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How to get to Arusha

Arusha is one of the most well-known cities in the country, as it is considered to be the “safari capital” of the nation. A vast number of tourists come to Tanzania each year to experience an authentic or luxury African safari experience, and many of them stay in or pass through Arusha. A significant number of adventurers who strive to conquer the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro also make this stop on their longer journey.

 

Arrival into Arusha City:

Arusha City has 3 airports nearby, Arusha Airport (ARK) – a small domestic airport in the West of the city, Kilimanjaro International Airport JRO (The airport provides international and domestic flights) , as well as Jomo Kenyata International Airpot (NBO). If your flight arrives into Nairobi, you can take a Shuttle Bus for about 6 hours direct to Arusha (Two are available: 8:00am and 1:00 pm)

There is one route of Train to and from Dar-es-salaam weekly, and  regular coaches (buses) to Nairobi, Dodoma and Dar Es Salaam and other Cities. Arusha City taxis are available at both JRO and ARK Airports. It’s a flat $50 fare from JRO. To save money, book a ride with the most trusted shuttle from the JRO. They’re comfortable, reliable, and far cheaper than a taxi.

Airports in & Around Arusha

How to get to Arusha

To get to ARUSHA you need to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA): CODE (IATA: JRO, ICAO: HTKJ) which is served daily by many airlines. The closest major cities to Arusha city are Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, and Karatu. Depending on where you are traveling from, you can usually fly direct to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) via the Gulf (Qatar airlines, Emirates) or via Europe (KLM). Follow this link for flight option: Kilimanjaro Flight Options

Alternatively, you can fly into Tanzania’s capital, Dar-Es-Salaam (DAR), for a short internal flight to (JRO), or to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) airport for a connection to JRO (Kenya Airways, Precision Air).

One of the best way to find cheap flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport is by flying into Nairobi Kenya. It’s also possible to travel by road from Kenya after flying in there. There are numerous bus and shuttle options to take you to Arusha , though the roads can be quite rough at times; you might consider this if you’re feeling adventurous, trying to save money and have sufficient time.

TRAVEL BETWEEN ARUSHA - NAIROBI AND OTHER AREAS

International flight to Arusha

If you want To get to Kilimanjaro you need to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). The airport is situated south-west of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Below we have listed airlines that fly directly to Kilimanjaro airport (JRO).

  • KLM: Direct flights from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Condor Air : Direct flights from Frankfurt to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Turkish Airlines: Direct flights from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Kenya Airways: Direct flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Precision Air: Direct flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Qatar Airlines: Direct flights from Doha to Kilimanjaro airport
  • Ethiopian Airlines: Direct flights from Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro airport
  • RwandAir: Direct flights from Kigali to Kilimanjaro airport

If you are unable find direct flights to Kilimanjaro airport, you can fly to Kilimanjaro airport via Dar Es Salaam or Nairobi (Kenya). Mount Kilimanjaro is much closer to Nairobi than it is from Dar Es Salaam. Nairobi receives a lot more air traffic than Kilimanjaro Airport, making it have competitive prices.

...LONG FLIGHTS TO KILIMANJARO

Best way to fly to Kilimanjaro from us, Europe and UK

For Visitors in US, Europe and the UK, the easiest thing to do is to fly from a major local airport hub near your location to Amsterdam (most major airports in US, Europe and the UK have flights to Amsterdam), and then catch the KLM Airlines to JRO connecting flight.

The following airlines offer domestic flights within Tanzania region:  Precision Air, Fly540, Regional Air, Fast jet, Zan Air, Coastal Aviation, Air Excel

Bus transfers from Nairobi

For a supplementary charge we can help you arrange private transportation or shuttle bus transfers to Moshi or Arusha from Nairobi, and vice versa.

Although the bus departs from Nairobi’s Park side Hotel, we arrange to fetch our clients from certain hotels in the Nairobi city center, at the Nairobi airport, and we do not charge extra for this service. In Arusha or Moshi town, pick up or drop off can be arranged to most hotels in the city center area.

 

Bus schedule (subject to change)

RoutingScheduleDepartingArriving
Nairobi to ArushaDaily08:0014:00
Nairobi to ArushaDaily14:0018:30
Nairobi to MoshiDaily08:0015:30
Moshi to NairobiDaily06:0014:00
Arusha to NairobiDaily08:0014:00
Moshi to NairobiDaily10:3018:30
Arusha to NairobiDaily14:0018:30

Private transfers

It is possible to arrange private transfers to Arusha or Moshi from Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam or Mombasa and vice versa, at extra cost.

What to Expect in Arusha

Arusha is not a place most people know and, if we’re being honest, most people will never go there. But they should. Arusha is a frontier city, it’s a place of excitement, it’s a place of opportunity. It’s from this unlikely place that people from every corner of the planet converge, all there to partake in travel experiences so amazing and so unique that they truly live up to the moniker of once-in-a-lifetime.

What to Expect when Visiting

Overall though, Arusha is a great place to do very little. Whether you’re fresh off a flight, at the end of your safari or dirty and exhausted from Mt. Kilimanjaro, you will undoubtedly be in need of some down time. Both before and after our safari Arusha was our home base and I personally came to regard it affectionately.

 I got to know the hotel, the staff and where to find a quiet corner to read a book and decompress. There’s plenty of nightlife all around town if that’s your thing and if you find yourself staying for a few days in Arusha, there are some amazing national parks nearby. If you’re willing to sacrifice a full day to the experience, there’s nothing better than trekking out to Tarangire National Park, famous for its elephants. 

If you don’t have that much time there is also Arusha National Park, although I’m told that the wildlife experiences there pale in comparison to not only Tarangire, but all of the other amazing national parks throughout Tanzania.

One popular must-visit in Arusha is the 137km² Arusha National Park just north of town. The park offers great safari experiences and features habitats ranging from open savannah to acacia scrublands, rainforest to alpine vegetation and also the golden Mount Meru. The wildlife in Arusha National Park is also incredibly diverse, with leopards and hyenas being the major predators in the area. Bird twitchers will also not get disappointed as the park is home to a world-class avifauna of 400 bird species.
 
Aside from the taste of authentic safari within the outskirts of town, Arusha also provides ample opportunities for cultural immersion, local villages tour, farms, markets and so much more!
 
When it comes to receiving an influx of tourists, Arusha holds a large influx every year. It has a domestic airport which provides direct flight link to Dar es Salaam and it is also very near Kilimanjaro International Airport, where most safari-bound travelers arrive.

But, even though a lot of tourists often find themselves with a day or two to spare, Arusha always have something in store for them.

The Cultural Heritage Centre is the perfect place to begin your history expedition in Arusha. The building itself is a spectacle of beauty that beckons to be photographed. It is structured as a sword and shield. It serves as a symbol of the Masai people’s heritage. 

Inside the centre, you will find artwork, statutes, and artifacts representing the past and present of over 120 tribes in Tanzania. You can explore gemstones, traditional dresses, carvings, masks, sculptures, and much more to learn about the way of the tribes. 

The Arusha Declaration Monument is a landmark that represents the Arusha Declaration. The monument was constructed in 1977 (ten years after the declaration) when Chama Cha Mapinduzi was the ruler. The declaration represents African Socialism, known as Ujamaa. The towering structure is beautiful to capture, especially when the lighting and timing are proper. 

Arusha is a captivating place for its location and historical significance in Tanzania. It represents the Tanzanian culture and the values of the 120+ Tanzanian tribes. Keep your camera gear ready to capture memorable shots.

Mount Meru (4,566 m) is an active stratovolcano and forms the centrepiece of Arusha National Park in Tanzania. The mountain is often referred to as Mt Kilimanjaro’s ‘little brother’. Although the mountain is not as high as Kilimanjaro, it is just as challenging. Known for its huge cliffs, beautiful green surroundings and abundant wildlife, Mount Meru is the sixth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest in Tanzania!

Climbing Mount Meru requires more technical climbing skills than the routes on Kilimanjaro. What Mount Meru ‘lacks’ in height, it makes up for in difficulty. Therefore, it is important to have some climbing experience.

Still, Mount Meru is sometimes used as warm-up for climbing Kilimanjaro, especially to acclimate the body to greater heights. If you have the time and budget to climb Meru, it is definitely worth it. The mountain isn’t climbed as often and it provides a truly unique experience. 

Since Meru lies in Arusha National Park, there’s a great chance of seeing various animals while trekking. You’re likely to encounter giraffes, buffalos, antelopes and baboons.

The 5 Arusha must do’s

Looking for gifts or fabrics for family and friends? Arusha is a great place to start. Spend a morning at either the Central Market or the Maasai Market for some world-class bargaining. The farmer’s markets are amazing, too.

This is by far the best museum in the city. If no travel is complete without a museum visit, look no further. The Natural History Center boasts an excellent exhibit on human evolution, among other things. Tanzania is the geographic center of the human story, so this is pretty powerful!

No place in Arusha warms your heart like Shanga, a nonprofit employing over 70 Tanzanians with disabilities. Each worker performs tasks such as glassblowing, weaving, and textiles. Come meet the talented folks who work here and leave with some memories.

Legend has it, one day a local Masaai saw a bolt lightning strike and turn some nearby stones a magnificent blue, and now we have this: Tanzanite, a blue gemstone “a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Though the more scientific reason has to do more with tectonics and continental uplift than lightning, this much is true: you won’t find Tanzanite native to anywhere else on the planet so you better seek it out while in Tanzania. This ultra-rare (ultra-expensive) gemstone can be found at jewelers and stores in Arusha. The Tanzanite Experience offers the best tour in town. 

Bird and boat lovers take note! Located only 10 miles from Arusha, this lake is set to a gorgeous backdrop of forest and volcanoes. Witness dozens of bird and reptile species, from lounging monitor lizards to nose-diving kingfishers. Renting a canoe is highly recommended.

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