Book Flights to Arusha

Arusha – Tanzania

Do you want to go to Tanzania’s best wildlife parks including the Serengeti, Lake Manyara or Lake Tarangire? Or climb to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding peak; or Mt Meru, the second highest peak in Tanzania? Do you want to marvel at the enclosed environment of the Ngorongoro Crater, full of wildlife? Then Arusha needs to be your base as all these adventures, and many more, are easily accessible from Arusha.

But don’t dismiss this charming town as just the ‘jumping off’ point for spectacular wildlife safaris and exciting hikes. Arusha, which lies in the Great Rift Valley (a 6000 km long ‘geographic trench’ visible from space) in the north of Tanzania, has so much more to offer. It has a pleasant climate, offers heaps of activities and a chance to sample many aspects of Tanzanian culture.

Book your cheap flights to Arusha with Tripindigo today and set yourself up for the best adventure of a lifetime!

Why visit Arusha

  • Challenge yourself with a climb to the top of Mt Meru
  • Use Arusha as a gateway to the best Tanzanian national parks, including the Serengeti NPthe Ngorongoro CraterKilimanjaro NPLake Manyara NPLake Tarangire NP, and Arusha NP
  • Experience the local traditions on a cultural tour
  • Shop ethically for your souvenirs
  • Dance with the locals in Arusha’s vibrant nightlife scene
  • Go horse riding or mountain biking amongst the African wildlife
  • Time zone: UTC / GMT +3
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TSh, often written as =/)
  • Driving: left-hand side of the road
  • Power Outlets: 220V-240V 50Hz. Plug types are ‘Type D & G (British)’
  • Closest airports: Arusha Airport (ARK) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which is around 50km from Arusha town
Best time to visit

The cool, dry months of spring from June to October and the hot and dry summer months of December to February are the best times to visit.

Sights and sounds

Arusha National Park is a real gem of a wildlife area and easily accessible. Also Mt Meru, Tanzania’s second highest mountain at 562m, is located here and hiking to the top will be virtually ‘traffic free’ compared to Kilimanjaro.

The hike to the top takes three to four days through the wildlife-laden lower slopes and a little more of a challenging climb than ‘Kili’, but not so taxing altitude wise. At the peak there are fantastic views into the volcano and you are rewarded with a magnificent outlook across to ‘Kili’ at sunrise.

The park also contains the Momela lakes, which are all a slightly different shade of green or blue due to the water’s mineral content. They are often fringed with a flamboyance of pink flamingos and are also home to many other water birds.

In Arusha town, there are lots of interesting cultural activities like taking drumming lessons or even try to make your own drum. Master some local dishes at the Swahili cooking classes so you can continue to enjoy the taste of Tanzania when you get back home. Get a glimpse into the traditional existence of tribes and the daily life of Tanzanians on a village tour or jump on a horse or a mountain bike and ride through the Tanzania wildlife.

If you would like to take home some ethical souvenirs you can support the disadvantaged members of Tanzania’s society by buying from shops that generate funds through the sale of their products. Check out, for example, the recycling centre that offers disabled employees a chance to earn a living and the Maasai women’s groups shop, which finances female education, health and enterprise projects.

Once the day draws to a close, Arusha’s energetic and varied nightlife tempts you to sample some of the bright lights of A-Town. There are plenty of sports bars showing soccer matches and local pubs that play rap, reggae, as well as the locally produced ‘bongo flava’ music. Often you can find live music around town. Finish the evening at one of the clubs with sweaty crowds and excellent music and dance the night away.

Dining and Dietary Considerations

The town of Arusha offers traditional Swahili classic meals in local cafes and bars. Keep a look out for arrows made of sticks outside doors to indicate a batch of homebrewed banana beer is for sale.

There are also a lot of restaurants serving international cuisines, for example, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Ethiopian. If you want some kick-ass coffee then there are various cafes serving a wide selection as well as local specialties, pastries and providing free wifi.

Service is often very slow, dishes on the menu are commonly not available and confusion can create an unusual bill, make sure you check it before paying. Tipping is not expected, but much appreciated.

Religious and Cultural considerations

Tanzania is conservatively religious, in both the Christian and Muslim faiths, which together represent 98% of the population’s beliefs.

Whilst not extreme at all, there are cultural do’s and don’ts. Shoes should always be removed when entering a home and place of worship. Dress modestly in public. Topless sunbathing and homosexuality is illegal.

When photographing people, always ask permission first and agree on payment if required. As a general rule, ask.

Cost of Living

Arusha is a small town with accommodation, transport, food and excursions available for all budgets. Hotels cater for many business travellers and tourists and range from high-end lodges to basic backpacking hostels. There are also places to camp.

This is what you can expect to pay in Arusha for:

  • Domestic beer (0.5-litre bottle) in a supermarket – 2,000TSh
  • Imported beer in a supermarket (0.33-litre bottle) – 3,000TSh
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – 3,250Tsh
  • A bottle of coca cola / pepsi (0.33-litre bottle) – 634TSh
  • A small bottle of water (0.33-litre bottle) – 550TSh


  1. Arusha was the setting for the 1962 film Hatari!, starring John Wayne. It is a romantic adventure about a group of professional wildlife catchers supplying zoos with dangerous animals
  2. Arusha is sometimes called ‘Geneva of Africa’ due to the United Nations’ presence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as hosting the African Court on Human and People’s Rights
  3. The city is diplomatically important as it is the hoe of the East African Community
  4. An 18 hole USGA specification golf course can be found just outside Arusha. Added bonus is the backdrop of Kilimanjaro and the free roaming wildlife on the course

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