Arusha is known by the locals as “A” town and is situated near Mount Meru which is the 5th tallest mountain in Africa. Arusha’s altitude gives it a pleasant atmosphere and lush greenery. Arusha is also the place where the wonderful Hollywood movie Hatari was filmed. Many people over the years have Arusha on their bucket list just to visit the place where this iconic movie was filmed.
To get to Arusha you can make use of two main airports. The first is Kilimanjaro international airport and is located around 60 kilometers from the city center. From the airport, you can take a $50 taxi ride or make use of the much cheaper public means at $10.
Also, you can access Arusha via the local Arusha Municipal Airport. It is a great choice if you plan to fly in from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam.
There’s plenty to see and do in Arusha one of which is the local wildlife. Mount Meru National Park is on the doorstep. Take a guided walk, get up close to giraffe, buffalo, antelope and other species. The Ngorongoro conservation area is only a couple of hours drive and is an animal haven with healthy numbers of lions, buffalo, elephants, leopards, zebra among others.
Of the main tourist attractions in this area is the nearby Mount Kilimanjaro. You can take a hike to its peak at 16,100 feet as you join up with other enthusiastic climbers.
Tarangire national park is Tanzania’s sixth largest park. This is a wetlands area with huge numbers of big game such as buffalo and zebra. The landscape has plenty of baobab trees. Top predators here include lions, cheetah, and leopards.
If you are a bird lover, then Arusha is the perfect location to do some incredible bird watching. Lake Manyara national park, for example, is a haven for different types of birds. There are also bigger animals within its 130 square mile area such as lions and leopards as well as a thriving population of hippopotamuses.
And then there is the Arusha cultural heritage center where visitors can buy carvings, books, clothing, jewelry, and other artifacts. It is always a great idea to bring back a souvenir and there is no shortage of these at the Arusha cultural heritage center. You can also get art pieces from both local and international artists.
For the budget traveler, you can visit the beautiful Mount Meru as you marvel at the spectacular waterfalls. There are also the camel safaris to look forward to. For some tasty food, you can eat at the roadside offerings which include nyama choma (roasted meat).
With over 100 different nationalities, Tanzania is a cultural hotspot and you can participate in this rich cultural diversity by taking part in the cultural tourism program. Arusha also offers the intrepid visitor the Zemi living gardens where you can indulge in some tasty organic food. Better yet you can enjoy the sunset at Mulberry as you sip on some tasty cocktails.