Travel Guide Africa Tanzania Arusha



Arusha is the capital of the Arusha Region, located in the north of Tanzania. It has a population of around 300,000. The city is located on a plateau in the Great Rift Valley amidst the Serengeti Plain, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Arusha serves as the starting point for safaris to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, as well as treks to the Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Numerous tour companies offer a range of trips from budget to luxury.



Sights and Activities

Arusha itself is not know because of its sights and attractions, but rather it is a good base for exploring the surrounding natural attractions.

Around Arusha

Arusha is awash with tour companies offering safaris to the surrounding national parks. Those at the cheaper end of the spectrum tend to be priced similarly - be aware that if a price seems very low, it's probably because there is some catch, e.g. restricted kilometres. Typically, safaris are conducted in a Landcruiser with a driver/guide and cook. A common itinerary worth considering is:

A safari with Tanzania Private Select Safaris following this itinerary, with tent accommodation and all meals, costs $840 (July 2009), all inclusive (except tips).
Note that in all the above-mentioned parks you are required to stick to the existing roads - this is by contrast with, say, Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, where you can off-road (environmental issues notwithstanding). Hence it will be beneficial to take a pair of binoculars. If you are visiting during the wildebeest migration, then your guide should be able to advise on the best camps in Serengeti National Park for optimal migration viewing. All the driving is extremely dusty, so you would be advised to bring sunglasses and/or a bandana. Try to keep your group size to no more than 4, as anything larger will be a bit cramped.

For a wider overview of possibilities, also check the Tanzanian Safari article.



Getting There

By Plane

Arusha is served by Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), some 60 kilometres east (approximately halfway to Moshi). The airport provides international and domestic flights. A partial list of airlines serving the airport is as follows:

A few other destinations include Bujumbura, Kigali and Frankfurt. There are seasonal flights to Zürich as well.

Getting to central Arusha from JRO, Air Tanzania provides a free shuttle for passengers (non-passengers can ride for a fee). Precision Air makes a shuttle available for passengers for a fee. Private shuttles and taxis are available for passengers of any airline. There are no public bus options to reach central Arusha from JRO.

Arusha Airport (ARK) is a smaller domestic airport in the west of the city. A partial list of airlines serving ARK is as follows:

From ARK, options to reach central Arusha are by taxi or by local bus (dalla-dalla).

By Bus

There are regular buses to Nairobi, Dodoma, Moshi and Dar Es Salaam, plus other local towns. Buses to Dar Es Salaam cost TSh28,000 (Aug 2009) and take about 10 hours.

By Train

There are no passenger train services to or from Arusha.





You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Major tourist areas and cities have internet cafes and many hotels offer (free) wifi nowadays. Connections can be slower at more remote places.
Also safari oriented places offer some sort of internet connections as well, by computers or wifi.


See also International Telephone Calls

The International Dialling Code for Tanzania is +255, followed by area codes (e.g. (0)22 for Dar es Salaam, or (0)27 for Arusha). Calling from Tanzania, you dial 00 plus the relevant country code (44 for the UK, 1 for the USA).

There are four cell providers in Tanzania: Zain (the major one), Zantel, Vodacom and Tigo, who all offer roaming facilities. Connections are good in Tanzania, even in places such as Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and some parts of the Serengeti (the western and northern region of the Serengeti not). You can buy the prepaid cards in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. You can even buy a cell phone while in Tanzania. The price for a simple cell phone ranges between $55 and $80.

Avoid roaming charges with you home cellphone and turn it off. Instead, use a local SIM card or just wifi.


Tanzania Posts Corporation is the national postal services of Tanzania. There are post officies in most major cities and towns throughout the country, which are generally open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am to noon. Services are generally quite reliable though not very fast. Prices for international airmal services start at around 500-600 TSHS to other countries in East Africa and 700-900 TSHS to Europe and North America for postcards and letters up to 20 grams. Small packages start at around 2,000-3,000 TSHS, but it's generally better to do business with international parcel services like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -3.36578
  • Longitude: 36.674438

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