Arusha set in the foothills of Mount Meru, bustling Arusha is a rough diamond set amid the glitter gateway to Tanzania’s touristic destinations or the center of Tanzania’s tourism. This is where most Tanzania Safari starts or finish via the Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Here are some of the best day trips to go from Arusha:
Arusha National Park Day Trip
This national park, stationed in the northeastern region of Tanzania, is located an easy drive from the center of Arusha, making it a popular stop for travelers to this beautiful and diverse city. Despite its relatively small size, Arusha National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore some of East Africa’s diverse environments, as well as gain access to many of the continent’s most famous mammals. Visitors can explore the Meru Crater funnels in the Jekukumia River, hike to the apex of Mount Meru and enjoy breathtaking views, or embark on a wildlife adventure to the grasslands of the Ngorongoro Crater. Though travelers won’t find the same number of animals in Arusha National Park as some of Tanzania’s bigger reserves, they’ll still get a taste of what makes this one of the country’s most popular destinations. The park may be lion-free, but plenty of wild buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and monkeys roam the land, as well as an impressive number of indigenous birds. Lucky adventurers may even spot one of the rare African elephants known to graze on grassy plains.
Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Park Day Trip
Located between 1.5 and 2.5 hours from Arusha, the twin parks of Lake Manyara and Tarangire offer the more quintessential safari experience.
Home to four of the Big Five (rhinos being the notable exception), both parks are a terrific place to spot lions, elephants, giraffes, zebra, antelope, and a huge variety of other iconic African wildlife.
Tarangire is most famous for having Tanzania’s largest elephant population, Conversely, Lake Manyara is famous for being one of only two places in the world where you can see tree-climbing lions. It is also a great place to take a canoe safari or a quick walk on the treetop walkway.
Kikuletwa Hotspring Day Trip
Visit the crystal clear waters of Kikuletwa Hotspring in Moshi.
Here you can enjoy a natural spa with underground hot springs that rise to the surface with a pleasant and relaxing temperature for the body. It is not strange to find a type of fish similar to the claw-rufous with whom you will share the bath and with its characteristic sympathy it can contribute to peeling your feet in a moment of confusion. You will find recreational areas where you can jump with a liana and resting areas where you can calm your mind. A bar area where you can drink or eat something if you wish. All this in a very well-preserved natural environment.
Kilimanjaro Day Hike
If you’re not inspired, or fit, enough to contemplate summiting the highest mountain in Africa, then enjoy this Mt. Kilimanjaro day hike instead. This one-day Mount Kilimanjaro hike begins just an hour from Arusha. Beyond lies a forested wonderland of towering eucalyptus trees, birds, and colobus monkeys. Adding on a side trip to the Maundi Crater will reward you with fantastic sights of Northern Tanzania and Kenya.
Meserani Snake Park
Visit the Meserani Snake Park can feed baboons, hold wild tortoises and get up close with dozens of slithering snakes. Expert guides explain the differences between each of the species protected at Meserani and explore the necessary steps to protect people from their poison.
In addition to lethal black mamba, spitting cobras, and the impressive Afri-can python, Meserani Snake Park is also home to monitoring lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles. Travelers can wander the grounds, explore the exhibits, and even venture to the nearby clinic that provides free medical services to the Maasai people. A popular cultural museum offers an opportunity to learn more about this iconic culture and the festive Snake Park Bar is a perfect spot to sip a cool drink and catch some serious shade after a day under the African sun.
Lake Duluti where you can take a walk along the path bordering the lake and observe the landscape and the largest concentration of birds in the area. For the more adventurous there is the option of going around the lake by canoe and discovering a more authentic way of discovering the fauna that awaits you there. Then you can enjoy a delicious buffet of African food near the shore of the lake while you can chat with your guide about the secrets of the place and the characteristics of the fauna that can be found there.
Visit the Maasai Village on the slopes of Mount Meru
Visit local people, sing and dance with them, and learn about their lifestyle in typical African villages. The local community guide will take us to a huge fig tree used as a place of sacred worship. We will hear stories about the beliefs about these majestic trees and learn how they give offerings to the gods. We will continue the tour to local farms, Maasai homes, herbalists and midwives who will share their knowledge to identify the right medicine to heal people using local plants. The tour ends with a traditional lunch prepared by the Naramatisho women’s group. The tour is also combined with a visit to local schools to learn about the educational system and other community projects.