Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the top 10 things to do in Arusha.
Arusha is famous primarily 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 company, and it’s a stop that you can’t avoid.
Arusha has many tourist attractions, considering that it is one of the largest cities in Tanzania, with 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 combines a canoe safari on the small Momella Lake and a 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. Friendly staff are employed, and those with 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 enjoyable as a real Maasai knowledgeable warrior guides you. So, along with snakes, you can learn something new about Maasai culture. There is lots of detailed information as long as you are willing to listen!
3. Rent a bike and visit villages around
Leaving all the natural beauty aside, Arusha is a place full of culture. Many tribes coexist peacefully in the area, and even just taking a bike and riding around the villages nearby will contribute a lot to your understanding of life and traditions in the countryside. Many villages can be explored (Ilkurot, Longido, Mkuru, etc.). You can either explore by yourself or book a cultural tour. Either way, it’s an excellent option to learn more about Maasai tribes and village life in Tanzania.
4. Go for Canoeing at Lake Duluti
If you are in the mood for canoeing but not for a safari to Arusha National Park, there is an easy, short, ten-minute ride out of Arusha, and you can find yourself in a canoe on Lake Duluti. The canoeing session on Duluti Lake takes an hour and a half.
5. Take a dip in the Kikuletwa Hot Springs
Located approximately 2 hours from Arusha town, Kikuletwa Hot Springs is one of Tanzania’s many hidden gems with crystal clear waters and a lovely warm temperature. This little oasis is a great place for relaxing, with a beautiful natural pool hiding away among twisting fig trees in the middle of a dusty landscape.
6. Visit Tanzanite Experience
Tanzanite is a beautiful stone that is characteristic of Tanzania. It is mined mostly in the Kilimanjaro area. Many shops are selling this stone, and the Tanzanite experience is only one of them. But what makes them unique is that they’ve also set up a small museum where customers can learn more about this beautiful stone’s origins.
7. Visit the 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 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 and 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 because it’s a more relaxed atmosphere than in most similar establishments. Even if you’re not looking to buy much, walking around and observing the local products is still interesting.
9. Visit the National Natural History Museum
If you want to learn more about fossils and the evolution of humans, the 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 into three parts and is located in an old German fortified living compound built in the 1900s. It’s also an excellent place to learn more about the history of Arusha and observe wildlife in photos.
10. Spend some hours in the 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 many 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 chat in a nice atmosphere, you can do that in the coffee shop they have on site. You can easily spend one or two hours chilling in this place.