Arusha Travel Guide

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Arusha Things to Do

  • Fabulous Safari Vacation

    My wife and I were in Arusha, Tanzania last year where I was working as a facilitator for a workshop on East African transboundary conservation for a week. My wife accompanied me so we could do our lifelong dream of a safari in the Serengeti and other National Parks in northern Tanzania. We engaged a local safari tour company, Borderless Tours,...

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  • Safari

    When you´re visiting Arusha in Tanzania you definitely have to go on safari. I visited two national parks, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. Both were very nice in different ways. I would say that Lake Manyara has more animals, at least big animals, but have to keep your eyes open to see them in the bushes. Tarangire is more open. It is big steppes with...

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  • Serengeti National Park

    It’s famous. Famous for its herds of wildebeest and zebra. Famous for their mass migrations. Famous for the predators who feed off them.It’s enormous. A mixture of longer grassland which looks empty - maybe it is, or maybe the grass is hiding stuff - and shorter grassland with acacia which is full of life.On our first day we say a lion feeding at a...

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  • Tarangire National Park

    Tarangire was our first outing on our safari trip. It’s less well known and less visited than others in the area, but it has lots of elephant. We met the first herd within 5 minutes of going through the gate. By contrast, we saw very few in Ngorongoro, and not many more in Serengeti. Of course maybe our guides were not looking for them by then as...

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  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    It’s a conservation area (as opposed to a national park) because the Masai tribe are allowed to live and farm within it. Not allowed in a national park.It is spectacular. By the time we got there (day 4 of the safari) we’d seen lots of stuff in other places, but not any rhino. We drove around for about 3 hours looking for them. Along the way we saw...

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  • Tribes

    Your safari company can arrange for you to take a break from the animals and see some tribes in the area.3 hours drive to the campsite meant that we were within 45 minutes drive of 2 tribes.Most people stop off to see the Massai tribe villages near to the Ngorongoro Crater, however, I wanted to see some of the more rare tribes.The Togo tribe live...

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  • Lake Manyara

    The first stop on most safari routes is the lush, green Lake Manyara National Park. The journey here from Arusha takes about 2-3 hours. Upon entering the park, you are likely to encounter scores of Blue Monkeys and Baboons. After driving around for some time, expect to come across lots of Elephants, Zebras and Giraffes. Later we saw Flamingos and a...

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  • Safari

    When choosing a safari in Arusha you have over 100 companies to choose from.Do your research before you go. Discuss your needs with them.I can only comment on the company we used - Bobbys Safari.Bobbys were about the best price we found. They adapted the tour to take in the Hadzabe tribe as we asked.The guide (Jon) was not only knowledgable but...

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  • Try the filling local staples..

    Here, you just have to try Ugaali (made from a root vegetable, a bit like Topiaca) & Sukuma weeki (a curry made using spinach & lamb). The combination is heavy, nutritious & quite tasty.The former dish is a very economical staple whereas the latter is considered a luxury by the locals, hence the name 'weeki', ie at the most they can afford this...

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Arusha Hotels

See all 34 Hotels in Arusha

Arusha Restaurants

  • very pricey

    We had a Monday lunch in this hotel. It was really good. A buffet salad to start. Then soup (choice of two). A main course (choice of 3-4) and then dessert. Coffee was included as well.But here’s the rub - 27,000 Tsh. With a bottle of water, my share was 35,000.Very expensive.The setting is wonderful. A colonial style building in lovely grounds...

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  • Food and Internet

    Located near the main round about on Sokoine Rd, the Patisserie sells lots of food items and has Internet at an ok price. Food items appear to be baked on site with a large kitchen out the back of the shop preparing fresh goods for sale.It's a clean place in the middle of a rather dirty city and also has toilets if you need a pit stop. The shop...

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  • The ultimate food experience in Arusha!

    An auto spares shop that at night is converted into a restaurant that serves grilled meat (chicken tika, beef, mishikaki, sheesh kebab, mutton), freshly baked bread (and nan), tasteful sauces and good salads.Great atmosphere: the restaurant is loved by the locals, who gather there every evening, solo you'll not feel as being in a tourist trap.No...

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Arusha Transportation

  • Ethiopian Airlines

    I'd been in Addis Ababa before heading for Arusha, so flew with EAL. The flight stops in Mombasa (after about 2 hours) and the day I flew, most passengers got off there.Relaxed and spacious for the 40 minute hop inland, after a very busy flight. Not sure if it was typical, but it was stuffed full of unruly Italians who were behaving like 5 year...

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  • airport

    Kilimanjaro is the nearest airport, about 45km from town, along the Moshi road. It took us about an hour in a Range Rover - we often got stuck behind slow moving trucks & buses.Arrival at the airport was incredibly easy. 1 minute having my yellow fever card checked, 2 minutes to complete an arrival card, and 2 minutes for the officer to fingerprint...

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  • ground transfers

    My expedition organiser arranged for me to be collected from Kilimanjaro Airport and dropped at the hotel. Always great if you're arriving in a strange place. Worth asking about even if it isn't offered.I saw a few taxi operatives hanging around, so that must be an alternative. No idea how reliable it might be, or as to costs.

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Arusha Shopping

  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    by fishandchips Updated Feb 26, 2010

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    There are a large number of sellers located here with everyone trying to sell you a bargain, give you discount or make you a deal. With a bit of haggling you can pick up some nice items for a good price. Have a look around first as there are many items the same or similar. Once you know how much you want to pay then make an offer! I picked up 4 items at an average of TS6000 each which seemed okay.

    Remember that this is a cash only place. You can go to Barclay's Bank on Serengeti Rd (a 15 min return walk) if you run out! Watch for hawkers hanging around as they will stick to you like glue!

    Sellers of crafts!
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Arusha Warnings and Dangers

  • Security

    One of my group has been coming here regularly for several years. He reckons security has grown greatly in that time as a cause for concern.One local expat (who has been here most of her life) was mugged and badly beaten last year, and now ventures out at night very rarely. Her home has been fortified. Another - a more recent arrival - also avoids...

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  • Hawkers

    This is definitely more of a warning than a danger, but expect very, very aggressive hawkers in Arusha. On our way to safari, we stopped briefly to leave some bags in the hotel we would be coming back to and check in on some plane tickets. Walking around town seemed like a good idea until we stepped out of the car. Immediately, we were surrounded...

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  • Quite Safe

    We were told that Arusha is quite safe and there were no problems for solo Western travelers in the city itself. However, something could happen; there was a Belgium tourist held up in the downtown in broad daylight recently. So don't let your guard down. However, the probability of this happening is very small. The biggest threat most tourists...

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Arusha Tourist Traps

  • by mostyn Written Sep 8, 2003

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    Arusha Tanzania.
    If you want to find a good reputable tour operator in Arusha,here,s a good tip.
    Contact the big overland tour operators like..GUERBA DRAGO BUKIMA ABSOLUTE etc,and ask them which tour operators they use to visit the National Parks.
    dont be fooled into booking with a company just because you saw them mentioned on the Thorntree etc.Some posters on that site,post favorable replies just so they can get a discounted Safari!!

    Unique Suggestions: If you really are undecided as to which company to use then,as i say,contact a few of the big overland companies based in London and ask them which company they use.Do NOT fall for the tricksters on the Thorntree!Dont believe me?OK.
    One example ask Guerba about GOOD EARTH TOURS,

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Arusha Off The Beaten Path

  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    by fishandchips Written Nov 20, 2009

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    St Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes and that's the source of the schools pupils. The School of St Jude is located just out of Arusha and takes the brighest of children from the poorest local families and gives them a free education. There is a selection process that children must go through including a few academic tests and a visit to the childs home to ensure that all is as it should be.

    A visit here is really interesting and you wouldn't think that the kids are poor at all. They are all very well presented in new looking school clothes (they must ensure that the clothes are well looked after) that they are presented with each year.

    Check out the Website for more info.

    Children at play One of the many school buses Playground
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Arusha Favorites

  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    by fishandchips Updated Nov 20, 2009

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    Favorite thing: Most places you go to for the purpose of buying items will only be able to handle cash purchases. This requires you to have plenty of notes in your pocket!

    Fortunately there are good options in Arusha including Barclay's Bank on Serengeti Road. You can change travellors cheques and foreign money for local stuff at the Impala Hotel though the rates are not too good.

    A the Barclays Bank there is an armed guard on duty so no worries getting your money. Just make sure you store your cash safely in either a money belt or zipped up pocket.

    Barclays Bank

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Impala Shuttle
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Mac's Patisserie
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