It will take you approximately one hour drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport to reach Arusha City. This vibrant city has unlimited safari expeditions departing to all major parks in the Northern circuit. A safari capital of Tanzania which is close to Serengeti National Park (voted world best safari destination of 2019), renowned landscape Ngorongoro Crater (Unesco World Heritage Centre) and Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa highest peak 5895 a.s.l).
Arusha is worth at least a day or two of exploration after a little more research wandering around, you’ll notice that there’s a rich history, attractions, countless neighborhoods with a fascinating Tanzanian culture. Here’s how to plan a two-three days excursion in Arusha and the surrounding areas
This thriving market has an excellent display of beadwork, paintings, carvings, and clothing, a good place to buy African handicrafts, artwork, and souvenirs. You can purchase handmade wood statues and hand-painted beads and jewelry at this market for friends and family back home. The price mentioned shouldn’t scare you, the vendors are very humble and willing to provide a room for negotiation
It is not always shown on tour itinerary but it worth a visit. This museum covers the history of early human evolution and specializes in natural history. Excellent display of the evolution of man it has interesting artifacts, photographs of animals, insects, birds, reptiles with informative notes. The German Boma Museum is absolute documentation of Arusha history from pre-colonial to early independence.
A large store that displays and sells African precious stones (diamonds, gold, and rarely tanzanite only found in Tanzania), jewelry, woodwork, and the vast array of ornaments. It’s one of the most popular tourist shopping stops in Arusha
Arusha Central Market
It always feels good and alive being at the central market, this is where locals purchase the vast majority of their food or household items. You can purchase anything you need at the market. The market traders are extremely welcoming and happy to explain their products. You can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, bananas, chickens, fishes, and spices at good prices. It is quite loud and crowded just watch out and keeps the close eye on your belongings, it happens in any crowded place in the world.
If you want to escape the city and take a walk or jog in the woods, you might enjoy this waterfall located on the outskirts of the city. It’s a lovely nature walks across the village on the foothill of Mount Meru. There is something so special and fascinating about standing at the base of a waterfall. The experience is calming, energizing, and deliver a cool retreat a powerful reminder of nature’s forces. Immerse yourself in deep nature, touch and feel the clear cold water from Mount Meru Springs.
Coffee Tour and Canoeing
Visiting the coffee farm, and learn various stages of coffee farm preparation from the first stage to the last one. Where you will learn how to grow, pick, drying and roasting coffees, and grinding to experience the fresh aroma of coffee brewed traditionally. You will enjoy the taste of fresh coffee brew and take home some for personal use. After this experience, you can also enjoy canoeing experience at Lake Duluti. This freshwater body of water is home to several hundred species of birds. The scenery is spectacular, it’s surrounded by natural forests and it’s still untouched by mass tourism.
Arusha National Park
If you are visiting Arusha for other purposes than Safari (business/conferences) and do not have time for a long safari or If you have been in the other bigger parks and are tired of big plains and dusty roads, but still wants some wildlife and nature experience Arusha National Park is the place to go. It can offer several activities like horse riding, walking safari, canoeing, and game driving in a day.
Arusha offers a mix of both international and African restaurants you never run out of options. If you are interested in trying some of the local favorites, you can go to one of the more upscale restaurants catering to tourists and locals Africafé, Fifi’s, or Safari Bistro.
To get the most of the Arusha to take time to understand region culture, learn some Swahili vocabularies just the greetings it’s enough to get you by, the locals will appreciate.
NB: The best way to get to know more about a city is to take a guided walking or driving tour for the sake of time, convenience, and safety.