What are the best things to do in Arusha?

What are the best things to do in Arusha?

Welcome to the vibrant city of Arusha, nestled at the foothills of Mount Meru in Tanzania. Known as the gateway to some of Africa’s most iconic national parks, Arusha is a melting pot of culture, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a foodie craving new flavors, or a nature lover seeking breathtaking landscapes – Arusha has something for everyone. Join us as we explore the best things to do in this enchanting destination that will leave you spellbound!

Introduction to Arusha

Nestled at the foot of Mount Meru in Tanzania, Arusha is a vibrant city that serves as the gateway to some of Africa’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Known for its bustling markets, rich cultural heritage, and proximity to world-renowned national parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha attracts adventurers and nature enthusiasts from around the globe.

The city itself exudes a unique charm with its mix of traditional African architecture and modern influences. As you wander through the streets lined with colorful buildings and bustling cafes, you’ll encounter friendly locals eager to share their stories and traditions.

Arusha is not just a starting point for safaris; it’s a destination brimming with history and culture waiting to be explored. From exploring local museums showcasing Tanzania’s diverse heritage to strolling through craft markets filled with handmade treasures, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city.

Explore the Local Markets and Culture

When visiting Arusha, immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets and rich culture that define this bustling city. Stroll through the colorful stalls of the Maasai Market, where you can find handcrafted jewelry, traditional fabrics, and unique souvenirs to bring home.

Engage with friendly locals as you explore the aromas of spices and fresh produce at the Central Market. Bargain for beautiful artworks or sample a variety of fruits to tantalize your taste buds.

Don’t miss out on witnessing traditional dances or music performances that showcase Tanzania’s diverse cultural heritage. Visit art galleries showcasing local talent or attend workshops to learn about indigenous crafts passed down through generations.

Indulge in authentic Tanzanian cuisine like Ugali (maize porridge), Nyama Choma (grilled meat), or Pilau (spiced rice) at local eateries frequented by residents. Experience the flavors that reflect the country’s culinary traditions blending African, Arab, Indian, and European influences.

Go on a Safari Adventure

Embark on an unforgettable safari adventure in Arusha, Tanzania, where the raw beauty of nature unfolds before your eyes. Feel the thrill of witnessing majestic wildlife roam freely in their natural habitat as you traverse through sprawling savannahs and lush forests.

Set out on early morning game drives to catch a glimpse of lions basking in the sun or elephants lumbering gracefully across the plains. The excitement builds as you spot elusive leopards camouflaged among the trees and giraffes gracefully grazing on treetops.

Experience the magic of close encounters with zebras trotting elegantly alongside your vehicle and cheetahs darting swiftly across open grasslands. Each moment spent on safari is a unique opportunity to connect with nature at its purest form, leaving you awestruck by the sheer diversity and wonder of wildlife thriving in their natural environment.

Capture breathtaking moments through your lens as herds of wildebeest migrate across vast landscapes or witness playful elephants bathing joyfully in watering holes. Every turn reveals a new chapter in this thrilling saga of life unfolding right before your eyes – a safari adventure like no other awaits in Arusha, Tanzania.

Hike Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro

Embark on a thrilling adventure in Arusha by hiking either Mount Meru or Kilimanjaro. The majestic peaks offer breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Mount Meru, often overshadowed by its taller neighbor Kilimanjaro, is the fifth highest peak in Africa and presents a challenging yet rewarding climb with diverse landscapes ranging from lush forests to alpine deserts.

On the other hand, conquering Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, is a bucket-list achievement for many trekkers worldwide. With various routes catering to different skill levels, reaching Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters above sea level is a truly exhilarating accomplishment.

Both hikes provide opportunities to witness stunning sunrises over vast savannahs and cloud-covered slopes while immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Tanzania’s landscapes. So lace up your boots and get ready for an epic journey filled with awe-inspiring moments and personal triumphs.

Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre

When visiting Arusha, a trip to the Cultural Heritage Centre is a must-do. This center showcases the rich cultural diversity of Tanzania through its art, crafts, and historical artifacts. As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll be immersed in the traditions and customs of various ethnic groups in Tanzania.

The centre’s collection includes beautifully handcrafted sculptures, paintings, jewelry, and traditional clothing that tell stories of generations past. You can also witness local artisans at work creating intricate pieces using age-old techniques passed down through families.

Take your time exploring the different galleries and outdoor displays that highlight Tanzania’s heritage. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop where you can purchase authentic souvenirs to remember your visit by.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about Tanzanian culture, a visit to the Cultural Heritage Centre offers a unique experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this vibrant country.

Try Traditional Tanzanian Cuisine

Indulge your taste buds in the vibrant and flavorful world of traditional Tanzanian cuisine when visiting Arusha. From aromatic spices to mouth-watering dishes, the local food scene is a delightful journey for food enthusiasts.

One must-try dish is “Ugali,” a maize porridge that serves as a staple in Tanzanian meals. Pair it with succulent grilled meat or fish for an authentic culinary experience.

For those craving something spicy, sample the famous “Pilau,” a fragrant rice dish cooked with an array of spices such as cumin, cardamom, and cloves. The blend of flavors will leave you wanting more!

Don’t miss out on tasting “Mandazi,” a sweet fried bread popular as a snack or breakfast item. Its fluffy texture and hint of coconut make it irresistible.

Exploring Arusha’s traditional cuisine offers not just delicious meals but also insight into the rich cultural heritage that defines Tanzanian gastronomy.

Relax at Lake Duluti or Momella Lake

Nestled near Arusha, Lake Duluti and Momella Lake offer tranquil settings for relaxation amidst nature’s beauty.

At Lake Duluti, embrace the serene ambiance as you take a leisurely boat ride or simply unwind by the shores. The lush greenery surrounding the lake creates a picturesque backdrop perfect for unwinding.

Momella Lake, part of Arusha National Park, is known for its birdlife and stunning views of Mount Meru. Enjoy a peaceful picnic with breathtaking vistas or explore the area on foot to immerse yourself in the natural splendor.

Both locations provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to rejuvenate your mind and soul in a peaceful environment. Whether you prefer a laid-back day by the water’s edge or seek adventure through nature walks, these lakes are ideal spots for relaxation in Arusha’s tranquil surroundings.

Discover the Surrounding Villages

Explore the charm of Arusha by venturing into its surrounding villages. Immerse yourself in the authentic Tanzanian way of life as you interact with locals and witness traditional customs firsthand.

Each village has its own story to tell, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Tanzania. From vibrant markets selling colorful fabrics and handmade crafts to lively dances celebrating age-old traditions, there is so much to experience.

Take a stroll through banana plantations or visit local schools to engage with community projects. You’ll be amazed by the warm hospitality and genuine smiles that greet you at every turn.

Savor the simplicity of rural life as you admire stunning landscapes dotted with thatched-roof houses and lush greenery. Discover hidden gems off the beaten path, where time seems to stand still amidst serene surroundings.


As we wrap up our journey through the wonders of Arusha, it’s clear that this city is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. From the bustling markets to the serene lakes and majestic mountains, every corner of Arusha holds a piece of magic just waiting for you to uncover.

Each experience in Arusha offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Tanzanian culture and nature, leaving visitors with memories that will last a lifetime. The vibrant colors, sounds, and flavors of this city create an atmosphere unlike any other – one that captivates all who wander its streets.

So as you plan your next adventure or safari in Tanzania, consider adding Arusha to your itinerary. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping excursions or moments of tranquility amidst nature’s beauty, this diverse destination has something special in store for every traveler. Get ready to immerse yourself in the charm and allure of Arusha – where unforgettable experiences await at every turn!

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