fascinating and beautiful mountain in its own right. It is possible to drive right up close to the crater floor, but one has to choose either to do that or to rive around the park’s other attractions, since there is not enough time to do both in a day trip from Marangu. As far as cost is involved, to hire a four wheel drive vehicle for a day usually costs about $150 to $200, and daily park entrance fees are $45 per adult (16 and over). If a party numbers around 4 people, this can be quite manageable financially – many do this on a free day after climbing Kilimanjaro and before flying home. There are a number of Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in Tanzania (formerly German East Africa) and Kenya from the First World War campaign. There is one in Moshi that may be of interest to some and another in Taveta on the Kenya side of the border that could easily be visited en route or back from Tsavo West.
Markets are always of interest and there is always a market at one location or another. On Tuesdays and Fridays there is a banana market at Mwika, some 20 kms from the hotel. The people here, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, are the biggest consumers of plantains as a staple in the world. The Mwika market sends many tons of bananas to other parts of the country. A visit here can be tied to a Chala visit.