Arusha is located in Northern Tanzania and is famously known as the "green city of Tanzania". Arusha is blessed with a lush and green environment, thanks to the relatively low temperatures and alleviated humidity.
It is a vibrant city that provides a wonderful array of attractions and activities for tourists. Situated in the foothills of the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro, Arusha is also known as the "safari capital" of Tanzania due to its proximity to the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt Meru and other popular destinations and game reserves.
In addition to its spectacular wildlife, Arusha is home to many vibrant cultures and colorful markets. Visitors can explore the city’s unique culture and customs, as well as its historic sites, such as the Old Fort.
Arusha also offers some superb accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to traditional African safari lodges. This city is a great place to experience all that Tanzania has to offer and it is the ideal starting point for any African safari. With its stunning scenery, countless activities, and fascinating culture, Arusha is a great destination for any adventurous traveler.
Arusha is the hub for tourism in the northern circuit of Tanzania and we can dare say it is the hub for tourism in Tanzania as a whole. It's a bustling city and is a great destination for travelers and tourists. Arusha is home to incredible wildlife, stunning landscapes, and diverse cultures.
Most safari trips start from Arusha as the city is the gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and without forgetting its very own Arusha National Park.
For those looking to explore the sights, there are plenty of attractions to be found in the city and its surrounding areas. Here are some of the top tourist spots in Arusha:
Arusha National Park is a stunning Tanzanian wildlife sanctuary nestled in the foothills of Mount Meru, near the city of Arusha. It is the most accessible national park in Tanzania and stands out for its incredible scenery including volcanic craters and lakes. Covering an area of 267 square kilometers, the park is renowned for its diverse range of habitats, from open grasslands and savannahs to evergreen and rainforest areas.
Visitors to the park can take in the incredible views from the Ngurdoto Crater and spot wildlife from the Miriakamba Hut.
The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, expect to spot baboons, buffalo, bushbucks, elephants, giraffes, hippos and leopards among other creatures.
Arusha National Park organizes mountain hiking, game drives, horse riding, biking, canoeing and nature walks. Canoeing is mostly done at the Momella lakes. These are a group of alkaline lakes found in the park. The largest two are the most popular because they attract many of the park animals. Canoeing in Arusha National Park stands out because it is the best way to experience the full beauty of the park, its animals and birds.
To make the most of your visit, try a guided game drive for up close wildlife sightings, or join a ranger-led bird watching tour to see some of the over 400 species of birds that inhabit the park.
Mount Meru is found in Arusha National Park and is the second highest mountain in Tanzania (5th in Africa) with a height of 4562 meters. This stratovolcano is located in Tanzania, about 45 km west of Kilimanjaro.
It's often referred to as a “warm-up” trek for those planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a great way to acclimatize in preparation for a climb on Africa's tallest mountain. Just because hiking the mountain is recommended as a preparatory ground does not mean that it is an easy hike. The route is mostly on a paved road, ending in Momella Gate, where the ascent begins. Hiking to the top takes four days and for that reason alone, one needs to be fit and be ready to adapt to high altitude conditions
The mountain also has some difficult sections and sharp crater rims. The reward for hiking Mount Meru are the beautiful views of Mount Kilimanjaro, national parks, lakes and sightings of some of Africa’s famous mammals.
Lake Duluti is a crater lake located near the town of Tengeru, 14 kilometers from Arusha city center. The lake is surrounded by the Duluti Forest Reserve and has water throughout the year, mainly from groundwater and seasonal rainfall.
Lake Duluti covers an area of about 63 hectares and the crater walls are up to 200m high, mostly covered in thick forest.
The forest is a perfect environment for reptiles’ hunting and nesting. Common reptiles found around Lake Duluti include the green mamba and Monitor lizards. The lake also provides a perfect habitat for water birds such as gray herons, fish eagles, cormorants, ospreys, egrets, and kingfishers.
Ngurdoto Crater is a stunning natural landmark in Arusha, Tanzania. Located just south of the city, the crater is a perfect photo stop along the way from the Arusha National Park to Kilimanjaro.
The crater is also a popular spot for bird watching, with species such as guinea fowl, crowned plovers, and gray-capped social weavers. The crater is blanketed in lush vegetation, with a variety of grass and shrubs, and vibrant flowers spread evenly across the crater's walls. Overall, the Ngurdoto Crater is a beautiful natural wonder that any visitor to Tanzania should experience in person.
The Cultural Heritage Centre in Arusha, Tanzania is a unique and fascinating destination for tourists. It offers a rare glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage and history, with exhibitions displaying artifacts and other cultural items from the local people.
If you are wondering where to get the best jewelry, precious stones like tanzanite, then you must visit the Cultural Heritage Centre. It attempts to showcase the culture of the different tribes in Tanzania through artifacts and art. It has some Best things to do in Arusha Tanzania of the best art galleries, ornaments, antiques, sculptures, artifacts, paintings, jewelry, African fabrics and souvenir shops.
In addition to its educational activities, the Centre also offers a range of recreational activities, such as tours of local wildlife reserves, game parks and other natural attractions. The Centre is a great place to visit for families and individuals alike, providing an opportunity to explore a unique and fascinating culture.
If you are looking for some thrilling adventure, Meserani Snake Park is a must-visit. Located 25 km from Arusha town, the park offers guided tours on some of the most dangerous snakes in the world and if you are brave, a photo-op with a real-life snake.
Some of the snakes that you can expect to see are the Black and Green Mamba, Egyptian Cobra, Puff Adders, and many more. See the 3+ meter crocodiles at feeding time and get a chance to touch a baby crocodile.
Apart from snakes, you can also enjoy a tour of the Maasai Cultural Museum, and go on a safari to the local village on camelback.