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Monduli District in Arusha Region

Monduli District in Arusha Region was established during the British colonial rule;  the administrative area was named “Monduli Maasai District” which included the present Kiteto, Simanjiro, Ngorongoro and Longido districts. In 1979 the present Kiteto district was born out of the Monduli Maasai district (then the present Simanjiro district was still part of Kiteto district) Since then the name of the district remained “Monduli” The present Ngorongoro  district was still part of it until 1980s. In 2005 Longido district was born out of Monduli District.

Location:  Monduli District is situated between latitudes 3.00” to  4.50” south of the Equator and Longitudes 36.50” to 36.45” East of Greenwich Meridian. It is bordered by Arumeru district  to the East, Ngorongoro and Karatu Districts to the west, Mbulu and Babati to the South and Simanjiro District  to the South- East and Longido district to the North……..                        

Administration: Administratively the District is divided into  three divisions of Manyara, Makuyuni and Kisongo, 15 wards and 48 villages. The major Ethnic group is the Maasai who constitute about 40 percent of the entire population. The main activity is livestock keeping . The second ethnic group is the Waarusha -they constitute about 20 percent of the entire population. The main activities are livestock keeping and farming. The rest who are not indigenous of Monduli District constitute 40 percent and their main activities are farming and trading.

Ngurdoto Crater in Arusha National Park

Land and Economy: The main economic activities of Monduli District are Livestock keeping, agricultural production and wildlife. More than 90 percent of the population is engaged in livestock raring and agriculture. The District is estimated to have 105,547.5 hectares of potential arable land but only 87,632.5 hectares are under cultivation that is 13.65percent. Large-scale farming is the main  form of farming.

Major food and cash crops are maize, beans and paddy, which are leading staple food crops. Coffee and sunflowers are grown at a small scale. Livestock keeping is the main predominant economic activity. The district has an area of 6,419 square kilometers of which 6290.62 square kilometers is land area and 3,983. 855 is grazing land.  1055.475 square kilometers is arable land and 374.965 square kilometers is under forest. Water covers  128.38 square kilometers.

Topography: The land  surface is characterized by a number of isolated mountains (Monduli, Lepurko, Loosimingori, and Lengai) and flat rolling plains. Altitudes range from 600m. In the low elevations to 2900m at a high elevations. The district has mixed vegetation- forest, bushlands, wooded grassland and grasslands. There are perennial and seasonal rivers in the district. The major perennial streams are Simba, Kirurumo, Mto wa mbu, selela (Kabambe scheme) and Engaruka.

Information about Arusha

Kilimanjaro airport transfers

Arusha Mini Guide

Located in north eastern Tanzania, Arusha is the capital of the Arusha Region. The city is situated under the towering giant Mount Meru, and Mount Kilimanjaro is just 82.6km away.

Arusha was first settled in the 1830s by the Arusha Maasai. These agropastoral settlers belonged to the Arusha Chini community who lived south of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania, and a popular stopover for adventurers who are preparing for a Kilimanjaro trek.

It is possible to rent a car in Arusha but parking costs $0.50 per day throughout the city. It is far more common to hire a driver, and this is particularly useful for daytrips to Arusha National Park. If you are renting a vehicle, make sure that there is no charge for ‘extra kilometres’, as this can become expensive.

Dala dalas (small minibuses) are common throughout Tanzania and these only depart when they are full. They cost 400 TSH/person and they operate along the major roads throughout the day. You will find a large station on Stadium Street.

You can also take a bajaji (tuk-tuk) for a one-dollar ride to the city centre. None of these options are particularly comfortable or safe, but they do offer an authentic Tanzanian experience.

Taxis are available and they can usually be found parked in front of hotels. A ride across town should not cost more than $2.50.

There are some Bureaus de Change in Arusha clustered around the Clock Tower, and some ATMs in the city centre. It is a good idea to stop by these before your safari to take out some notes. There are not many other options during the Northern Circuit and it is good to have cash to buy souvenirs or tip drivers and guides. 


Arusha is relatively safe for tourists, but it is wise not to wear too much jewellery. The risk increases at night, and we do not recommend walking the streets after dark. But in general, the city is known for its welcoming atmosphere, and the people are very pleased to have such a thriving tourism economy, meaning the locals treat tourists well. We recommend that you travel the city by taxi since dala dalas (small minibuses) and bajajis (tuk-tuks) are more dangerous. A taxi ride across town should not cost more than $2.50.

No, you cannot see Kilimanjaro from Arusha. Mt Kilimanjaro is situated 82.6km away from Arusha.

There is more to Arusha than initially meets the eye. With impressive museums, cultural heritage programmes, crafts, and curio markets galore, there is plenty to explore before you start your safari.

The city is multinational, with Iraqw, Hadzabe, Maasai, South Asian, and European residents.

The streets are bustling, with Maasai women sat on the sidewalks selling their beadwork, Maasai men wandering through town in their traditional red swathes, enterprising businessman trying to sell batiks, and tour guides offering various exciting 4WD adventures.

Despite this intensity, the city has a warmwelcoming atmosphere. Matching the ambiance of the city, the architecture and infrastructure is chaotic, with hectic traffic and old colonial buildings mixed with modern conveniences.

There are some excellent authentic street-food options in Arusha. At Discovery Restaurant, you can sit beside Maasai men and enjoy a Myama choma (roasted meat and maize), chapati, pilau, or biryani.

Alternatively, try out Khan’s BBQ on Mosque Street, which serves great chicken dishes, Indian style chutneys, naans, and salads.

More upmarket options can be found in the Eastern side of town. Some of the best dining options are found outside of the city. The Themi Living Gardens is a leafy spot where you can eat at the eco-restaurantEat Wild. The Mulberry is another outer-city oasis where you can sit back and enjoy cocktails as you watch the sunset. For travellers who like to party, this is an excellent spot for pre-drinks.

The city has a lively nightlife, with several bars and nightclubs (we recommend Via Via) and a growing live music scene. There are weekly acts at the Mount Meru Game Lodge, Blue Heron, and the Fig and Olive.

In the City

There are several budget options in Arusha, including The African Tulip and the Impala Hotel.

The Impala HotelA large hotel with a pool and restaurant, and it is a great option if you are looking for a place to stay after an international flight or the night before a safari.

The African TulipA quaint boutique hotel which offers an airport shuttle. Most of the upmarket hotels can be found in the eastern area of Arusha. The Gran Melia Arusha offers fantastic views of Mt Meru, a well-stocked bar, a spa, and a pool.

In the Suburbs

Some of the best accommodation options in Arusha lie outside of the city. The less expensive options include Onsea House, Rivertrees, and Arumeru River Lodge.

Onsea HouseA charming boutique guesthouse that was originally a farmhouse. It has two swimming poolsa saunaa steam roomand a jacuzzi, and its gardens are tranquil. The guesthouse also has a restaurant which serves delicious food.
The guesthouse is only an hour away from the airport, making it an excellent place to relax before or after a safari. Onsea House offers 2 double suites and a family suite that overlooks the Meru Valley. The adjacent self-contained cottage is perfect for families.

Arumeru River Lodge: A peaceful lodge which offers great access to Kilimanjaro International Airport. It has vast gardens which are home to dik-diks, monkeys and countless bird species. On a clear day, the lodge has exceptional views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro. The lodge organises horseback safaris and it is tastefully furnished with traditional dhow furniture.

Rivertrees Lodge: Located on an old coffee farm and with views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro, the lodge is an excellent base for trekking. The delicious food matches the high quality of the coffee, and its oven-fired pizza pit is popular with its guests.

Arusha Coffee Lodge: Just a 25-minute drive from Arusha, this old plantation brims with luxury. The exquisitely decorated rooms are spread across the grounds and each room has its own indoor fireplace. Given that the lodge is a former coffee plantation, it offers tours of the old plantation house and coffee-making process. The theme of coffee runs throughout the hotel – in the bar, restaurant, gardens, and even the spa.

On the one hand, you must visit Arusha on any trip to Tanzania – this is the starting point for some of Tanzania’s most famous sites, including Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. So, should you stay more than one night in Arusha? There is certainly plenty to do in the town – from cultural programmes, to museums, to shopping to day trips – there is enough to spend at least two days. If you already have a full itinerary, including hiking, safaris, and beach work in Zanzibar, then perhaps it is best to only stay one night in one of Arusha’s attractive plantation guesthouses. 

Arusha is known for being the safari capital of Tanzania, and a popular stopover for adventurers who are preparing for a Kilimanjaro trek.


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