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is a relatively large town in Northern Tanzania
, a major transport hub which acts as a gateway to the cluster of reserves of to the west that includes Ngorongoro
via both Arusha Domestic Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport.
It is a buzzing and lively town in a scenic location at the foot of Mount Meru and with its suburbs spread out over numerous volcanic foothills. The place has a frontier style atmosphere, with safari vehicles, stinky trucks and cranky old taxis fighting for space on the dusty roads.
There is a very wide range of accommodation, from glass-towered business hotels to basic guest-houses to very high quality rural retreats.
In terms of activities, the town has some decent shopping options, whether you are looking to stock up on supplies for a safari, fix a washing machine, visit a colourful local market or a large curio emporium. There are also lots of cultural activities that you can get involved in if you wish, from watching a national league football game in the main stadium to visiting various schools and philanthropic projects. If you are staying in one of the more rural lodges around the periphery to the east, there are also lots of opportunities for walking and mountain-biking amongst some really lovely scenery. It is also possible to do day-trips into the nearby Arusha National Park
But we don't want to paint too pretty a picture here. Most visitors view Arusha as a rather hectic African town, which for the most part is dirty, chaotic and run down. Love it or hate it, that's the way most towns and cities are on this continent. There are also some serious traffic issues and getting across town in the rush hour can be a major undertaking.SeasonsAccommodationTrips