Arusha city, the scenery on one of the streets with mount Meru in the distance
Arusha city, view of the Arusha - Babati highway from cultural heritage centre with mt. Meru in the distance
Arusha city, looking at fire rd. from clock tower area (behind) with Arusha hotel to the right
Arusha city, mount Meru looming over the city
Arusha city, lake Duluti in the eastern outskirts
Arusha city, the marsh island at lake Duluti
Arusha city, zoomed in photo of mt Meru's peak from Nyerere rd.
Arusha city, AICC club's sports grounds as seen from the bar and restaurant
Arusha city, Arusha library from sokoine rd.
Arusha city, natural history museum at the Old Boma
Arusha city, the scenery on Nyerere rd - one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the CBD
Arusha city, Nyerere rd. as seen from a bridge on Themi river (behind)
Arusha city, 'nightlife' outside one of the clubs
Arusha city, the scenery on Haile Selassie rd. one of the oldest neighbourhoods
One of the cities in Tanzania, dubbed ‘tourism capital’ due to its proximity to the country’s popular parks and attractions - many of which can be reached in under a days worth of driving. It bears the same name as the region it is in - one of the largest in the country.
Arusha was the capital of the East African Community until 1977 when its member countries chose to separate. It bears several other titles including being exactly halfway between Cape town and Cairo.
What to do there?If you're tourist in Tanzania or aspire to be one then this is the place to be, whether just for cultural tourism, trekking, hiking, canoeing, safaris and game drives, fishing, wine and dining, balloon safaris, camping and many more.
There also are a large number of shops and markets where you could buy souvenirs from, some of whom will even help you with shipping. It is also the place to be if you aspire to work in the tourism industry, with many of the major companies being based there and many locations to train in.
For a list of attractions that you could visit in this area, see the section below after the map or the attractions page.
Best time to visit?Absolutely any time of the year, although once impassable during the rainy season, many of the roads have been upgraded to make them usable all year round, with the exception of a few locations where there are black clay soils.
Many of the hotels, facilities and companies operate all year round with some having expertise in the industry that exceeds 40 years.
AfterthoughtArusha is more of a happy city, free from traffic jams and mosquitos that plague some of the country's larger cities such as Dar es salaam and Mwanza. The lower temperatures make it a conducive climate for long walks and hiking, as fewer refreshments are needed.
It is a relatively small city and most of its areas can be reached in under an hour or two, whether using public or private transport. However; there are more strict rules regarding the environment and road regulations, with offenders facing hefty fines as the city struggles to attain a title of greenest city in the country and quite possibly Africa.
This is why the city has considerably more trees and cleaner rivers than you would see anywhere in the country. With more parks and places to hike, this can be one of the best cities for a tourist provided that you know where to go.
The only caveat though is that the water supply, most of which comes from nearby mt Meru has a large amount of fluoride, resulting in many of the locals there having severe fluorosis.
Location of Arusha
The city of Arusha is located at the heart of Arusha region, about a 2 hour drive from several national parks such as Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarangire and Manyara, along with several mountains such as mount Meru, Longido, ol Doinyo lengai and the border with Kenya - Namanga. It is also at a higher altitude, with temperatures rarely exceeding 25°C. For more information on this location please see the map below.
How to get there?By vehicle, public transport or flight with the country's second largest airport KIA being about an hours drive east. There also is a much smaller airport within the city's limits - Kisongo, but this is mostly used by small regional planes.
You could also use the passenger bus or vehicle - private or otherwise to get there from neighbouring countries or other regions of Tanzania.