Located in the north of Tanzania, in the shadow of Mount Meru, Arusha is the safari capital of the country. Built by the Germans as a centre of colonial administration, Arusha is now one of the country’s most prosperous towns. The site for the United Nations Criminal Tribunal and the headquarters for the East African Community (EAC), Arusha is also the centre for the trading of Tanzanite, a rare gemstone only found in Tanzania. The National Natural History Museum, with its collection of antiquities demonstrating Tanzania’s natural heritage, is housed in an old German Fort in the centre of Arusha while the nearby Cultural Heritage centre and its adjacent, four storey Art Gallery are also well worth a visit.
Arusha boasts a world class Conference Centre – The Arusha International Convention Centre with the capacity to host International Conferences for 2000 delegates. Arusha as a meeting place for safaris, International meetings delegates offers a wide variety of Hotels and lodges ranging from International 5 star brands, luxury guest houses, to Backpackers budget accommodation. The USA river area (halfway between Kilimanjaro Airport and Arusha has a number of safari lodges while there is also deluxe Villa accommodation available at the famous Kilimanjaro Golf Course (15 minutes drive from the airport).
Arusha has an amazing choice of excellent restaurants catering for International cuisine as well as Tanzanian dishes. There are numerous Coffee shops in and around town where you can taste the famous Arusha and Mount Meru coffee.
Legend has it that the Clock tower in the centre of the town is the halfway point between Cape Town and Cairo.
Arusha is a shoppers delight with an array of shops and vibrant street markets offering tourist souvenirs and authentic local products. Central Market is a great attraction with excellent quality Maasai blankets. The Cultural Heritage Centre is a one stop shop to purchase paintings, colourful kikoys (Swahili for wrap) and Tanzanite jewellery.
A must visit is the Tanzanite Experience in the centre of town to learn about the history, mystery and rarity of this precious gemstone, unique to Tanzania. Enjoy interactive tours and visual exhibitions, including a replica of a Tanzanite mine shaft.
Kilimanjaro International Airport is located about an hour’s drive from Arusha and is well served by a large number of international airlines as well as domestic airlines connecting passengers to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and other Tanzanian cities. Arusha Airport on the outskirts of town has scheduled and charter flights to the Northern Circuit National Parks as well as Dar, Mwanza and Zanzibar.