Before we look at the top things to do in Arusha Town, learn more about Arusha Town.
A Tanzanian city and the regional capital of the Arusha Region, with a population of 416,442 plus 323,198 in the surrounding Arusha Rural District.
Located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha City has a temperate climate.
The city is close to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Meru in the Arusha National Park and is thus considered the safari capital of the world.
Serviced by both Arusha Airport and Kilimanjaro Airport, Arusha is the starting point and finishing point for most Tanzanian safaris.
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 several fun day trips and tours for you to choose from.
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. 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 Indefinite trips Tanzania, this is the perfect way to start (or finish) a longer safari adventure.
At the time of writing, canoe safaris within Arusha National Park are temporarily not taking place. Ask your safari expert about canoe safaris in Lake Manyara National Park as a fun alternative.
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.
While the Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies approximately four hours’ drive from Arusha, a particularly ambitious traveler can 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 on the verdant floor of this stunning natural wonder.
You’ll return to Arusha after dark, so be prepared for a long day!
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, lay out in the sun, and enjoy a local lunch purchased from the vendors on-site.