Arusha (population: 1.69 million) is one of the largest cities in Africa. Popular as the safari capital of northern Tanzania, the city is the perfect base for those wanting to explore the Arusha National Park and its blue monkeys, the alluring bluish-green waters of Momela Lakes that attract all kinds of birds and animals such as flamingoes, zebras and waterbucks, the world-famous Serengeti National Park and its Great Migration, the unique species of the Ngorongoro Crater, a known Conversation Area, or the majestic views of Mount Meru.
The City with a Split Personality
Arusha is actually two cities combined into one. On one hand, it introduces you to some of the best comforts in Africa. It is full of luxe hotels and exciting restaurants, and almost always presents a memorable cultural adventure. On the other hand, it is full of touts and vendors trying to sell you all kinds of things or fool you off your money. Their persistence can often be overwhelming and unnerving. But knowing which areas to avoid is usually enough to stay away from trouble.
Getting Around Arusha
Although there are daladalas (local buses) and taxis, safety is usually an issue. The ideal way to get around Arusha is to hire a chauffeur-driven car from one of the reputed travel agents in the city. Most hotels can also arrange for safe and reliable modes of transportation for their guests.