MY ARUSHA EXPERIENCE
Arusha is a town in the Northern zone of Tanzania. It is popularly identified as a pit stop to all the national parks in the Northern zone. Tourists normally just pass by and visit the town for a short time before embarking to their safari adventures. Just incase you missed it, here are a few things about Arusha that you probably didn’t know or you will just find interesting, and who knows you might decide to extend your stay in the vintage town for just a bit longer. Enjoy!
THE MOUNT MERU
If you ask anyone who has visited Arusha the first thing they probably noticed was the mountain. It is visible from almost anywhere you are in Arusha. Some locals even believe that the mountain is where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the biblical flood ended. The mountain itself is a majesty of its own almost rivalling the great Kilimanjaro in its beauty. If you want a better view of the mountain, you can observe it during the sunrise but also in the golden sunset light, the vision is enchanting. And if you want to get close and personal then you can take a 2 to 3 day hike to the summit of the mountain.
The weather is probably one of my favorite things about Arusha. I have always been a Dar baby but it’s an underestimation if I say I can’t stand the weather here. Arusha has such a cool dry air that wont melt your make up, lets you pull off those shorts and t-shirt during the day but also lets you cuddle in a blanket with a book and a cup of hot chocolate in the evening. If you ask me that’s the best of both worlds. The temperature ranges between 5 to 30 degrees with an annual temperature of about 25 degrees. Not too shabby.
If you are a foodie like me then this is a very serious topic. I personally take my meat very seriously, do not mess with my chicken! I was surprised how good the food is in Arusha, even in cheap simple joints across the streets, their grilled selection of beef, goat and chicken is cooked to perfection with incredible seasoning expertise. Now it all depends what you like and how much you are willing to spend, there are expensive high joint restaurants, but if you want to have some authentic local cuisines or you’re just a cheap skates like me there a lot of spots you can try, just be cautious when it comes to sanitation, you can never be too careful.
Oh and since were still on the food topic, the Pizza in Arusha is amazing, I suggest to try the pizza in River tree lodge, the prices are reasonable and probably the best pizza I’ve had there. If you are not a fan of pizza (like how!) there are even vegetarian and pescetarian restaurants that you can choose from such as ”Five chutney” restaurant, ”The blue Heron”, ”Fifi’s restaurant and cafe” and many other options.
Ok so I’m a little bit of a nerd. I love learning about a place even before I make my visit, if you’re like me then you can probably relate. And for those who hated their history classes in school, don’t worry I wont change this into an anthropology lecture. The history is actually kind of interesting.
It is believed that the first people to inhabit Arusha were agro-pastoral Arusha Maasai who moved there in 1830s.
Long story short, in 1896 the town was conquered by Germans but then lost the land to the British in 1916 after the first world war.
And if you are an old Hollywood movie fan, interesting fact, John Wayne filmed parts of the movie ”Hatari!” in 1960s at Momella Arusha.
PLACES TO VISIT
I love staying in bed for the whole day like the next guy, but when I travel I need to do some exploring and get in touch with my destination. Where you can visit in Arusha fully depends on your interests, you can get more information about places to visit from your tour operator.I’m just going to mention my personal favorite must go to places.
I cant say I have toured everywhere in Arusha. There are new attractions opening there almost everyday. I loved the museum, and I would suggest that to be one of the first places to visit just to get a little history and summary of the place, you can also visit the cultural heritage Centre where you can learn about the authentic tradition of people in the northern zone such as the Maasai, the gift shop is also a cool place to scoop off some souvenirs to take back home. Other places I loved was the snake park (just because I have a weird adoration for snakes) but its not for the faint of heart. Trust me! There is also the tanzanite experience tour which is not far from the cultural heritage centre
And if you’re into the night life then boredom will not be one of your problems while you’re in Arusha, there are a lot of awesome night clubs to visit. Places like ”Triple A night club” and ” Babylon Bar and night club” are cool places to lounge.
You can definitely get more options from our tour operators.
So at the beginning I said I won’t be sugar coating, and I’m keeping my word. The security in Arusha is average. Like any other destination you need to be careful not to walk with valuables in the streets alone, especially if you are a foreigner. There are obviously some places that are better off avoiding all together. But the streets are still ok to stroll, just be aware of your surroundings.
Here at Karibu we ensure that we schedule you with a tour guide who will consider your safety and interests as their principle priority so you can feel at ease and fully enjoy your stay in Arusha.
To sum it up, you are going to love your visit. Arusha has this slow town suburb feel to it that I personally really love. Not so hectic but not so slow either. The people are also extremely friendly, so don’t panic if someone says hi on the streets, they’re probably just trying to be friendly. Just have fun and don’t forget to take lots of pictures to show off back home.
If you need more information to plan your next trip to Arusha or anywhere else we will be more than happy to help, just contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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