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Arusha (or ‘A Town’, as it’s known locally) is the gateway to Tanzania’s world-famous national parks. Despite the vibrant city scenes, visitors tend to make a beeline for the nearby safaris and picturesque landscapes - and who can blame them? Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro crater are just some examples of the big-name attractions within day-trip distance. When it comes to spectacular scenery and wildlife spotting, you really are spoiled for choice here.
It should come as no surprise that the northern national parks are a top priority for visitors to Tanzania. Dubbed the ‘northern circuit’, these epic destinations are brimming with unique flora and fauna and are home to some of the most amazing natural wonders on the planet. Whether you’re watching wildebeests and zebras migrating in their millions across the Serengeti plains or gazing in awe at the sheer majesty of Africa’s highest mountain, spine-tingling sights await around every corner. This is a place that will captivate you from the get-go and continue to surprise.
When you’re not spotting wildlife or scaling mountains, Arusha is the perfect place to rest and recharge before your next big adventure. Though admittedly not the most scenic of cities, it offers a pleasant climate, fantastic hotels and a variety of places to eat. Spend a leisurely day exploring the museums and hunting for souvenirs at Masai Market before sampling the buzzing nightlife. The selection of live-music venues, pubs and nightclubs will keep you occupied until the early hours.
Though Arusha itself might be a brief stop-off on your Tanzania itinerary, it’s the ideal gateway to some of East Africa’s most sought-after national parks and conservation areas. So what are you waiting for? Slip on your hiking boots and prepare yourself for a wild adventure.
Fertile landscapes, crashing rivers, volcanic craters and the scenic Momella Lakes make up the lush Arusha National Park. The iconic Mount Meru is a must-see when visiting East Africa and a safari in the nearby Serengeti National Park is renowned for the Big 5. Also, the World Heritage Site – Ngorongoro Conservation Area features a huge volcanic caldera and is home to a rich array of wildlife.
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And, as if being the tallest mountain in the continent wasn’t enough, as it’s not part of a mountain range, Kilimanjaro also holds the title of the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. So, don’t just catch a glimpse of it, get a photo in front of it too. This mountain is high on the list of earth’s most incredible sights, that’s for sure.Discover more
Having last erupted in 1910, Meru is actually considered an active volcano. It exploded into life over 500,000 years ago and has since dominated Arusha’s skyline with its distinctive horseshoe rim. Now protected by Arusha National Park, the area surrounding the mountain is rich with wildlife so a quick trip here and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.Discover more
Offering the best of both worlds, Arusha is a bustling city with stunning nature right on the doorstep. Why not have a read of some of our blogs to see what else this enchanting part of Tanzania has to offer?
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