Arusha Featured, Cities and Towns
Situated at the foot of the beautiful Mount Meru, Arusha is known as the safari capital of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit. It’s a bustling city filled with an interesting mix of markets, chaotic traffic, old colonial buildings and more modern conveniences, like coffee shops with Wi-Fi, and an array of great restaurants.
* Arusha Highlights
- ∞Gateway city to a number of Tanzania’s gems, including Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro
- ∞Situated at the foot of Mount Meru, it has a temperate climate and lush surrounds
- ∞Chequered history: from Maasai to German to British and back to Tanzanian occupation. This provides an interesting mix of architecture and history
- ∞Lively night life with many restaurants and night clubs
- ∞Shopping mecca with various markets selling everything from brightly-coloured fabrics to curios to car tyres
- ∞Museums and galleries to learn the history and marvel at the art of the area
- ∞Tanzanites, straight from the source
- ∞Meserani Snake Park, just outside Arusha
Arusha is often seen as just a stopover on the way to doing a safari. If you stay a little while, though, there is plenty to see and do in this busy town, with its mix of colonial and more modern architecture intersected by chaotic roads filled with friendly Tanzanians.
Things to See and Do in Arusha
Arusha offers its visitors a wide array of places to see and things to do. There are many coffee shops and restaurants, and the town has a lively night-life. If you want to experience a real, bustling, busy African town, stay in Arusha for a day or two.
- The Clock Tower, situated slap-bang in the centre of town, making it a great meeting point for both locals and tourists. Urban legend has it that this is the middle-point between Cape Town. It’s completely untrue, but a great story none-the-less.
- Central and Maasai Markets – chaotic and vibrant markets that sell everything from meat and fish to fabrics and electronics. Maasai Market has a wide array of curios and African art. They’re crowded and busy, but a great way to experience real Africa. Beware of pickpockets and be prepared to haggle!
- The Cultural Heritage Centre includes a museum, restaurant, spice centre, shops, and a garden scattered with incredible sculptures. The Makonde Museum – filled with masterfully-carved masks is a must-see.
- At the Tanzanite Experience, learn about the history of the tanzanite, and how these gorgeous gems are mined. Don't forget to buy one to take home.
- The Boma Museum, originally a fort built by the Germans in the early 1900’s, chronicles the colonial history of the town and the tribal history of the area. It also houses the Natural History Museum, with fascinating info on the archaeological and paleo-anthropological sites in the area and wildlife.
- Shanga, out on the Dodoma Road, is a fabulous centre incorporating a workshop for disabled artists, who make beautiful glasswork, beadwork, jewellery and clothes; boutiques and an open-air restaurant.
- Meserani Snake Park, a little further out of Arusha, allows you to see a wide array of snakes, learn about them, and even hold some! There’s also a small Maasai Museum and camel rides here.
Arusha is served by two airports. Arusha Airport has daily flights from numerous local destinations and Kilimanjaro International Airport has daily flights from local, African and international airlines.
Before you go to Arusha Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Arusha
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention