Arusha city, which is a bustling metropolis located below Mount Meru, is surrounded by some of Africa’s incredible landscapes and national parks. Nestled on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, the city enjoys a mild climate and is near the world-famous Serengeti National Park. A short distance away is the Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, the site for the earliest man and Lake Manyara.
Arusha is a major commercial and diplomatic hub, as well as being referred to as the safari capital of Africa. It has been the de facto capital of the East African Community since 1970, and since 1994, has hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This is a multicultural city with a large African population, large Arab and Indian population and a sizable chunk of the Caucasian stock. The many Europeans and Americans who reside in Arusha are engaged in diplomatic work and complement a fast-growing tourist industry. On the cultural front, the city offers an enviable opportunity for shopping authentic souvenirs including the colourful Tinga Tinga works, Makonde woodcarvings, and Swahili fabrics.</p[>
One of the most valuable and beautiful gems to come out of Africa is the Tanzanite gemstone and is available in all jewellery shops in Arusha and compete favourably well with other varieties that include Tourmaline, Ruby, and Rhodolite.
Arusha is steeped in history and hosts cultural events like most towns and cities. Musical and arts events are a significant attraction in the town and are organized by various groups. Wherever you are in Arusha, you will find many historical sites of interest that will keep you spellbound for days.
Many people view Arusha as the safari capital of the world. Or a stopover en route for hiking the snow-capped Kilimanjaro Mountain. However, this bustling East Africa skyscraper shouldn’t be sidestepped. Located halfway between Cape Town and Cairo, the city represents the middle of the old British Colonial Establishment which is marked by a monumental clock tower. Take a stroll and unearth the chaotic, dusty exterior and you’ll find plenty of reasons to explore Arusha. Here are the top four:
Arusha is home to over 100 nationalities and is a hotbed of Maasai, Swahili, and Hadzabe. Muslims and Christians live peacefully together, and locals greet you warmly in Swahili: Shikamoo! There are many excursions organized to nearby villages to meet indigenous tribes.
A visit to the Arusha Central Market is an eye opener to a glimpse of the Tanzanian way of life and will overwhelm your senses. Here is a chance to come across exotic fruits, tea, and coffee, nuts, and spices. The meats section offers a variety of beef, mutton, poultry, and fish.
Arusha boasts a good selection of coffee shops that serve cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and iced lattes. Check out places like Jambo Coffee House and AfriCafe if you’re a serious coffee connoisseur.
And when it comes to food choices, Arusha spoils you for choice: Sit among Maasai men at Discovery Restaurant and chew down Nyama Choma (Roast meat and cooked maize meal), Pilau, Chapati, and Biryani. At Khan’s BBQ there is a cult following for their “Chicken on the Bonnet.” And other food plates with an assortment of Indian curries, and salads.
If you’re keen to follow Tanzania’s political, social and cultural life, then the Arusha Museum is an excellent place to start. Information about the country’s struggle for independence, the colonial past and human evolution can be found along with a myriad of African art, sculptures, and artefacts.
Read our article Most Famous Places To Visit In Arusha to know more about Arusha