The bustling city of Arusha in northern Tanzania is the starting point of a memorable safari adventure in East Africa. The town is the gateway to the northern safari excursion of world famous national parks in Tanzania including Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro and Serengeti National parks.
This city is nestled at the foot of Mount Meru and serves as a starting point for safari trips to several destinations. Known for its laid-back way of life, first-rate restaurants, and breath-taking scenery, Arusha has something refreshing to offer everyone: exciting adventures, cultural attractions, and superb dining.
The best and cheapest way to travel around Arusha is using the local taxis called Dala Dala or Matatu. They’re small shuttles with unique and colorful decor that ferry residents down the main streets of the city. They’re available from daylight to dusk and late at night. The fare is about Tshs.1000 per trip, and they’re always packed with people. The breakneck speed and near-fatal collisions with other vehicles are common. If you’re looking to experience the way of life of Arushans then using Dala Dala is the best option.
But if you’re averse to getting bumped and shoved, then hiring a private taxi can get you around.
So if you’re planning to visit Arusha in the coming future, we’ve put together a list of the most famous places to visit:
Themi Leisure Park is located on a river that flows downstream from Mount Meru. Visitors encounter nature and tranquil beauty, with native gardens that feature colourful flower patterns. You can enjoy hiking trails in the lush green river beds and forests always facing picturesque views. A visit to the waterfall is the ultimate thrill. You can catch a meal and a drink at the restaurant and bar located on the property, before heading back to town to refresh and experience local cuisine in the many restaurants and clubs in downtown Arusha.
A visit to the Arusha National Park for a safari excursion is the ultimate experience. With its wide eco-system, it offers an excellent opportunity to locate diverse wildlife in a short time. You can watch wildlife on the slopes of Mount Meru as well as view hundreds of birds species. The day tour begins at your hotel in the morning, followed by a short drive to the park. Present are leopards and hyenas though lions and elephants are rare. But there is a chance of seeing a giraffe and zebra if you’re patient enough. Enjoy the magnificent bird life with the flamingo, turaco and trogon species.
The Cultural Heritage Centre in Arusha was established in 1994 with the objective of exploring the precious treasures that pertain to African culture. This is a family business which is the result of hard work from the Saifuddin Khanbhai family. The centre has acquired iconic status due to the way the buildings are constructed within the compound and house fantastic treasure chests of African Art. There are also impressive arrays of artefacts including Makonde art, masks, paintings and carvings by famous African Sculptors.
If you’re visiting Arusha then shopping at the Maasai market is a must. It’s located in the Clock Tower area. Here you will find handmade crafts and curios to die for such as earrings, jewellery, and paintings, to wooden cutlery and Maasai spears. And if you have time, head out for a swim in the crystal-clear water at Paddle.
Mount Meru has established itself as an undeniable tourist attraction in the Arusha region. Located north of the town and within sight on a bright day, it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and can be accessed through the Momella gate. Mount Meru is located at the heart of Arusha National Park and supports a forest that hosts diverse wildlife and fauna.
When visiting Arusha for the first time, it may appear like a hectic and busy metropolis, but underneath the surface, there is another side to it, one of peace and relaxation. Check out the city streets on foot, and you will have time to notice the small fruit and vegetable stalls and people’s daily life which gives you a glimpse of the colourful life in Arusha.
Do remember to read our previous article 7 Best Places To Visit in Arusha