Arusha is the safari center of Tanzania, where all the tours to Tanzania’s Northern circuit depart from. Most tourists come to Arusha to organize a safari, but don’t find it worth while to spend much time in town. This section will focus on the places of interest in Arusha.
The Clock Tower: Strolling in town, chances are you’ll sooner or later end up at the clock tower on Sokoine Road. This is a trade center, where you will find banks, forex bureaus, grocery stores, and souvenir shops. You’ll be approached by batik salesmen, Maasai women selling crafts and fruits, and shop owners from the maasai market located at Fire Road. This is an excellent opportunity to purchase souvenirs to bring home, however, if you are not interested, be polite but persistent. The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) is located along Boma Road by the New Safari Hotel.
Restaurants: New establishments keep popping up in Arusha, offering a vide variety of international and local cuisine. This is a list of places worth checking out.
Colobus Club: Specializing in Mexican cuisine, complete with an internet cafe, nightclub and casino.
Location: Old Moshi Road (former Mawingu Club)
Ethiopian Restaurant:If you’re in for the exotic, this is the place for you. Serving traditional Ethiopian dishes as well as some international options for the less brave. Location: Old Moshi Road, in the area of Impala Hotel.
Shanghai: There’s only one thing to say: The best Chinese restaurant in town! Location: Sokoine Road, next to the Post Office.
Khan’s: Selling auto spare parts during day, turning in to a restaurant in the evening. The best chicken barbecue in town, low prices and lots of spicy Indian fillings and salads to chose from. The naan bread is delicious. Location: Mosque Street
Triple A Club: A new, very popular establishment with modern facilities. Playing Western, African and Indian music, dance shows, barbecue and live bands. Location: Sakina
Colobus Club: A good mix of expats and locals dancing to Indian, American and African hits! Location: Old Moshi Road (former Mawingu Club)
Crystal Club: Dance performance on Saturdays, their slogan is “The choice of modern people”. A local hang out, with all types of people. Here’s your chance to experience some excellent local music and dance moves!
Location: Seth Benjamin Street.
Sabasaba: Popular disco with an adult crowd. Mostly African music. Location: Boma Road, next to Impala Hotel.
MBT’s snake farm: Location: Arusha-Moshi Road (Momella)
Meserani Snake Farm: Python, cobra, viper. The highlight is the feeding of the python. Camel riding, restaurant, bar and a campsite. Location: Dodoma Road, Meserani village.
Mount Meru Game Sanctuary:Location: Arusha-Moshi Road, Usa River.
There has been quite an internet revolution in Arusha the past years, and you won’t have to walk far before you spot an internet cafe. Rates are favorable, and the connection is generally fast enough. Most places are closed before 8 pm, but you’ll find some cafes with late opening hours.
The central market: Smelly, vibrant and an experience you should not miss! Fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts, fabrics, chickens walking around, dried fish, spices, you can buy everything here. The colorful kanga and kitenge, which is the traditional Tanzanian clothing for women, is addictive and once you’re hooked, you’ll be looking for the next one.
Shopping: Grocery stores have a varied selection of imported goods, you’ll be surprised at what you can find. Imported goods tend to be highly overpriced. Film rolls, disposable cameras, clothes, if you forgot something from home, chances are somewhat good you’ll find it here. Cosmetics are available, pharmacies are numerous and some carry foreign brands (like Moona’s Pharmacy on Sokoine Road). The biggest supermarket in town, Shoprite, is located on Sokoine Road and has just about everything you need. There are also bookshops, cafe’s, restaurants and souvenir shops in the compound.
Breakfast: There are two excellent patisseries in Arusha, namely “The Hot Bread shop” at the clock tower, and ”Dolly’s Patisserie” on Sokoine Road. Both with internet surfing available, and a good variety of bread, buns, croissants, ice cream, cakes and light lunches. Meru House Inn now has a patisserie on the ground floor, where you can get all sorts of fresh fruit juices, croissants, Danish pastries and cakes as well as lunch and dinner.
Airports: There are two airports in the Arusha area. Kilimanjaro International Airport about a one hour drive from town, and Arusha Airport with domestic flights, a ten minute drive from town.