8 Best Things To Do In Arusha, Tanzania

things to do in Arusha, Tanzania
| 3 min read

Arusha in Tanzania is famous mostly because of its proximity to Serengeti National Park. In the region, it is the biggest town, making it the starting point for many trips, be it Kilimanjaro, Meru, Tarangire National Park and many other attractions. Arusha is the city of safari companies and it’s a stop that you can’t avoid. So what are the things that you should do before continuing your journey? Here’s a list of the best ideas.

1. Rent a bike and go visit villages around

Maasai tribe
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Leaving all the natural beauty aside, Arusha is a place full of culture. There are many tribes coexisting peacefully in the area and even just by taking a bike and riding around the villages close-by will contribute a lot to your understanding of life and traditions in the countryside. There are many villages around that can be explored (Ilkurot, Longido, Mkuru, etc). You can either explore by yourself or book a cultural tour with one of the safari companies in town. Either way, it’s a good option to learn more about Maasai tribes and village life in Tanzania.

Ilkurot village

Address: from Nairobi road, Arusha

2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Various wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Young used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Visiting national parks in Tanzania as a foreigner can end up being rather expensive. But Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of a kind. You can sleep on the edge of the crater and admire the sunset and the sunrise from here. There are many animals in the area, so you are guaranteed to see a lot of wild life. The trip can be organized with many companies in time. If you have time, it’s best to take a day to walk around from office to office, try to find the best option for you. Otherwise, book online ahead of time.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) Information Office

Address: Boma Rd., Arusha

Website: Ngorongoro Conservation Area

3. Tanzanite Experience

Zoïsite (Tanzanite)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Didier Descouens used under CC BY 3.0

Tanzanite is a beautiful stone that is characteristic of Tanzania. It is mined mostly in the Kilimanjaro area. There are many shops selling this stone, Tanzanite experience is only one of them. But what makes them special is that they’ve also set up a small museum where customers can find out more about the origins of this wonderful stone.

Tanzanite Experience

Address: 3rd Floor, Blue Plaza, India St., Arusha

Website: Tanzanite Experience

4. Arusha Declaration Museum

Arusha Declaration Monument
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jonathan Stonehouse used under CC BY 2.0

Consider this little museum if you want to kill an hour or so. It’s mostly pictures, not too much information. You will also be able to see a few artifacts. Don’t expect a modern museum or a lot of information about the declaration, as you’ll end up being disappointed. It’s definitely a place that needs a lot of improvements and a lot more focus on the main subject of interest.

Arusha Declaration Museum

Address: Makongoro Rd, Arusha, Tanzania

Website: Arusha Declaration Museum

5. Cultural Heritage Centre

Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user George Lamson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the place to go if you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts for friends and family. Although the prices are a bit higher than in other places, it’s much easier to buy things here, as it’s a more relaxed atmosphere than in most other similar establishments. Even if you’re not looking to buy much, it’s still interesting to walk around and observe the local products. Apart from the usual range of souvenirs, Cultural Heritage Centre also provides more exotic things.

Cultural Heritage Centre

Website: Cultural Heritage Centre

6. UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Court

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

You can visit when the court is in session. There’s no entrance fee, you only need to have your ID with you. It is an interesting subject. You can observe the way UN International Criminal Tribunal works. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about their attempt to stop the Rwandan genocide. No matter if you’re a trained lawyer or not, you can observe the way the international justice system works.

UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Court

Address: Arusha, Tanzania

Website: UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Court

7. National Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, Arusha 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user imke.stahlmann used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want to find out more about fossils and the evolution of humans, National Natural History Museum in Arusha is a good spot. Many of the oldest fossils were found in Tanzania, so if archaeology is one of your passions, you will find out more about this during your visit. It is split in three parts and it’s located in an old German fortified living compound that was built back in the 1900. It’s also a good place to learn more about the history of Arusha and observe wildlife in photos.

National Natural History Museum

Address: Boma Road, Arusha, Tanzania

Facebook page: National Natural History Museum

8. Maasai Women Fair Trade Center

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

MWEDO (Maasai Women Development Organization) started this project to support craft makers in Tanzania. They sell high quality products and a large portion of the profits go towards education. They are running a series of projects around the area, contributing to the development of the community. If you want to sit and have a chat in a nice atmosphere, you can do that in the coffee shop that they have on site. The staff is friendly. You can easily spend one or two hours chilling in this place.

Maasai Women Fair Trade Center

Address: Simeon Rd, Arusha

Website: Maasai Women Fair Trade Center

Wonderful mountains, amazing culture, and interesting village life

Mt. Meru Arusha Tanzania
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Phase9 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With its beautiful natural landscape, Arusha is a place that has to be on your itinerary while traveling around Tanzania. It is a place where you can learn more, not only about the country and the different tribes, but also about wildlife and safari experiences. Having such an imposing mountain like Kilimanjaro so close, gives Arusha extra character.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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