Arusha sits at the foothills of Mount Meru. It is bordered on the northeast by Kenya. Arusha offers superb views of Kilimanjaro, beautiful sceneries, and amazing architecture. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or have some money to splurge, Arusha has something for everyone. Travelling by bus, there are several companies that do road transfers from Nairobi to Arusha such as Impala Shuttle.
Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania where visitors planning to travel across different sites of Tanzania make it a starting point that connects them to their destinations. It is situated in a convenient place to reach the Tanzania national parks like Serengeti national park, the Ngorongoro conservation area, lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park, mountain Kilimanjaro national park, Olduvai Gorge and Arusha national park among others.
How to get to Arusha from Nairobi?
There are two ways to get to Arusha from Nairobi, by Road or by Air. Travelling by road, there are several shuttle buses that depart daily from Nairobi, We, Impala Shuttle and Nairobi Arusha shuttle bus are among them. The distance from Nairobi to Arusha by road is 274 kilometers, a four and a half hour drive. There is always a stop at the border to allow clients in the bus to go about border clearance formalities which takes around 30minutes.
There is no direct flight connection from Nairobi to Arusha. However, you can take the taxi to Nairobi airport, fly to Kilimanjaro, then take the taxi to Arusha.
Places to visit while in Arusha City
There are several paces to visit while in Arusha, they include;
The Arusha Central Market
It is one of the flocked markets by travelers when they visit Arusha. The market is a chaotic place of trade also known as soko kuu meaning “big market”. The Arusha Central Market offers many shops selling African souvenirs. There is also the Maasai central Market which mainly displays a wide variety of items and the Maasai heritage and culture of the Maasai community in Tanzania. Additionally, this City has Arusha Farmer’s Market that is best known for its meat products.
The National Museum
Natural History Museum in Arusha was established in 1987 to house curate and research Tanzanian components of paleontological, paleoanthropological, and archaeological collections from different parts of the Tanzania that had been housed in the Coryndon Museum.
The museum offers education services that includes; variety lessons on human evolution living organisms, environment and culture to support national curriculum, Guidance to secondary school projects and research, Workshops and seminars to education and tourism stakeholders and guiding tour in the exhibition hall.
Mount Meru is located just north of the city of Arusha, in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, after Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru is also the highest mountain/point in Arusha Region. The Momella route – which starts at Momella gate, on the eastern side of the mountain – is used to climb Mount Meru.
Tarangire National Park
It is the sixth largest park in Tanzania located in the Manyara Region. It is divided by the Tarangire River. Known for its large populations of elephants, zebras, wildebeests and cape buffaloes, which are attracted to its fresh water reserves, the landscape also features Acacia and Commiphora-Combretum woodlands and Baobab trees. Stretching over 1,100 square miles, the area also features waterbucks, giraffes, impalas, and vervet monkeys, as well as predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
It is home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and boasts a wealth of majestic animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos, as well as herds of wildebeests and zebras, which migrate annually through the plains. Other highlights include the hominid fossils in the Olduvai Gorge, which date back millions of years. The area is part of the Serengeti and borders the southern plains.
The Clock Tower
The clock tower, situated slap-bang in the centre of town, is a great meeting point for both locals and tourists. Urban legend has it that this is the middle-point between Cape Town and Cairo. It’s completely untrue, but a great story nonetheless.
Meserani Snake Park
Situated a little further out of Arusha, Maserani snake park allows you to see a wide range of snakes, learn about them, and even hold some. There’s also a small Maasai Museum and camel rides there.