Arusha is usually your first stop on a safari to Tanzania, specifically to the Northern parks. It is a bustling “African” town nestled on the foothills of the towering Mt. Meru. Most people fly into the nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport and then get a road transfer to Arusha (1 hour) to spend their first night in Tanzania. This helps to settle and relax before a busy safari schedule.
There is a small airport in Arusha where you can take a light aircraft transfer onto your first destination – therefore it is better to spend your first night in Arusha to be near this airport for an early departure the next day. These scheduled planes connect easily to Tarangire NP, Ngorogoro, Kilamajaro and the Serengeti, or anywhere you need to connect to.
This is a bustling city and seemingly a bit chaotic. The traffic can be intense and it certainly has a vibe of a typical and busy African town. However, this is all easily avoided as there is an array of excellent relaxing accommodation options.
There are markets where artisans push their wares, good shops to stock up for your safari and plenty of restaurants, accommodation and nightlife to enjoy. Take the opportunity in Arusha to visit these markets and gift shops if you want to buy local craft or Maasai materials.
Kilimanjaro International Airport has daily links with direct flights from European cities as well as regional East African major airports – it is extremely easy and relatively affordable to travel to/from East Africa and from within the region
We highly recommend The Arusha Coffee Lodge