Arusha travel guide

Arusha Tourism | Arusha Guide

You're Going to Love Arusha

Arusha sits in expansive volcanic land in the foothills of Mount Meru. Viewing Arusha simply as a safari destination is not doing it justice, as it offers superb views of Kilimanjaro, beautiful scenery, and amazing architecture. Whether you're traveling on a budget or have some money to splurge, Arusha has something for everyone.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Arusha

1. Intriguing Culture

Arusha consists of over 100 nationalities, making it diverse in terms of culture. You can also participate in cultural tourism program where trips are organized to visit nearby villages.

2. Amazing Architecture and Historical Monuments

Find out about Tanzania's cultural, social, and political history by visiting the Arusha Declaration Museum. Visit the Natural History Museum off Boma Road to learn all about human evolution.

3. Breathtaking Landscape

Mount Meru provides a beautiful backdrop to Arusha. Marvel at the waterfalls of Arusha National Park or enjoy a camel safari on the lower slopes.

4. An Exciting Food Scene

Dine on Nyama Choma (roast meat), enjoy some biryani, pilau, or chapati. Look for delicious roadside snacks on the streets of Arusha or visit the Arusha Farmers Market for a wide selection of Tanzanian delicacies.

5. Quiet Scenery

Take a stroll in the Themi Living Gardens and sample some organic food at the eco-restaurant. Stop at the Mulberry and sip some cocktails as you watch the sun set, listen to the birds, and relax on the comfy day beds.

What to do in Arusha

1. Experience The Local Wildlife

Established in 1959, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and boasts a wealth of majestic animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos, as well as herds of wildebeests and zebras, which migrate annually through the plains. Other highlights include the hominid fossils in the Olduvai Gorge, which date back millions of years. The area is part of the Serengeti and borders the southern plains.

2. Ascend The Highest African Mountain

The highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano rising 16,100 feet. First climbed by Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889, the mountain belongs to the Kilimanjaro National Park and is popular among climbers, hikers and safari enthusiasts. The mountain has three volcanic cones - Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. There are seven official trekking routes, including Lemosho, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, Umbra and Machame, which is considered the most scenic and steepest.

3. Explore The Wetlands

The sixth largest park in Tanzania, Tarangire National Park, located in the Manyara Region, is divided by the Tarangire River. Known for its large populations of elephants, zebras, wildebeests and cape buffaloes, which are attracted to its fresh water reserves, the landscape also features Acacia and Commiphora-Combretum woodlands and Baobab trees. Stretching over 1,100 square miles, the area also features waterbucks, giraffes, impalas, and vervet monkeys, as well as predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.

4. Watch The Exotic Birds

Founded in 1960, Lake Manyara National Park, a 130 square mile park, is a renowned bird watching and information center. Consisting of 130 square miles of arid land, forests, and a 77 square mile soda-lake during the wet season, the park is home to leopards, East African lions, leopards cheetahs, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles, hippos, Masai giraffes, impalas and zebras. Near the hippo pond, visitors are free to observe the animals from outside their vehicles in safety. The center also contains a popular gift shop.

5. Shop The Local Treasures

A place where the culture and creativity of Tanzania's more than 120 tribes is gathered together, the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre features a collection of carvings, gemstones, artifacts, clothing, jewelry and books. Established in 1994, the center is popular among visitors looking for souvenirs, including beads, precious and semi-precious jewelry, spices, antiques and wood carvings. Among the stones offered by the center, guests will find rubies, emeralds, tsavorite, diamonds, sapphires and opals, as well as tanzanite - a rare violet stone indigenous to the country. The center also showcases artworks, such as sculptures, contemporary art and paintings from local and international artists, as well as a traditional restaurant.

1. Experience The Local Wildlife

Established in 1959, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and boasts a wealth of majestic animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos, as well as herds of wildebeests and zebras, which migrate annually through the plains. Other highlights include the hominid fossils in the Olduvai Gorge, which date back millions of years. The area is part of the Serengeti and borders the southern plains.

2. Ascend The Highest African Mountain

The highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano rising 16,100 feet. First climbed by Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889, the mountain belongs to the Kilimanjaro National Park and is popular among climbers, hikers and safari enthusiasts. The mountain has three volcanic cones - Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. There are seven official trekking routes, including Lemosho, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, Umbra and Machame, which is considered the most scenic and steepest.

3. Explore The Wetlands

The sixth largest park in Tanzania, Tarangire National Park, located in the Manyara Region, is divided by the Tarangire River. Known for its large populations of elephants, zebras, wildebeests and cape buffaloes, which are attracted to its fresh water reserves, the landscape also features Acacia and Commiphora-Combretum woodlands and Baobab trees. Stretching over 1,100 square miles, the area also features waterbucks, giraffes, impalas, and vervet monkeys, as well as predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.

4. Watch The Exotic Birds

Founded in 1960, Lake Manyara National Park, a 130 square mile park, is a renowned bird watching and information center. Consisting of 130 square miles of arid land, forests, and a 77 square mile soda-lake during the wet season, the park is home to leopards, East African lions, leopards cheetahs, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles, hippos, Masai giraffes, impalas and zebras. Near the hippo pond, visitors are free to observe the animals from outside their vehicles in safety. The center also contains a popular gift shop.

5. Shop The Local Treasures

A place where the culture and creativity of Tanzania's more than 120 tribes is gathered together, the Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre features a collection of carvings, gemstones, artifacts, clothing, jewelry and books. Established in 1994, the center is popular among visitors looking for souvenirs, including beads, precious and semi-precious jewelry, spices, antiques and wood carvings. Among the stones offered by the center, guests will find rubies, emeralds, tsavorite, diamonds, sapphires and opals, as well as tanzanite - a rare violet stone indigenous to the country. The center also showcases artworks, such as sculptures, contemporary art and paintings from local and international artists, as well as a traditional restaurant.

Where to Eat in Arusha

Visit Africafe coffee house for amazing coffee, burgers, salads, and delicious pastries. Visit the Café Bamboo restaurant for Indian, Western, and traditional African dishes. Lunch will cost you TZS 50,000 and dinner typically in the range of TZS 100,000.

When to visit Arusha

Arusha in August
Estimated hotel price
£13
1 night at 3-star hotel
Arusha in August
Estimated hotel price
£13
1 night at 3-star hotel

High season in Arusha falls between June to September, when you can easily spot wild animals. The driest season is from June through October, while the long rainy season begins from March to May.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Arusha

Plane

Visitors getting in to Arusha can enter via Kilimanjaro International Airport or the Arusha Airport. You can access Arusha via a shuttle for TZS 22,355 or by taking a cab, which will cost you TZS 111,775.

Car

You can choose to drive in from Nairobi or Dar-es-Salaam via the Nairobi-Mombasa Road.

Bus

You can take an express coach from Nairobi to Arusha. From Dar-es-Salaam, it will take you 12 hours. Arusha has direct bus services available from Tanga, Mwanza, and Lushoto. You can take a shuttle bus between Arusha and Moshi.

Airports near Arusha

Airlines serving Arusha

Lufthansa
Good (1,378 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,466 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,904 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (298 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,074 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,656 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (357 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (932 reviews)
Iberia
Good (667 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (196 reviews)
Finnair
Good (450 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (155 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (630 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,136 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (127 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (300 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Excellent (30 reviews)
RwandAir
Good (1 reviews)
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Where to stay in Arusha

Luxurious lodges in and around the city offer stunning scenery and a world-class standard of accommodation; Arusha Hotel and Impala Hotel are some of the hotels located in the center of the town.

Popular neighbourhoods in Arusha

Kijenge - Kijenge is three miles away from Arusha and features a variety of attractions such as Lake Duluti, a crater lake.

Sakina - a newly built area on the slopes of Mount Meru, Sakina is strategically located on the northern side of Arusha. It provides a quick getaway to Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Tengeru - Tengeru is easily accessible by bus; try grinding your own coffee or just wander the streets and marvel at this beautiful village.

Where to stay in popular areas of Arusha

Most booked hotels in Arusha

Green Mountain Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
£38+
Mount Meru Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
£143+
Natron Palace Hotel
Good (7.3, Good reviews)
£28+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Arusha

Public Transportation

The main mode of transportation in Arusha are the minibuses, commonly referred to as daladala. They are cheap; any trip around town costs TZS 400.

Taxi

Taxis are readily available and a trip within the city center should cost you TZS 5,000.

Car

Arusha has plenty of car rental companies although most of them prefer to provide their own drivers. If you wish to drive, exercise great caution as the roads can be difficult to navigate to those unfamiliar with the area. You can rent a simple car for TZS 55,000 per day or an SUV for TZS 110,000 per day.

The Cost of Living in Arusha

Shopping Streets

Arusha offers a wealth of traditional artifacts between India Road and the Clock Tower. Explore the Central Market, which boasts an array of African curios and Maasai blankets at a reasonable price.

Groceries and Other

Arusha has big supermarket brands like Nakumatt and Clock Tower Supermarkets that provide a wide range of fresh and organic produce. You can also visit the Central Market for some groceries. A week of groceries will cost you TZS 250,000.

Cheap meal
£1.65
A pair of jeans
£25.39
Single public transport ticket
£0.15
Cappuccino
£1.41
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