Arusha town is located on the foothills of Mount Meru and exactly at the midpoint of the African continent between Cape Town and Cairo. Arusha is a sophisticated, lively city, standing as the hub of Tanzania’s tourism. As a centre of tourism in Tanzania, Arusha is the starting point for many wildlife and climbing safaris particularly to Arusha, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks and to the Ngorongoro Crater which is in the western part of the region.
The history of Arusha goes back when in last decade of the 10th century when one German, Captain Johannes built a fort at the foot of Mount Meru to facilitate German colonialisation of Tanzania. Arusha has grew, first as a trading post for the local people and today is famous centre for various international activities which prompted the former US president Bill Clinton to christened it “The Geneva of Africa” during his brief visit to Arusha several years ago.
Visit to Arusha will take you to Mt. Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro, peaks at 4,655 metres (14,980 feet). The Maasai are the most influential tribe in the region. Remains of a 1,000-year-old stone structure are found at Engaruka. A
The Great Rift Valley cuts right through the middle of the region north-to-south, Oldonyo Lengai (Mountain of God in Maasai language) is an active volcano to the north of Ngorongoro. The city of Arusha is at the southern foot of Mt. Meru. Areas to the south and southeast of the mountain tend to be sufficiently watered and are the most densely populated areas of the region.
Getting to Arusha Town
Arusha has a small national airport, used on domestic routes by Coastal Aviation, Precision Air and other airlines. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is an airport which services flights from the rest of the world with the likes of KLM and Alliance Air. JRO is an easy 40-minute’s drive of approximately 60 km (38 miles) to Arusha, Tanzania.
What To Do
Game drives, forest walks, mountain biking, canoeing, numerous picnic sites; three or four-day Mount Meru climb – good acclimatization for Mt. Kilimanjaro. The lakes, forest and Ngurdoto Crater can all be visited in the course of a half-day outing at the beginning or end of your holiday.
When To Go
To climb Mount Meru, June-February although it may rain in November. Best views of Mount Kilimanjaro December-February.
Hotels in Arusha, Tanzania include the Impala Hotel or the Mount Meru Hotel in the city or the Ngaro Sero Lodge with its charm or the Mountain Village with its beautiful gardens.
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