Top 10 things to do in Arusha

15 Sep 2022

Arusha is famous mostly because of its proximity to Serengeti National Park. In the region, it is the biggest town, making it the starting point for many trips, be it Kilimanjaro, Meru, Tarangire National Park and many other attractions. Arusha is the city of safari companies and it’s a stop that you can’t avoid.
There are many tourist attractions in Arusha considering that it is one of the largest cities in Tanzania with a population of over 400,000 people. So, it is easy to find a perfect plan that you should do before continuing your journey after your safari or before the safari.

Here’s a top 10 things to do in Arusha:

1. Visit Arusha National Park

In one day in Arusha, there is enough time to go on a short half day safari to Arusha National Park. Unfortunately, there is no big 5, but the park offers different rewards. A typical day in Arusha National park is combined with canoe safari on small Momella Lake and walking tour.


2. Visit Meserani Snake Park

Meserani Snake Park is close to Arusha, only 25 kilometers out of Arusha city. You will see a wide variety of snakes and reptiles. There are friendly staff employed and those who will have courage will have the opportunity to hold a snake or touch little crocodiles.
In front of the park, there is also a Maasai Cultural Museum, which is really interesting as you are guided by a real Maasai knowledgeable warrior. So along with snakes you can learn something new about Maasai culture, definitely lots of detailed information as long as you are willing to listen!


3. Rent a bike and go visit villages around

Leaving all the natural beauty aside, Arusha is a place full of culture. There are many tribes coexisting peacefully in the area and even just by taking a bike and riding around the villages close-by will contribute a lot to your understanding of life and traditions in the countryside. There are many villages around that can be explored (Ilkurot, Longido, Mkuru, etc). You can either explore by yourself or book a cultural tour. Either way, it’s a good option to learn more about Maasai tribes and village life in Tanzania.


4. Go for Canoeing at Lake Duluti

In case you are in the mood for canoeing but not in the mood for a safari to Arusha National Park, there is easy short ten minute ride out of Arusha, and you can find yourself in a canoe on Lake Duluti. Canoeing session on Duluti Lake takes an hour and a half.

5. Take a dip in the Kikuletwa Hot Springs

Located approximately 2 hours away from Arusha town, Kikuletwa Hot Springs is one of Tanzania’s many hidden gems with crystal clear waters and a lovely warm temperature. A beautiful natural pool hiding away among twisting fig trees in the middle of a dusty landscape, this little oasis is a great place for relaxing.


6. Visit Tanzanite Experience

Tanzanite is a beautiful stone that is characteristic of Tanzania. It is mined mostly in the Kilimanjaro area. There are many shops selling this stone, Tanzanite experience is only one of them. But what makes them special is that they’ve also set up a small museum where customers can find out more about the origins of this wonderful stone.



7. Visit Arusha Declaration Museum

The Arusha declaration museum is a site that showcases the history of Tanzania while under the socialism and self reliance policy as well as the years leading up to its introduction. It is named after a declaration that first introduced the "African socialism" or "Ujumaa" policy and is located next to a monument that was built to commemorate it.

Much of its exhibits are in the form of photos, but there are a few statues and models of people of that time as well as original artifacts


8. Visit the Cultural Heritage Center

This is the place to go if you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. Although, the prices are a bit higher than in other places, it’s much easier to buy things here, as it’s a more relaxed atmosphere than in most other similar establishments. Even if you’re not looking to buy much, it’s still interesting to walk around and observe the local products.



9. Visit National Natural History Museum

If you want to find out more about fossils and the evolution of humans, National Natural History Museum in Arusha is a good spot. Many of the oldest fossils were found in Tanzania, so if archaeology is one of your passions, you will find out more about this during your visit. It is split in three parts and it’s located in an old German fortified living compound that was built back in the 1900. It’s also a good place to learn more about the history of Arusha and observe wildlife in photos.


10. Spend some hours in Maasai Women Fair Trade Center

MWEDO (Maasai Women Development Organization) started this project to support craft makers in Tanzania. They sell high quality products and a large portion of the profits go towards education. They are running a series of projects around the area, contributing to the development of the community. If you want to sit and have a chat in a nice atmosphere, you can do that in the coffee shop that they have on site. You can easily spend one or two hours chilling in this place.