Don't rush Arusha

There is more to Arusha than being a gateway for a Northern circuit safari. This city along with Arusha National Park should be marked as a must see on all visits to Tanzania.

Arusha is located exactly in the middle between Cairo and Cape Town, representing the middle of Africa marked by the classic clock tower. Search beneath the cities colourful, noisy and chaotic exterior and there are many hidden gems to explore.

As the location for the classic John Wayne movie ("Hatari" which means danger in Swahili) there is definitely no danger of being short of things to do. You can experience wildlife close up, roaming around freely in Arusha National Park. Mount Meru Crater Tour:

At 4.566m it ranks as Africa's 4th highest mountain, apart from a few fumaroles Mount Meru is now a dormant volcano with impressive and unique scenery for both nature lovers and mountain climbers. The mystery is in the fairytale setting of giant trees, whispering streams and waterfalls - green dotted with hidden flowers and hovering butterflies.

Momella Lakes:

These are a short drive away and their sodium rich contents provide a breeding ground for millions of East African Lesser Flamingo. A walking or canoeing safari gives the chance to see thousands of flamingos, hippos, buffalo, water and bushbuck and a variety of waterfowl in their natural habitat. Not to be missed is a drive up to the viewpoint - Boma la Megi, where you enjoy a sundowner with a magnificent view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Vibrant Markets:

The city’s cultural diversity provides a wealth of traditional arts and crafts. The bustling markets are colourful and chaotic offering a glimpse into everyday life where guests' senses will be overloaded. With everything from handicrafts, jewellery, fresh fruit, local textiles and spices all on sale.   Nearby to the local markets is the Maasai Women Development Organisation, a Fair Trade Centre that is worth a visit. All products are hand-made by the women of the organisation with profits going towards empowering local women, furthering their education, craftsmanship and communal activities in the nearby villages.