Set in the northern part of Tanzania, the town of Arusha is set on the foothills of Mount Meru and surrounded by some of the most beautiful national parks in Tanzania including the Arusha National Park. To the northwest lie the plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro conservation area and to the northeast, the awesome Mount Kilimanjaro looms against the skyline.
Begin your northern safari experience in Arusha; the town is a popular stopping off point on the safari route and has a lot to offer to those who spend some time here. Arusha was established as a German garrison town in the heart of Maasailand and was once the centre for the entire east African community, including Kenya and Uganda. Today, the markets are vibrant and bustling with a mixture of local Maasai, often in traditional dress, European settlers and travellers. Wander through the fresh fruits and vegetable stalls in this quaint town that is surrounded by coffee and maize plantations as well as fields of fresh flowers being grown for the export market.
Explore the Arusha National Park, set just outside of the town, with its varied landscape of craters, such as the Ngurdoto Crater, and Momela Lake and other fascinating eco-systems. Arusha is known as the safari capital of the country and it is easily accessed through its two airports – Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha Airport, both of which are nearby.
A great beginning to any Tanzanian safari experience, the Arusha region is still relatively undiscovered with lots to offer the visitor including luxury accommodation.
Arusha National Park
You will be heading to one of Tanzania’s hidden gems when choosing to visit the Arusha National Park; often overlooked in favour of the more well-known safari destinations, Arusha offers an extremely diverse set of habitats to explore including the Ngurdoto Crater and Momela Lakes. You can hike through the montane forest populated with monkeys including the rarely spotted black-and-white colobus and swim in the crystal clear mountain streams of Mount Meru, the fifth highest mountain in Africa.
Visit the School of St. Jude
Opened nine years ago by an Australian, Gemma Sisia, this charity funded school provides free quality education to roughly 1 500 poor children from Arusha including boarding facilities for more than 900 of them. It has quickly become a vital part of the community and they are known for their excellent educational results.
Buy some Tanzanite
Arusha is the best place in the country to buy Tanzanite, a beautiful gemstone that is only found in Tanzania. You can visit the mines or find out more about how the stones are processed by visiting the local exhibition and concept store.
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