7 Things to do in Arusha on a Budget

Arusha is dubbed the gate way to Tanzania’s Northern tourism circuit.  The town is host to Mount Meru, several National Parks, craters among other attractions.  It boarders Kenya from the south at Namanga Town.

We set off for a four-day road trip from Nairobi via Mombasa road and through the industrious town of Athi River on to the cosmopolitan Kitengela.  Kitengela town is one of the Nairobi’s bedroom.  The town is host to lots of Nairobi’s population that live in this town that’s fast growing. A majority work in the capital and stay here.  We drive through Kajiado town, Isinya, Ibisil and finally we are at the Namanga Border having covered 163 kilometeres.

In about 30minutes we are cleared at the border point and embark on our final destination that’s about 110 kilometers away. The road is clear and quite straight. It almost feels endless, there’s minimal traffic expect for the locals along the several small towns on the road. Ensure you and all passengers in your vehicle have their seat belts on. Also avoid over speeding, there are cops all over checking on motorist.  Over speeding even with zero to one kilometer will have you fined by the Tanzania’s Police. Not having a seat belt, one is equally a crime fine-able by the Tanzanian law. (You do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law in this country) ?

The landscapes are breathtaking, you will encounter Maisa’s with their livestock crossing from one side to the road the another. As we approach Arusha we can see the peak of Mount Meru from a distance, she is a sight to behold.

We arrive Arusha town late afternoon having covered a total of 273 kilometers and taken about five hours on the road. We check in at The Africana Grand Hotel.  I can highly recommend this hotel as it is relatively cheap at Tshs. 65,000 which is equivalent to 3,000 Kenya shillings for bed & Breakfast.  The hotel is located in moderately quite neighborhood, has good food, friendly staff, clean rooms with a view of Mount Meru from a distance, and a walking distance to the city. (What more would we ask, for that price?)

 

Things to do

  1. Snake Park & Maasai Museum

A major attraction to majority of Arusha’s population.  The Park and Museum offers one an opportunity to see various snake species, birds as well as other reptiles like Crocodiles.

The highlight of our visit here is the Maasai Museum, we came close to understanding the Maasai culture what is well exhibited in the Museum.  We also experience dressing up as a Maasai, which was quite some fun. There are camels which are a major highlight for the children. Do you fancy a camel ride? Then visit the Snake park in Arusha.

Entry Fee: 8400 Tsh and equivalent to about Kshs. 400 per person.

 

2.  Cultural Heritage Centre

This is a must visit while in Arusha.  The cultural Heritage Centre is the home of arts and carvings.  It is drum shaped with a shield and spear and the only of its kind in Africa.  Inside the gallery one can experience all forms of carvings with the highlight being the Makonde’s way of life.  One can also purchase any art and or artefact that one fancies.  Outside all kinds of artifacts.  There are also several other shops like, Kazuri beads, Kikoy, One Way, the spice world where one can purchase some Tanzanian souvenirs. No entry free is charged.

3.  Shopping Experience (Local market & AIM shopping mall)

Ideal for that free afternoon the local market allows one to explore the town while shopping like a local.  At Aim mall, there all kind of designer shops, a food court where once can experience different kinds of cuisines as well as a well-stocked supermarket where one can get suppliers if needed.

Shopping experience at Aim Mall

4. Sample local foods /Street foods

Want to travel like a local? Then try the famous chips mayai found in just about every other corner in Arusha among other local cuisines that are available in most local eateries.

 

5.  Monuments: The city clock & Declaration Monument

A major tourist attraction. The Arusha declaration Monument famously known as the Mnara wa Azimio La Arusha which simply means a monument in commemoration of The Arusha Declaration.  It was unveiled by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi in commemoration of 10 years of the declaration. 

6.  Lake Duluti:

Located 13 kilometer from Arusha town is Lake Duluti. A crater lake where on can enjoy a boat ride, canoeing, walking with the Duluti Reserve and enjoy a simple local dish at the several restaurants around the Lake. It also doubles up as an ideal picnic location. Read more about it here

7.  Night Life

One would not leave Arusha without having experienced night life.  Club D is quite ideal.  If you enjoy a night of dancing and fun then Club D is the place to patron.   There is also Le Patio Restaurant doubles up as an ideal location for a quiet afternoon where one can enjoy some pizza and coffee and a fun restaurant by night.  There is a fire place that’s lit in the evenings, right outside the patios’ giving the place an ambience of fun and relaxation.

What you need

  1. Passport: Ensure you get a visa at the immigration point at Namanga. If you do not have a passport, get a temporary pass port via E-Citizen.
  2. Yellow Fever certificate
  • A camera: For those memorable experiences
  1. Pocket Monies: You can change your monies at licensed forex bureaus.

 


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25 thoughts on “7 Things to do in Arusha on a Budget

  • February 6, 2018 at 5:58 pm
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    Nice post! Another spot on my bucket list! The Maasai Museum looks amazing!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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    You know, I’ve never heard of Arusha, but it looks like a fascinating place! The street cuisine sounds awesome! I could see myself adding this place to my bucket list! Great photos, too!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm
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    Being on a budget or not, it looks like a great place to make new experiences. Didn’t even know about that place before but it’s definitely on my Bucket list now!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm
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    This seems like a really cool place to visit. We plan on doing quite a bit of international travel in the next few years after we pay down debt and the baby is a little bigger. I will have to add this to our list of places!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 9:27 pm
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    Oh, the snake park sounds so terrifying to me, I’m afraid I couldn’t handle a visit there, but the cultural heritage centre seems so great! Hope one day I get the chance to get to this part of the world.

    Reply
  • February 6, 2018 at 11:45 pm
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    you painted such a beautiful picture of what looks like an awesome place to go. The pictures are really beautiful as well. It is really putting the travel bug in my heart!

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 5:08 am
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    Working on a budget is my kinda thing. So much you can do with so little money. Museums are amazing when visiting other cultures, learn so much.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 7:49 am
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    Looks like an amazing time. I am really glad you provided these great ideas on how to enjoy this vacation on a budget.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    I’ve never been ti Arusha but it looks fantastic. I’m loving all the culture on display.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm
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    Wow, this is so awesome! I would love to visit that Heritage centre!

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm
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    i have my passport and yellow fever vaccine so i can go there any time. now i will know what to do when i am there

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 5:22 pm
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    Arusha sounds like an interesting place to be. Beautiful clicks!

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm
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    I like how the town proudly features its traditional heirlooms alongside its more modern features. I also found it particular interesting the way you referred to Kitengela as Nairobi’s bedroom because a majority who come to the capital for work stay there.

    Reply
    • February 11, 2018 at 7:50 am
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      Thanks Igrid,

      Glad you loved my article. Stay here for more tips and ideas on traveling around Kenya and beyond. Have you been to Kenya?

      Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 6:08 pm
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    Loved the snake park!! And yes i would loveeee to ride a camel! It would be an amazing experience ?? Lake Duluti sounds like a more relaxing adventure! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 6:46 pm
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    I love that they have a cultural center for you to learn more about their heritage. That’s one of the things I like to do whenever I visit a different country.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 10:25 pm
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    Looks like it was an amazing trip. I would love to go to Kenya. Eating is definitely my main reason for traveling.

    Reply
    • February 11, 2018 at 7:49 am
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      Thanks Ari,

      It was a lovely trip. Kenya should be on your bucket list. It’s magical as we call it. ‘Magical Kenya’.

      Thanks
      Emily

      Reply
  • February 7, 2018 at 11:10 pm
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    This is an amazing list! I love seeing cheap travel activities!

    Reply
    • February 11, 2018 at 7:47 am
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      Thanks Tatanisha,
      Stay around for more tips on kenyatalii.com.

      Asante sana

      Reply
  • February 8, 2018 at 12:22 pm
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    That Cultural Heritage Centre has to be one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen! If I ever go to Tanzania I know what I’ll re-read before the trip. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • February 9, 2018 at 12:41 pm
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    This place looks awesome! I have never traveled in Tanzania but I would love to. I love all your practical tips and photos.

    Reply
    • February 11, 2018 at 7:54 am
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      Thanks Nina,

      For sure this was a lovely trip to Arusha.

      Emily

      Reply
  • February 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm
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    Wow. The Cultural Heritage Center looks like an amazing place to visit. I’ve never heard of Arusha, now I want to do a little digging. Thank you so much for the amazing list!

    Reply
    • February 11, 2018 at 7:56 am
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      Thanks Nicole,

      The Cultural Heritage centre was the highlight of my trip. Arusha is a lovely place to visit while in Tanzania. Keep it http://kenyatalii.com where we keep updating you on ideas, tips and experiences on the various locations to visit around Kenya and beyond.

      Reply

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