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How to Spend Few Days in Arusha

Use Arusha as a base camp for exploring Tanzania, and then search for herds of giraffe, hike a trail at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, paddle across hippo territory, and visit a volcanic crater. With three days in Arusha, save one to experience the city’s pulsing energy, diverse cuisine, and colorful markets. Here’s how to plan.

How to Spend three days in Arusha:

Day 1: Arusha National Park Set out early on a day-long safari, and you could be snapping life-list animal photos an hour after breakfast. While some game reserves limit travelers to safari vehicles, Arusha National Park offers plenty of ways to get out of the car and into the landscape. One active option is a canoe trip in Momella Lakes, an important habitat for hippos, buffaloes, bushbuck, and a wide range of bird species. Walking safaris are another favorite, as the 213-square-mile (552-square-kilometer) park has a maze of hiking trails. Venture to the edge of Ngurdoto Crater, and you find big views of swamp and forest land. Throughout the day, watch for groups of giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, and monkeys—since Arusha National Park sprawls along the slopes of Mt. Meru, it includes a broad diversity of habitat types and species.  

Day 2: City Exploring Now that you’ve seen Tanzania’s wild side, stick around for a day of city culture, natural history, and shopping. Make the first stop of the day Maasai Market Curios and Crafts, where a sprawl of stalls offers a treasure trove of carved masks, bead work, colorful fabrics, and other Tanzanian handicrafts. Be prepared to bargain, and enjoy the chance to chat with local people. Next, head to the Old Boma Museum to learn about Tanzania’s natural history, from taxidermy big game to preserved plants and insects. Don’t miss an additional wing that’s devoted to Tanzania’s colonial period. After pausing for lunch in a local restaurant, continue to the Cultural Heritage Centre, which gathers high-quality art, craftsmanship, and souvenirs into a gallery-like space. Unlike the Maasai Market, shopping here means fixed prices; this is also a top shopping destination if you’re looking for tanzanite gemstones.   

Day 3: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro means a strenuous, week-long adventure, but you can get a taste of Africa’s tallest mountain in a day. Kilimanjaro day hiking tours generally follow the Marangu Route, one of the most beloved and historic routes to the summit. Dress for a day on the trail, and then set out through the lush environment, where trees are thick with moss from frequent mists. On most day hiking tours of Kilimanjaro, your turnaround point is Mandara Hut, a cluster of structures in a forest clearing where long-distance hikers spend the night. The most energetic hikers may have the option to add a side trip to Maundi Crater; clear days at the crater mean views that stretch to Kenya. After a day on the trail, return to Arusha for a well-earned feast of Tanzanian cuisine. 

 

Arusha Sample Tours and Activities:

Half Day Tours in Arusha:  

Meserani Snake Park Guided Tour: This full-day tour takes you to three popular attractions in and around Arusha. At Meserani Snake Park, view and learn about reptiles like the black mamba, cobra, crocodiles, and monitor lizards. After lunch and a camel ride, proceed to the Maasai Cultural Village to see traditional living quarters and lifestyle of the Maasai.

  • 1. Enjoy several activities in one tour
  • 2. Private driver/guide
  • 3. Lunch and all entrance fees included
  • 4. Hotel pickup and drop-off included
Snake Park Arusha #1
Snake Park Arusha #2
Snake Park Arusha #3

Day Trips in Arusha: 

 24 Hours in Arusha—Arusha Museum, Cultural Heritage, Maasai Market, Shanga: With one day in Arusha you can cover key sites, but coordinating transport and activities takes up valuable sightseeing time. Choose a private tour to see and do more in the city, from browsing shops at the Arusha Central Market to checking out tribal traditions in the Cultural Heritage Centre. Door-to-door service means you won’t need to fight Arusha traffic, leaving you free to focus on exploring. Private tour ensures individualized attention from the guide Try local flavors with a provided lunch Tour the Cultural Heritage Centre, admission included Convenient pickup and drop-off at your accommodations.

  • 1. Private tour ensures individualized attention from the guide
  • 2. Try local flavors with a provided lunch
  • 3. Tour the Cultural Heritage Centre
  • 4. Convenient pickup and drop-off at your accommodations
Getting Around Arusha
Arusha National Museum
Cultural Heritage Arusha

Tarangire National Park: Guided Day Tour from Arusha: Spend the day exploring the great Tarangire National Park on a guided tour from Arusha. Head deep into the African grasslands to see a number of animal species, like elephants, lions, zebras, and giraffes, roaming around the reserve. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the park and admire the beauty of the savannah before heading back to Arusha.

  • 1. Take a full-day guided tour from Arusha to Tarangire National Park.
  • 2. See lions, elephants, zebras, and giraffes in their natural habitat
  • 3. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in the park as you admire the scenery
  • 4. Enjoy complimentary round-trip transportation from your hotel
Tarangire National Park #1
Tarangire National Park #2
Tarangire National Park #3

Arusha National Park Safari by Jeep: Get out of the city and enjoy Tanzania’s nature on this half-day tour of Arusha National Park. Depart from your hotel or airport in a private vehicle with a driver and head to the national park. Accompanied by your guide, spot some of the rich wildlife in the park, possibly including giraffes, zebras, warthogs, and elephants.

  • 1. Enjoy hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your Arusha hotel or airport
  • 2. Experience Arusha National Park with a guide
  • 3. View local wildlife, including giraffes and elephants
  • 4. Travel in a private vehicle
Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park Nature
arusha City Guide

Full-Day Safari in Lake Manyara National Park from Arusha: Immerse yourself in Tanzania’s picturesque scenery on a full-day tour from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park. Traverse the Great Rift Valley, through the market town of Mto Wa Mbu, to reach the lake teeming with wildlife. Observe hippos swimming, lions climbing trees, elephants and zebras grazing, and much more. Enjoy a picnic lunch inside the park and admire the beautiful savannah scenery before completing your safari adventure.

  • 1. Take a full-day tour from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park
  • 2. See native wildlife like hippos, lions, elephants, and zebras.
  • 3. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch surrounded by beautiful scenery
  • 4. Receive complimentary round-trip transportation from your hotel
Manyara #2
Manyara #3
Things to do in Arusha

Ngorongoro Crater: Venture out to the Ngorongoro Crater and discover its unique landscape on this full-day tour from Arusha. The crater is the world’s largest unbroken caldera and is home to a number of species such as lions, elephants, cheetahs, hippos and even the rare black rhino. Spend the day animal watching and admiring the beautiful savannah scenery that surrounds you before heading back to Arusha.

  • 1. Take a full-day safari from Arusha to the Ngorongoro.
  • 2. Crater See lions, elephants, cheetahs, and hippos in their natural habitat
  • 3. Admire the beautiful scenery of the African savannah
  • 4. Sit down to a delicious picnic lunch surrounded by nature

 

Ngorongoro #1
Ngorongoro attractions
Ngorongoro #3

Hiking and Walking in and Around Arusha:

Mount Kilimanjaro Short Trek from Arusha: Experience Africa’s highest mountain on a Mount Kilimanjaro day hike that follows the Marangu Route to the Mandara Hut. With the option to add a side trip to Maundi Crater, this full-day hiking tour is a great way to hike Kilimanjaro if you’re not tackling the week-long trek to the summit, and it includes convenient pickup and drop-off at Arusha hotels.

  • 1. 1-day Mount Kilimanjaro Hike with entrance fees
  • 2. Trek to one of the huts on the classic Marangu Route
  • 3. Walk through rainforest with vibrant wildlife
  • 4. Marangu Route offers Kilimanjaro’s only short hikes
Kilimanjaro Hiking #1
Kilimanjaro Hiking #2
Kilimanjaro Hiking #3

Nature Walk in Arusha National Park: Hike on the flanks of Mount Meru, spot wildlife, and explore Arusha National Park on a full-day tour from Arusha. With a morning walking safari led by a park ranger and an afternoon game drive, you’ll see the park on foot and on back roads. This full-day Arusha National Park tour includes pickup and drop-off in Arusha, entrance fees, and a guided tour of the park, with the option to add a canoe safari across the Momella Lakes.

  • 1. Full-day Arusha National Park tour
  • 2. Hike with a park ranger
  • 3. See the Momella Lakes Afternoon game drive
  • 4. Entrance fees included Hotel pickup and drop-off in Arusha

How to get to Arusha

Arusha NP is only a 45-minute drive away from the town of Arusha, the starting point of any safari in northern Tanzania.

There are several ways to get to Arusha. The easiest is to get a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated about 46km/29mi from Arusha. Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), near Dar es Salaam and get a connecting domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

In most cases, your tour operator will pick you up from the airport and take care of further transportation.

Airlines & Ticket Prices

Please check Skyscanner to see which airlines can take you to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Arusha Airport (ARK) or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and what tickets would cost.

  • www.skyscanner.com

Domestic Flights

Charter flights are usually booked by tour operators as part of the tour package. Domestic flights to Arusha or Kilimanjaro can be booked with various local carriers:   Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Regional Air, ZanAir, Safari Air Link, Coastal Aviation, Air Excel.

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