Arusha is a city in north eastern Tanzania and the capital of the Arusha Region. This is the tourism capital of Tanzania with a population of 416,442 plus 323,198 in the surrounding Arusha District (2012 census). Arusha is located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley.
This town in Tanzania has a temperate climate. The city is the start and ending point of the Northern circuite. It is close to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub. The city hosts and is regarded as the de facto capital of the East African Community. Since 1994, the city has also hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Tourism sector is a major contributor to the economy of the city of Arusha, being the second largest contributor of income in Tanzania. The town of Arusha, Tanzania is the country’s safari capital located in the north of the country since he City is within the close proximity with three among the seven Natural wonders of Africa which are The Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) as well as Mt Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest mountain.
Arusha is a multicultural city with a majority Tanzanian population of mixed backgrounds. There are indigenous African, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian population. We also have a small European and an American minority population. Religions of the Arushan population include Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
Arusha is at the heart of Tanzania's safari industry. Virtually everyone visiting Tanzania’s Northern parks will travel through this town on his Tanzania safari tour. The streets are lined with tour operators selling safaris, and 4x4’s seem to be setting off at every turn. However, Arusha is definitely more than just a safari town; it has superb views of Kilimanjaro and with a number of coffee plantations situated around the edge of town, it is a great place to stay for a day or two before heading out on safari in Tanzania.
Where is Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha is a city found in Arusha, Tanzania. It is located -3.37 latitude and 36.68 longitude and it is situated at elevation 1415 meters above sea level.
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania, the capital of the Arusha Region, with a projected population of 1,288,088, including 516,000 for the Arusha District. The city of Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha has a temperate climate. The city is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and The Arusha National Park on Mount Meru terrains.
History of Arusha
The current site of Arusha was first settled in the 1830s by the agro-pastoral Arusha Maasai from the Arusha Chini community, south of Mount Kilimanjaro. They traded grains, honey, beer, and tobacco with the pastoral Kisongo Maasai in exchange for livestock, milk, meat, and skins. Demand for Arusha's foodstuffs increased substantially during the 1860s when the Pangani Valley trade route was extended through Old Moshi, Arusha, and ultimately to western Kenya.Although it was not yet a town, it was a regional centre and had a number of urban features.
Arusha was conquered by the Germans in 1896 after the murder of the first two missionaries who attempted to settle on nearby Mount Meru.The Germans established a permanent presence in 1900 when a military fort (a boma) was built and soldiers were garrisoned there. "The boma was a solid statement, meant to impress German moral and political order on the surrounding countryside. Set on a rise overlooking the plains, the fortress-like building dominated the surrounding landscape" complete with a machine gun. Many Africans were forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands by the Germans and forced to dig lime or carry stones to construct the fort.
The British took Arusha from the Germans in 1916 during World War I. German officials left the area, the British deported German missionaries and settlers, and only a skeletal military administration of the town remained. But slowly during the 1920s, civilian administration was implemented, missionaries from the United States arrived, British and Greek settlers reoccupied the former German farms, and the town grew, especially after the British moved the regional administration from New Moshi to Arusha. The extension of the railroad from Moshi to Arusha in 1928-29 greatly increased commerce. The Great Depression soon thereafter, however, squelched commerce, and Arusha in 1940 had less than 2,000 residents. Growth resumed during World War II and by 1948, the population had increased to more than 5,000.
In the 1960s parts of the movie Hatari! with John Wayne were filmed at Momella. Arusha has been a crucial city in the history of modern Tanzania. Official documents ceding independence to Tanganyika were signed by the United Kingdom at Arusha in 1961. Also, the Arusha Declaration was signed in 1967 in Arusha.
The Arusha Accords were signed at the city of Arusha on August 4, 1993, by representatives of competing factions in the Rwandan civil war.
East African Legislative Assembly
The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi was signed on 28 August 2000. This was part of a process forging peace in that country through power sharing and establishing a transitional government.
The January 2015 Arusha Agreement for South Sudan created a framework for the reunification of South Sudan's ruling SPLM party, which had splintered into three creating a humanitarian crisis as fighting between factions intensified. It provided that all SPLM members who were dismissed be reinstated to their previous positions and a secret ballot system be adopted.
In 1994 the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its foreign employees has influenced the local economy of the city increasing the cost of living for residents. The tribunal has downsized due to its closure in 2014, but its legal successor, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1966, will continue entertaining a branch in Arusha. Arusha was officially declared a city on 1 July 2006 by the Tanzanian government.
Climate in Arusha
In Arusha, the wet season is warm and overcast and the dry season is comfortable, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 56°F to 83°F and is rarely below 51°F or above 88°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Arusha for warm-weather activities is from mid July to early October.
The warm season lasts for 2.7 months, from January 2 to March 24, with an average daily high temperature above 81°F. The hottest day of the year is February 17, with an average high of 83°F and low of 60°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.2 months, from May 14 to August 21, with an average daily high temperature below 73°F. The coldest day of the year is July 13, with an average low of 56°F and high of 71°F.
In Arusha, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Arusha begins around May 20 and lasts for 4.7 months, ending around October 11. On August 31, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 70% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 30% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 11 and lasts for 7.3 months, ending around May 20. On February 2, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 76% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 24% of the time.
Best time to go to Arusha
What is the best time of year to go to Arusha in Tanzania? Here are some average weather facts we collected from historical climate data to help ypu with the best time to go to Tanzania Arusha:
- During the month of April, May, June, July, August and September you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).
- The months February, March, May, November and December have a high chance of precipitation.
- Arusha has dry periods in June, July, August and September.
- The warmest month is February with an average maximum temperature of 28°C (82°F).
- The coldest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 21°C (51°F).
- April is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain.
- August is the driest month.
Things to Do in Arusha
Arusha is the undisputed safari capital of Tanzania, if not the world. It is a bustling city that acts as the gateway to such legendary parks as Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, Arusha is a sometimes dizzying but always charming mix of cultures, styles, and peoples that every safari enthusiast will someday pass through.
Serviced by both Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro Airport, Arusha is the starting point and finishing point for most Tanzanian safaris.Here are some of the things to do in Tanzania, Arusha.
Day Trips from Arusha
Whether you're in Arusha for business or pleasure, the city offers a wealth of fun day trips and excursions.
Maybe you've got a day to spare ahead of your Mount Kilimanjaro climb, or maybe you're killing time before joining us on safari. Regardless of the reason, we've got a number of fun day trips and tours for you to choose from.
Arusha National Park Day Trip
The most accessible national park in Tanzania, Arusha National Park is just a short 1 hour drive from Arusha proper.
While the park is not home to any big cats or larger mammals, it is an ideal place to spot buffalo, zebras, warthogs, and a variety of primates. In fact, Arusha National Park is the best place in Tanzania to spot black and white colobus monkeys.
With fewer dangerous animals to worry about, Arusha National Park is the ideal place to take a canoe safari or walking safari. With a picnic lunch prepared by us, this is the perfect way to start (or finish) a longer safari adventure.
Lake Manyara or Tarangire Day Trip
Located between 1.5 and 2.5 hours from Arusha, the twin parks of Lake Manyara and Tarangire offer the more quintessential safari experience.
Home to four of the Big Five (rhinos being the notable exception), both parks are a terrific place to spot lions, elephants, giraffes, zebra, antelope, and a huge variety of other iconic African wildlife.
Tarangire is most famous for having Tanzania's largest elephant population, so if seeing a Tembo in the wild is on your bucket list, this is the perfect place for it. Conversely, Lake Manyara is famous for being one of only two places in the world where you can see tree-climbing lions. It is also a great place to take a canoe safari or a quick walk on the treetop walkway.
Ngorongoro Day Trip
While the Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies approximately four hours' drive from Arusha, it is possible for a particularly ambitious traveler to make the trip in a single day. While we don't usually advise this due to the rushed itinerary, it's a great way to see the World-Heritage listed Ngorongoro Crater when time isn't on your side.
Departing early in the morning, you'll arrive at Ngorongoro Crater in time for a picnic lunch and an afternoon game drive. Short of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro is the best place in Tanzania to spot the Big Five. Rhinos, elephants, buffalo, and lions are especially common sightings at the verdant floor of this stunning natural wonder.
You'll return to Arusha after dark, so be prepared for a long day!
Marangu Village Tour
Located in the Kilimanjaro foothills, the sleepy village of Marangu offers a fascinating window into modern Tanzanian life.
A day tour to Marangu includes visits to a local coffee plantation, a chance to sample locally brewed banana beer, a tour of the Chaga tunnels, and a walk to a gorgeous local waterfall.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can speak to your driver about stopping off at a local restaurant to try some ugali, chips mayai, or fried chicken.
Maji Moto Hot Springs Day Trip
Maji moto means 'hot water' in Swahili, but you'll find the crystal clear waters of this natural hot spring to be quite pleasant.
A bumpy two-hour drive from Arusha, Maji Moto is a popular swimming spot with locals and tourists alike. Shaded by the towering trees that surround the oasis, Maji Moto is a perfect place to take a dip, layout in the sun, and enjoy a local lunch purchased from the vendors on-site.
Kahawa Coffee Tour
Tanzanian coffee is famous around the world for its rich flavors, so why not go straight to the source and try it for yourself?
The Kahawa coffee plantation is located in the village of Nkoaranga, about 25 kilometers from Arusha. Here, you'll have the chance to tour a working coffee plantation, roast and grind your own beans, and enjoy a hot cup of the freshest coffee you'll ever have.
Couple this with a hot local lunch and your own bag of Tanzanian coffee beans to bring home and you've got the recipe for a delicious cultural experience.
Arusha City Walking Tour
While Arusha cannot boast the same cosmopolitan charm as Nairobi or Kenya, there is still plenty to see in Tanzania's safari capital.
A half-day or full-day walking tour of Arusha includes visits to local markets, a chance to dine in a local restaurant, and the guidance of a guide with a fantastic knowledge of the city's past and present.
Get off the beaten track on a thrilling quad-biking tour in the surrounds of Olerai Lodge.
Located in the idyllic Mateves valley on the outskirts of Arusha, the lodge's surrounds are home to bustling local villages and a startling array of wildlife and birdlife. Your guide will take you on a whirlwind tour of the area, teaching you a little about local life along the way.
For the more energetic and adventurous traveler, there are a number of cycling day trips to be taken in Arusha and the nearby town of Moshi.
These can range in length from two-hour tours of villages on Arusha's outskirts to half-day tours to Arusha National Park and Mt. Meru, all the way up to full-day cycling tours to local landmarks such as Maji Moto or a full-day spent within Arusha National Park.
Horse riding Safaris
Working with our local partner, Kaskazi, we are able to arrange a horse-riding experience that lets you see African wildlife from horseback! You'll feel like one of the explorers of old as you spot zebras and bushbuck from horseback.
It can be a fantastic way to unwind after a long trip in a safari vehicle or as an add-on to begin your Tanzania safari adventure.
Maasai Beading Class
We have partnered with the local Maasai population in a number of ways, with many of our ground staff being Maasai.
If you're staying at our Olerai Lodge, we can arrange for you to take a traditional beadwork class. Similar activities can also be arranged if you will overnight at the popular Africa Amini Maasai Lodge or Osiligilai Maasai Lodge, both of which offer our preferential rates.
|Languages spoken||English, Kiswahili|
|Currency used||Tanzania Shillings (TSh)|
|Area (km2)||37,576 km²|