Arusha National Park


Arusha is a vibrant, bustling town in northern Tanzania at the base of Mt Meru. It is widely considered to be the gateway to the northern safari circuit and also Africa’s highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro – but over the years it has become much more. Often visitors spend a night here, either at the beginning or end of a safari, but in doing so you don’t get a chance to appreciate the highlights and nuances that make Arusha.

Things to do in Arusha

  • Arusha National Park – take a half or full day trip and admire the local wildlife and it’s also known for excellent birding opportunities.
  • Coffee Plantations – there are many coffee plantations on the outskirts of town, tours can be arranged, some even offer accommodation.
  • Mt Meru – attempting to summit Mt Meru is a somewhat more challenging and technical climb than Mt Kilimanjaro, perhaps best reserved for the more experienced climber.
  • Scenery – take some time to admire your stunning surroundings, there are inspiring mountain views, including Mt Kilimanjaro.
  • Food – Arusha has plenty of good restaurants for you to try out, establishments to suit all tastes and budgets.
  • Canoe – spend an afternoon canoeing on the lake, a different pace to the rest of your holiday.
  • Markets – if you have an hour or two to spare, immerse yourself in a bustling local market, absorbing the sights and sounds. Central Market and Kilombero Market are two good options. If it’s crafts you are after then the Mt Meru Curios and Craft Markets is a good place to find them, be prepared to bargain.


When to visit Arusha

Due to altitude (1300m), Arusha enjoys a temperate climate almost all year round. You can enjoy wildlife viewing year round in Arusha National Park and surrounding regions, but the dry season from June to October, is reckoned to be best time when animals are easier to see as they congregate at rivers and waterholes. November to February provide good safari conditions. The wettest months are March, April and May, although the rains do bring the benefit of greenery which makes the landscape photogenic.

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  • This is the dry season considered the best time for wildlife viewing
  • There is less vegetation so animals are easier to spot
  • Water is scarce so wildlife gathers at known sources
  • There are fewer mosquitos in the drier months
  • Early mornings and evenings can be chilly


  • Beautiful, lush scenery makes a great backdrop for photos
  • Migratory birds make for excellent bird watching
  • April and May are generally the quietest months in terms of visitors
  • The rains peak from March to May
  • Due to rain the driving conditions may be become difficult on some roads

Arusha holidays

Below you will find some Arusha itineraries that we’ve put together as recommended suggestions. You might find one of these is perfect for your needs as we’ve put a lot of thought into including some wonderful experiences in each of these safaris, and we really love what they offer. However, if none of these quite fit the bill for you, do call us and let us know what you’d like. We ready to help you plan your perfect Tanzania safari holiday..

Luxury Serengeti & Crater Safari

Prices from £5,320 pp for 9 days
(exc. intl flights)

This safari is not about watching the pennies, it’s about some of the best quality game-viewing and a few of our absolute favourite places to stay…

A Northern Tanzania Safari

Prices from £3,035 pp for 8 days
(exc. intl flights)

From Arusha to the Serengeti, via Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater, this is an unforgettable Tanzanian safari…

Chimps, Serengeti and Spice

Prices from £6,495 pp for 11 days
(exc. intl flights)

Experience two days of chimp trekking, Serengeti safari and four wonderfully relaxing nights in Zanzibar…