Arusha, Tanzania - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
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Top Arusha, Tanzania Experiences
- Arriving at Kilimanjaro Base Camp and gazing in awe at Africa’s highest mountain -- while anticipating the long climb that lies ahead.
- Setting eyes on the Serengeti Plains for the first time and imagining what wildlife wonders await.
- Standing on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater and surveying one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on earth from on high.
- Relaxing at a lodge in Arusha with views of 15,000-foot-high Mount Meru rising in the background, and, perhaps, of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
- Climbing Mount Meru, among the ten highest mountains in Africa and the focal point of Arusha National Park.
- Strolling Sokoine Road, Arusha’s main drag, to sample the sights and sounds of an African city.
- Gawking at the squawking flamingos at Lake Manyara National Park.
- Photographing the clock tower, Arusha’s main landmark and the center of the city, and wondering if it really marks the halfway point between Cairo and Cape Town, as advertised.
- Visiting the colorful Central Market stalls stocked with fruits, vegetables, and clothing near the clock tower in downtown Arusha.
- Journeying to 17,000-foot Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain, where a lower (16,000-foot-plus) peak is a popular ascent.
- Shopping for souvenirs and fabrics at the Masai Market on School Street, near Sokoine Road.
Arusha, Tanzania Trip Reviews
298 Arusha, Tanzania Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Arusha, Tanzania Tours and Travel Guide
Arusha, Tanzania Attractions & Landmarks Guide
The once small town of Arusha has grown to a city of 400,000 people on the strength of its strategic location, near many of Tanzania’s (and to some degree, Kenya’s) finest attractions. The entire Arusha region has now grown to 1.5 million people.
Loaded with both legitimate guide companies and itinerant guides (some of questionable merit), Arusha is ground zero for most travelers heading off to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru, as well as safari-goers preparing for trips to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park (known for its flamingos). and Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve and Mt. Kenya, among other destinations.
Almost everyone ends up spending a day or night in Arusha either before or after their safari, or both, so -- while it might not otherwise be a prime destination by itself -- Arusha has seen a multiplying of accommodations (both of hotels in the city as well as luxurious lodges and camps on the outskirts), eating places (try the Indian food) and attractions of its own. The climate tends to be pleasant due to its elevation on the slopes of Mt. Meru.
The center of the city is dominated by the clock tower, which is said to stand in the center of the continent as well, midway between Cairo and Cape Town. While the geography is probably off a bit, it makes a nice photo op, as does the Central Market nearby, where fruits, vegetables and clothing items are for sale.
An amble down Sokoine Road, Arusha’s main street, is well worth the time, especially for a first-time visitor to Africa. On School Street, which leads off of Sokoine, you’ll find the Masai Market, or at least the most interesting Masai Market in town, where you can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry and local fabrics, such as batiks. Bargaining is expected at all the markets; you should pay about half the original asking price, if that.
Nearby National Park
The nearest safari destination to Arusha, Arusha National Park, is just 45 minutes northeast by car, and protects parts of Mt. Meru, the 15,000-foot peak that rises behind the city. This attractive park of forests and lakes won’t make you forget the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater for wildlife, but it does have leopards, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, flamingos, some elephants, and black-and-white colobus monkeys, which are more visible here than just about anywhere else in northern Tanzania.
A day visit to the national park might be of special interest to those who have arrived to climb Mts. Kilimanjaro or Meru and aren’t planning on taking additional wildlife safaris. You can hike around the slopes of Mt. Meru or all the way to the summit. At nearly 15,000 feet, Mt. Meru itself can serve as a three-or-four-day warm-up for a Kilimanjaro (19,000 feet-plus) climb or -- as Africa’s fifth highest peak -- as a climbing destination in itself. The two peaks are just 30 miles apart.
If Arusha is serving as your introduction to Africa, make sure you consult Stride to make the most of your stay there -- and the African adventures that are sure to follow.
All Arusha, Tanzania tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Arusha, Tanzania trips.