Why we like it
- Arusha is a convenient hub with a large variety of fantastic accommodation.
- There is great souvenir shopping available.
- It is the home to Arusha National Park and Mount Meru.
- The gateway through which you can access a northern Tanzania safari.
It is from Arusha that the typical northern Tanzania safari circuit begins. It is a spectacular city as it sits beneath the mountain peaks of the famous Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
Arusha is a bustling city with the main focus on supplying the tourism industry for the surrounding areas. It is graced with two airports on opposite sides of the city. Due to connection times, travellers typically will need to spend a night or two at one of the many excellent lodges in the city either on arrival or before departing.
Arusha has a relatively cool climate, despite being located close to the equator, thanks to its relatively high altitude, being in the foothills of the towering Mount Meru. The western side of town is closest to the northern safari circuit and Arusha Airport is located here. This is the airport from where most of the smaller aircraft depart and arrive from when flying in and out of the various National Parks. On the eastern side of town lies Kilimanjaro International Airport, the main international gateway to this part of Tanzania. As the name suggests it is closest to the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, which many adventurers wish to tick off their list of summits.
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is an underrated, hidden gem of a National Park. It protects the area around Mount Meru and is easily accessed on day trips or overnight visits and offers a great starting point to a safari. The park is not home to predators, however, it houses a healthy population of herbivores including elephants and buffaloes, but the main attraction in the park is the black-and-white colobus monkeys which can only be found in this park within Tanzania. Activities on offer here are game drives, walking safaris and canoeing on one of the Momella Lakes which offer excellent bird watching.
Not to be underestimated, the lesser known Mount Meru summit is considered by many to be more physically challenging than that of the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, although Kilimanjaro’s challenge lies in its higher altitude. Climbing Meru is often used as an acclimatization hike prior to attempting a summit on Kilimanjaro which we highly recommend.
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