Arusha is located on a plateau of the Great Rift Valley under the
twin peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro,
in fact the climate is relatively cool and dry.
It is the capital for safaris as it is located between the Serengeti plain, the Ngorongoro crater, the Lake Manyara, the Olduvai gorge and the Tarangire National Park. In the local slang, Arusha is also called A-town.
Arusha officially became a "city" only on the 1st July 2006,
although it has always represented an important center,
especially in the diplomatic field.
In 1961, Arusha was chosen for the signing of the agreement that ratified Tanzania's independence from the United Kingdom.
It is also an important international diplomatic center: since
1994 the city has hosted the International Criminal Court for
It is a multicultural city with a Tanzanian mixed population: Bantu, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian indigenous people, as well as Europeans and Americans.
Arusha is an important center for African music, in particular for a local hip hop genre called Bongo Flava, which combines elements of the Maasai and Swahili tradition with Western rap.
What to do
Arusha hosts the Warm Heart Art Gallery, which is an art gallery.
You can visit the Arusha Declaration Museum, which contains documents concerning the colonial history of Tanzania, the struggle for independence and you can find the "Declaration of Arusha", in which the first Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere outlined his political vision.
You can visit also the Natural History Museum, where you can find two permanent exhibitions: one on human evolution and the other on entomology.
Arusha is served by Kilimanjaro International Airport, located 60
km east of the city, more or less halfway to Moshi.
Arusha Airport hosts national flights only.
There is no train service for passengers but there are frequent buses that connect the city to Nairobi, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam.
Where to stay
In Arusha there are many hotels, guest houses, hostels and lodges.