Arusha is the starting point for Tanzania's famed Northern Circuit and the base for many safari operators in the region. It is also a beautiful spot in its own right and well worth a night or two at the start or end of your trip to relax and unwind. Boasting stunning views to Mount Meru and some beautiful coffee plantations to visit, as well as the Arusha and Mount Meru National Parks there is plenty to keep you occupied for a couple of days here and you will find your stay very rewarding.
Accommodation in and around Arusha is varied in style, but we love the traditional Arusha Coffee Lodge, which is nestled on the lower slopes of Mount Meru. The feel here is very laid back and relaxed, with superb food and lovely gardens where you can relax after your overnight flight and connection to Kilimanjaro. Lake Duluti Serena Hotel is another excellent option, a little larger but still offering a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views.
Although many people pass straight through Arusha, there are a plethora of activities to enjoy in the area. The coffee plantations for which the region is so well known are very interesting to visit and you learn about the cultivation of coffee beans and how they get from the plantations to your cup. You will be able to watch the beans being roasted and ground before enjoying a cup of the freshest coffee you could ever wish to taste. The Arusha National Park lacks the predators you will see later on in your adventure, but nonetheless, it is a beautiful park with its series of lakes and exquisite views across to the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Do consider stopping for a day or two in Arusha, it will help you relax after your overnight flight and will recharge your batteries for what will be a busy safari journey ahead. You may even find a new favourite blend of coffee during your stay!
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The only place on the northern safari circuit where the acrobatic black-and-white colobus monkey is easily seen.
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