Top 13 Attractions in Arusha

Top 13 Attractions in Arusha: Arusha is one of the largest cities located in the northern part of Tanzania at the foot hills of Mount Meru with a population of over 400,000 people including indigenous tribes of Arab, Indian and Swahili. The city is located at the foot of Mount Meru which means that it receives enough rainfall throughout the year. Arusha is filled with amazing attractions like markets, shopping centers, good restaurants, stone town among others and also acts as a connecting point to various destinations like Serengeti national park, Tarangire national park, Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro national park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara national park among others.

Arusha central market

Top 13 Attractions in Arusha

  • Arusha central market

Arusha central market which is also known as Soko Kuu Arusha is situated in the heart of the city on Sokaine road near the bus station. the central market mainly survives on local trade and its one of the places to visit while in Tanzania because you will be able to see other travelers, get an opportunity to interact with some locals, know about their lifestyle, view various stalls of exotic fruits, spices, coffee, nuts, vegetables among others. Arusha central market is a place where you can find almost every that you might need ranging from clothing, colorful Masai blankets, food, handmade souvenirs among others.

  • Arusha national park 

Arusha national park is located in the northern part of Tanzania, northeastern part of Arusha town. The national park is composed of three landscapes that is Mount Meru which is the second highest mountain in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngurdoto crater and the Momella lakes. arusha national park offers fascinating activities like canoeing on the small Momella lake, game drives where you will be able to view different animals, bird watching and guided nature walks where you will get up-close and personal with animals hence making it the best destination to visit during your safari in Arusha. (Top 13 Attractions in Arusha)

  • Lake Natron

Lake Natron is situated in the northern part of Tanzania on the border with Kenya close to Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti national park. It’s a shallow alkaline lake that covers an area of 56km long and 24km wide. Lake Natron harbors the Gelai volcano, archeological site of Paninj where the archeologists discovered the Peninj mandible and areas around the lake harbor different attractions like volcanic implosion craters, waterfalls and rivers which harbor bird species such as lesser flamingos. Lake Natron acts as a breeding place for thousands of flamingos which build their nests using the soda flats and feed on the lakes spirulina algae. The lake also offers interesting activities like swimming, cultural tours where you will visit the Maasai Boma and walking safaris which can either be done in the morning or evening along the lake shores, trails through Ngare Sero gorge to the waterfall and trails to the Ngorongoro crater highlands. During the nature walks you will have great views of bird species, animals like lesser kudu, fringe eared oryx, gazelle, zebras, views of Ol’doinyo Lengai volcano among others.

  • Clock tower

The clock tower is the city’s main landmark in that it’s a legacy of the British colonial administration that ruled Tanzania until 1961. The tower is the midway point between Cairo and Cape Town which makes it the popular meeting point for locals and tourists. 

  • Cultural heritage centre

The cultural heritage centre is a privately owned collection of shops and galleries that showcases arts from different artists around the African continent. The cultural centre has several departments such as the coffee shop, antiques department which has beautiful and old art pieces, cinema room with a sitting capacity of up to 80 people, Makonde museum with traditionally carved arts, spice centre with all sorts of African spices, restaurant which serves buffet and A’la carte menus, Kitengela glass shop for stylish cutlery and jars among others.

  • Boma museum

This is a museum that showcases the natural history, culture, wildlife and artifacts of Arusha region. The museum is located inside the old German military outpost and has three separate buildings that are open to the public that is the wildlife building with photographs and taxidermy, the second building for Arusha’s history and the third building for archaeological history. The museum also has an art gallery that displays the work of over 12 local artists and also offers art and craft lessons from locals where you will learn to make painting, drums, has a mini botanical garden, small pond with some local fish types, a mini zoo with some rare animals and birds, artifacts like documents, photos, maps of Boma during its early establishment.

  • Tarangire national park

Tarangire national park is another protected area that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Arusha. The national park is the sixth largest national park located in the northern part of Tanzania between the meadows of Masai steppe to the south east. Tarangire national park popularly known for harboring large herds of elephants and other animals like zebras, wildebeests, impalas, elands, gazelle, hartebeests, buffaloes, different bird species among others which can be viewed during the game drives, hot air balloon safaris, bird watching, guided nature walks among others. (Top 13 Attractions in Arusha)

  • Hadzabe tribe

The Hadzabe people are the semi nomadic hunter gatherers in the northern part of Tanzania around Lake Eyasi. The Hadzabe men are polygamists and women are adorned with traditional pieces of skin which is locally known as Hangweda. They have a diet that is consisted of honey, fruits, tubers and meat from various game such as bush pigs, duikers, baboons among others.  During your safari in Arusha you can go for a cultural tour where you will be able to interact with the Hadzabe people, know about their culture, history, way of living, taste their food, visit their farmlands among others.

  • Shanga foundation

The Shanga foundation in Arusha is a social enterprise that was opened in 2007 and employs people with disabilities to create unique and high quality handmade items like bracelets, necklaces, jewelry, glassware, gifts, souvenirs and home wares that are made with recycled materials. The products are sold at the onsite store and other shops all over the world with profits reinvested back into developing opportunities to employ more people with disabilities.

  • Ngorongoro conservation area

Ngorongoro conservation area is located in northern Tanzania and it’s the best place to spot the big five mammals which include elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos. The conservation area also harbors Ngorongoro crater which is the largest caldera in the world and offers various activities like game drives, walking safaris and birding.

  • Lake Manyara national park

Lake Manyara national park is one of the smallest national parks located at the base of the great rift valley in the northern part of Tanzania about 126 km southwest of Arusha. The national park is famously known for harboring the tree climbing lions which can be viewed lying up in the acacia tree branches staring at their prey and the woodlands also harbor large concentration of elephants, giraffes, leopards, impalas, dik dik, bohor reedbucks, gazelle, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, wild cats, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, primates and different bird species. Lake Manyara national park offers adventurous activities such as game drives, boat safaris, bird watching, walking safaris, mountain biking safari and cultural tours which make it one of the best destinations for wildlife viewing.

  • Lake Duluti

Lake Duluti is a crater lake that is located in the shadows of Mount Meru in Arusha. The lake gets its water from rainfall and groundwater which keeps it filled throughout the year, the crater lake is surrounded by steep walls and covered in a thick forest which grows to the edge of the water and harbor different reptiles. Lake Duluti is also a home of different water birds such as grey herons, cormorants, kingfishers, fish eagles, ospreys, egrets and abundant fish types. Lake Duluti is offers interesting activities like canoeing where you will explore the lake and have spectacular views of the wildlife, nature walks around the lake among others.

  • Arusha declaration museum

Arusha declaration museum is first museum that is located in Kaloleni area in Arusha town. The museum was opened to the public in 1977 as a teaching aid for history, general studies, civics and political science subjects. The museum mainly exhibits political history of the nation and education programs to raise public awareness of the past social and economic challenges. When you visit the museum you will see depiction of the formulation of reliance policy, the colonial history, the struggle for independence and the political development of Tanzania. The museum also offers services like ground exhibitions, has a hall for seminars, workshops, research partnership, consultancy on heritage management among others.

Arusha declaration museum
Arusha declaration museum

When to visit Arusha 

Arusha can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to October because that is the period when rainfall is little therefore the vegetation will be less which gives you an opportunity to have great wildlife views and the walking trails will be passable compared to the wet season where it can rain anytime of the day.

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