Arusha the busy Safari Hub


Arusha the busy Safari Hub

Arusha the busy Safari Hub

The busy safari hub and commercial town of Arusha stands in the foothills of Mount Meru at an altitude of 1,500 metres. Although it is not usually a destination in itself, Arusha is the most popular and convenient springboard from which to explore the legendary northern game-viewing circuit.

In Arusha practically everything centers on the safari industry. From 1978 to today, it has risen from ninth largest town to second-largest town, with a population of 270,000. It is likely that the driving force behind Arusha’s steady rise is the lure of the tourist dollar.

Apart from shopping for curios, there are not many things in Arusha to occupy a visitors time. That said, only 45 minutes from Arusha town is the most accessible and arguably underrated of northern Tanzania’s national parks – Arusha National Park, which is detailed below.

Getting Around Arusha

The easiest, cheapest, and most prevalent way to travel around Arusha is using the dala dalas. Dala dalas are small shuttles, with interesting and colorful decals, that transport the residents of Arusha down the main streets of the city. They run from early morning until late at night, but I wouldn’t suggest riding after night fall. Most rides are under 1000 Tsh.

It is a fun way to get up close and personal with the locals. They are always packed with riders and I’ve had great conversations while being smushed onto a bench riding through the busy streets. Every place mentioned in this article is accessible using dala dalas, except Themis Falls.

They will stop any time along the route, just get the attention of the guy who collects, “conda”, the money, and tell him you want to get off. Taxis are also available, and drivers are willing to negotiate for reasonable price prior to the trip. Only use taxis with white license plates, as they are registered with the government and will be safer.



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