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Arusha Region

Arusha Region (Swahili: Mkoa wa Arusha) is one of Tanzania’s 31 administrative regions and is located in the north of the country. The region’s capital and largest city is the city of Arusha. The region is bordered by Kajiado County and Narok County in Kenya to the north, the Kilimanjaro Region to the east, the Manyara and Singida Regions to the south, and the Mara and Simiyu regions to the west. Arusha Region is home to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is comparable in size to the combined land and water areas of the state of Maryland in the United States.


Arusha Region is a tourist destination in Africa and is the hub of the northern Tanzania safari circuit. The national parks and nature reserves in this region include Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha National Park, the Loliondo Game Controlled Area, and part of Lake Manyara National Park. Remains of 600-year-old stone structures are found at Engaruka, just off the dirt road between Mto wa Mbu and Lake Natron. With a HDI of 0.721, Arusha is one among the most developed regions of Tanzania.


The Great Rift Valley runs through the middle of the region north-to-south. Oldonyo Lengai (Mountain of God in the Maasai language) is an active volcano to the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Altitudes throughout the region vary widely, but much of it ranges from in elevation.Mount Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, peaks at . Arusha Region has the highest number of craters and extinct volcanoes in Tanzania. Other prominent peaks and mountains include the Monduli Mountains, Mount Loolmalasin, Mount Lolkisale, Mount Longido, Gelai Volcano, and the Olduvai Gorge.

4 Locations


Karatu is a small town in the Arusha District, perfectly located on the borders of Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, giving it the nickname ‘Safari Junction’. It is often used as a quick stop over in-between safari trips or as a cheaper accomodation option compared to staying on the rim of the Crater and within Lake Manyara National Park. If you only see it as a stop over though, you might miss out on some amazing cultural tourism and outdoor action! If you have a few more days, check out what Karatu itself has to offer, giving you a break in between safaris.


Karatu is within the Arusha District. It is best reached by car or bus from Arusha. The 150 km on a decent road will take just over two hours. The international airport for Arusha is Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), about 45 minutes away from the city. A cheaper option is to take a bus or dala dala. This can take up to three hours and should be between 5000-7000 Tsh. These can often get crowded and for the cheap price you often miss out on comfort. It is generally advisable to take a bus that arrives before night falls for safety reasons.


If you are willing to splurge a bit more money, a small plane to the Lake Manyara airstrip is also recommendable. Coastal Aviation and Air Excel both fly from Arusha to Manyara for around 100 US$ as a stopover on their way to the Serengeti. Watch out because this flight is most likely leaving from Arusha Airport, a small local airport, rather than Kilimanjaro Airport, which you might have arrived from via an international flight. From the Manyara airstrip, it is about a 30 minute drive to Karatu, either by taxi or through a transfer arranged by us.

1 Location

Mto wa Mbu

Bustling with a variety of cultures from around Tanzania, the little town of Mto Wa Mbu lies at the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park. A local agricultural hub, the town is famous for its crops of rice and the distinctive red bananas that Tanzania is known for. A half-day tour of the town in the company of a local guide gives travellers the opportunity to interact with local farmers, as well as artisans, craftsmen and painters. A sampling of the local banana beer adds a unique taste of local flavour.


This cross-cultural melting pot is home to approximately 120 tribes. A bustling, thriving village, it is fascinating to hear the colourful blend of languages and witness first-hand the unique customs. Cultural diversity is seen in the various entrepreneurial ways including a farmer from Kigoma producing palm oil from palm trees that he purchased from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, and the Rangi creating colourful, beautiful mats and baskets using papyrus from the lakes and rivers.


Take a trip to this colorful intersection of banana plantations, food markets, art centers, workshops, and local eateries, and you’ll find yourself surprisingly immersed with the people, learning about their lifestyles, history, politics, and hearing their stories, Mto Wa Mbu is located on two wildlife paths used by vast numbers of animals during their migration. On your way to the village, don’t be surprised to find yourself amongst giraffe, wildebeest, elephants, zebra, and gazelle.

6 Locations

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtakingly beautiful setting and the best place in East Africa to see the Big Five.  It is a great way to start your African safari adventure. However, as one of the world’s most astonishing and renowned natural wonders, the Ngorongoro Crater does get busy, and at times very busy.  Due to the crowds we recommend a two-night stay only here, then moving on to the Serengeti for a quieter, more private safari experience.


The Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding highlands together form one of Africa’s most beautiful regions. Volcanic craters form stunning backdrops to some of the most fertile and richest grazing grounds in Africa. The most famous such crater is without question Ngorongoro, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and home to the highest density of big game in Africa. Ngorongoro is justifiably one of the continent’s most famous safari destinations.  (Any Northern Tanzania Safari should ideally include a visit to Ngorongoro)


When to go to Ngorongoro Crater:  Since the wildlife mainly stays in the crater all year round, there is really no good or bad time to visit. However given that the crater floor does get busy with vehicles, it can be more pleasant to visit during low season. Higher water levels in Lake Magadi (in the centre of the Crater) also result in higher concentrations of flamingos.  Whenever you visit to Ngorongoro, you are guaranteed excellent safari action. The beauty of an Ngorongoro safari is because of its unique micro-climate, it can be enjoyed year round.

4 Locations

Serengeti National Park

The word iconic comes to mind when thinking of Serengeti National Park. Have you dreamt of safaris on the vast African continent? Then, there’s a surefire chance you’ve dreamt of the golden Serengeti savannahs. Meaning a place where the land runs on forever, the Serengeti is among the top wildlife destinations and probably the most remarkable natural wonders left on our planet. Only a few places on Earth have such rich habitats, unspoilt lands, and thrilling wildlife experiences. Home to the greatest show on the planet, some of the largest concentrations of animals and birds, and a range of safari activities, the endless plains of the Serengeti are truly a wonder.


Situated in the northern region of Tanzania, the golden plains of the National Park stretch for almost 15,000 square kilometres. The park is located completely in the northeastern part of the Simiyu region and the eastern Mara region.The landscapes of the Serengeti Ecosystem are extremely varied. They range from savannahs and open grasslands to hilly woodlands and riverine forests. This diversity is because of the extreme weather conditions, in particular the combination of heat and wind.


The habitats of the Serengeti are believed to have originated from a series of volcanoes. The volcanic activity helped shape the features of the ecosystem by adding craters and mountains to the surroundings. The Mara River flows through the Kenyan highlands to Lake Victoria, where terrific migration crossings happen. This is the only river in the Serengeti National Park ecosystem that flows permanently.

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