THINGS TO DO IN ARUSHA
With so many tourist attractions, both natural and cultural in and near the city, you need to carefully examine the options in relation to your interests.
Every so often, a new activity in Arusha becomes available. Eager operators jump at a new activity and gamble some trips into it. Some of those gambles crush it while others end up into a disappointment. As each year brings a few of these activities, the circle keeps repeating itself and as a result.
WHTA ARE THINGS TO DO IN ARUSHA?
I am writing In this post of 10 things to do in Arusha, Me; RAPHAEL the DIRECTOR of BUSH AND FOREST EXPLORER AFRICAN SAFARI will outline 10 best things to do in Arusha and I will focus on the proven activities/things that have always been the top priorities to most visitors.
While Arusha might have up to 50 activities, expect to see 10 best among them all. And if you’re looking to visit Arusha in the future then this guide might be exactly what you need for your trip to meet your expectations.
1: A Day trip to Arusha National Park
Among smallest parks in Tanzania but rich in sightseeing’s Departing from Arusha city to Arusha national park will only take you about 1.5 hours and immediately you will be in the home of Mount Meru, the second-highest mountain in Tanzania only after Kilimanjaro Treat yourself with a good view of buffaloes, warthogs, elephants, birds, and some varieties of monkeys all in Ngurdoto crater commonly known as mini Ngorongoro, in your day trip to Arusha national park. One thing I like most in this park though is its nearly 7 alkaline lakes where the beautiful flamingos’ view is just best to nowhere else. These lakes are called Momella lakes.
A 4 day climb to mount Meru can be one of the best decisions you can do in your Arusha safari but nevertheless, a partial day hike to this beautiful mountain will treat you with a spectacular view of the waterfall and the Ngurdoto Crater.
- Game drives
- Walking safaris
- Canoe safaris
- Mount Meru climb
2: A day trip to Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is the land of wonders if you will. Have you ever imagined a 57-year-old elephant giving birth?. Usually, an elephant will continue to mate up until about the age of 50, but in Tarangire things are different.
Between these things to do in Arusha makes Tarangire elephant mom the most known oldest elephant to ever give birth to the twin calves. A 3-hour drive from Arusha city to Tarangire national park which is in the neighboring region to Arusha is an experience you will always cherish. ‘If you’re pressed with responsibilities while in Arusha and yet wants a big game view.
With guided walking safaris, game drives, and cultural visits near the park, Tarangire should simply be in your top best things to do in Arusha.
The Big 4 view in the park plus up to 500 species of birds not to mention a stunning view of the Baobab trees in Tarangire won’t leave you bored.
3: Day trip to Manyara National Park
THINGS TO DO IN ARUSHA
Talk about beautiful flowering scenery Lake Manyara national park is actually beautiful when it comes to flora. With more than 600 flowering plants in the park be sure to take a good camera because you won’t afford to miss the shots of this heaven-like land. However, it isn’t only flowers that take the most attention in Lake Manyara national park, but flocks of flamingos around Lake Manyara.
Flamingos are the dominant birds in the lake but you’ll be surprised the way they are unselfishly down to the Earth. They share the lake with other birds like kingfishers and herons just to name a few. Mind you, more than 400 species of birds have been recorded in Manyara as I am writing. Visiting Manyara will surely give you an array of top things to do in Arusha simply by doing day game drives, night game drives, canoeing, mountain bike tours as well as cultural tours.
Manyara is home for tree climbing lions With a good number of elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, warthogs, and waterbucks, Lake Manyara National park will give you a unique opportunity to see the tree-climbing lions that are commonly referred by Tanzanians as ‘Simba Mbarara’ to mean small-sized lions.
4: A Day Trip to Kilimanjaro
Standing 5,895 meters above the sea level, this is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. It is said free standing as it isn’t in form range like let say Everest Mountains, no! Kilimanjaro stands majestically on its own.
This highest volcano outside America is the dormant volcanic mountain with three cones of Kibo (the highest peak), Mawenzi and Shira.
The amazing scenery of Mount Kilimanjaro will without a doubt give you the outstanding options when it comes to the best things to do in Arusha.
A partial hike to this mountain will give you an opportunity to enjoy beautiful vegetation where you will get a stunning view of both Mawenzi and Kibo peaks while at the same time treating yourself with a close view of the likes of black and white colobus. There is also a small crater known as Maundi. A short walk to this crater won’t be a bad idea either Day Hike on Shira Plateau In case you ask me though, I will advise you to forget everything and do a day tour to Shira plateau where you’ll see the true remains of molten lava, and the deep caldera that expired about
half a million years ago.
An adventure walk to this land which is a world heritage site will give you all sorts of a great view of the stunning rocks and valleys while starring the two peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro I won’t lie, but if I was asked to pick only one thing among many best things to do in Arusha then a day hike to Shira will be very unlucky not to come as my top choice.
5: Cultural tourism & City Walking
If you want to experience Tanzania at the local level, then you need to try cultural tourism in your time here As one of the Things to in Arusha. It is at this time you will be able to experience the Tanzania local foods, local public transport mostly known as ‘ dalla dalla’ or you can explore other options like motorcycles that are mostly refereed as ‘bodaboda’ here in Tanzania.
If you like some safari options, then cultural programs may well, save the day as they are simply among the best things to do in Arusha. Apart from visiting families in Maasai bomas for example, a visit to the two museums in; Arusha Natural history museum & Arusha declaration museum both in Arusha will bring you Arusha and its history & culture up close and personal.
One of the top cultural tours in Things to do in Arusha is visit Bushmen known as Hadzabe Tribe
6: Chemka hot springs
Did you ever swim in natural hot water?
You probably do. Chemka hot springs give you just that opportunity. Originating from underground of Mount Kilimanjaro, the springs are naturally warm and they form a beautiful pond of up to 10 meters in some places. The unique thing about Chemka hot springs pond is that even at the point where the pond reaches 10 meters, you may clearly see its bottom with a clear stunning view.
Many tourists like to pick this beautiful pond as their top among best things to do in Arusha simply because it is unique but yet affordable.
7: Meserani Snake Park
Located just 25km west of Arusha Meserani offers best things to do in Arusha for those who are snake lovers and at the same time have just few hours to spend on the tour.
The park has one of the best snake based guides in Africa and they will guide you to learn a thing or two about some of the deadly snakes on the planet like Black and green mamba, Egyptian cobra and puff adder. Crocodiles are also available for you to have the closest view you need. You may even touch the baby crocodile if you will like to.
8: Themi Waterfalls
If there is one best area to visit in Arusha for a family tour, Themi should be one of them. Themi Leisure Park has one of the best things to do in Arusha from viewing waterfalls, a mountain hike, partying and picnicking nature walk and birding without forgetting hiking for site seeing. In under 5 hours, you will have already visited this amazing park, see and do whatever you like
and off you take your next adventure.
9: Materuni Water Falls
Materuni village which hosts 80m+ high waterfalls can be reached in less than 2hrs from Arusha town and there you will enjoy among the best things to do in Arusha. In Materuni, enjoy Swimming in the waterfall pool Local foods experience Experience the traditional coffee processing ways and you may even participate.
10: Volunteering in Children School in Arusha
local school, preschool or children’s center will often be looking for volunteers. There are lots of different roles and ways to help. To apply you need to contact the site you want to help.
Before you apply, you might want to think about when and how you can help.
When you can Volunteer
When you help depends on what you want to do. If you’re available:
- on a weekday, you could help children with their reading, or work in the kitchen garden or library
- on weeknights or weekends, you could join a committee or help with a working bee
- only for an hour here and there, every little bit helps – no matter what you’re doing.
How you can help
These are just some of the ways you can help. You could:
- help children with their reading and numeracy
- mentor students
- help with a working bee
- share your culture
- coach a sports team
- help develop life skills
- help with camps and excursions
- work in the kitchen garden
- be on a committee
- work behind-the-scenes in the office
- help in the library
- help with fundraising.
There are many other ways to help. Before you apply to volunteer, think about what you can do to help.
Who can volunteer
Anyone can apply to volunteer. However, it’s always up to a site leader to choose volunteers who will work well with the local community.
There are some expectations that our department has for our volunteers. Our staff will guide you through what’s involved.
Volunteers can come from all walks of life. You might be just who we need if you:
- are compassionate and kind
- care about children
- want to help young people feel confident and grow
- enjoy helping others.
You might love and want to share your passion for:
- words – big and small
- your family’s culture
- music and arts
- science, technology, engineering and math’s
- books and reading
- ports, health and fitness
- gardening and food.
If you feel you have different skills, expertise and knowledge to offer, get in contact with the site you want to help. It’s never too late to start. No matter who you are or where you’re from, it’s all about wanting to help out. It’s in this spirit that the department actively encourages Aboriginal people and people from multicultural and diverse backgrounds to get involved.
Volunteering benefits everyone involved. Before you talk to a local site about volunteering, you can find out why it’s good to volunteer with us.