For those arriving into Tanzania from Australia or America, or from any time zones that are several hours ahead or behind, or from anywhere that requires several plane changes, an intelligent strategy is to allow a day or two’s leisure in Arusha prior to your climb. The reasons for this are:
Other than safaris, there are several day-trip options available to be enjoyed from Arusha. We briefly summarise the seven most popular options below.
This is a popular day trip, requiring only some three hours and little or no transport. Those interested to see the main features of Arusha will begin somewhere around the Clock Tower, on foot, with one of our guides and will usually begin walking northwards in an anti-clockwise direction, taking in such sites at the Natural History Museum, various monuments celebrating independence, the local market, and some craft shops. A town tour typically takes some 2-3 hours and covers around 4 km.
Tours are completed on foot with one of our guides. The cost is USD 20 per person with climbers buying their own food and drinks along the route, as required. Tips to the guide on this town tour are entirely at the climber's discretion but tend to be around USD 10 per climber for smaller groups, and USD 5 per climber for larger groups. For climbers staying at hotels out of town, an additional vehicle transfer cost is payable.
Those staying at hotels close to town can either do the whole tour on foot (around 13km of walking), or can enjoy vehicle support (USD 26 per car) to transfer them from place to place along the route. Here's a map of a typical Town Tour route 👇
A nice way to end a town tour is to do a Coffee Plantation Tour at Arusha Coffee Lodge. Their Bean to Cup tour costs USD 35 per person.
This is probably the best place to swim. Emanating from within the earth, the geo-thermally warmed water is constantly renewed and is therefore very fresh and clear and clean. It’s a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours with family, or to relax before or after a climb.
The distance from Arusha to the hot springs is 69 km and the journey normally takes around 1 hour 45, so one should allow 5-6 hours for this excursion.
The work this orphanage does is incredibly valuable. We recently learned of one child who was found abandoned on a rubbish dump by local people that knew of the orphanage. Still today nobody knows who her parents are and yet she is now so happy and well cared for! One of our climbers came to meet this little 6 year old girl and spent two days with her and now sponsors her school career with quarterly payments of USD 250.
For those burdened to do so there is opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these little ones, and many clients leave this place in tears, more moved than they ever thought possible, and with a strong desire to one day return.
Around 2-3 hours should be allowed for the trip. The costs cover our staff fees and vehicle support. Most climbers choose to donate a small gift to the orphanage in addition to this, but are not obliged to do so. The orphanage is very much encouraged by visitors simply being willing to spread the word and encourage others to visit.
This is a beautiful little waterfall, with its principal advantage being its proximity to Arusha. The journey from Arusha is just 7 km and takes only 15 minutes. Having parked, there is a short walk that involves some steep ground and some clambering, but is quite manageable, even for young children.
Once we reach the waterfall, it is usual to enjoy the environment with a picnic, included in the price. Costs include transport.
This option is suitable for those who want to spend more time walking as, following a 30 minute / 13 km vehicle transfer to the area, access to the waterfall requires a 2 km walk along a river bed. The walk to the falls takes a little under an hour and some 40 minutes to get back to the vehicle, if completing a circuit. Bear in mind that to get back to the car requires a height gain of 60 metres, so while not strenuous, one should be prepared for this.
Two options are possible on this excursion: either one may walk around the lake or canoe across it. Depending on which hotel we start from, the drive is around 15-20 minutes to reach the lake. The walk around the lake covers some 3.5 km, however, we normally have a picnic along the way and may stop regularly if we encounter birds, monkeys or monitor lizards.
Costs for the lakeside walk include the government conservation fee walk. Please note that use of canoes is extra, with hire fees being payable direct to the local government office.
This is a dramatic topographical feature with steep falls that fall away into a lush green crater. The attraction of this walk is threefold: the exercise, the awesome views, and the opportunity to meet authentic Maasai villagers. If walking around the crater rim, we cover around 4.2 km, however, climbers will often want to descend to the crater floor, which may add another 3 km or thereabouts. Bear in mind that if descending to the crater floor, the return to the rim requires an ascent of 257 metres, which will normally take somewhere between 30-50 minutes and is quite strenuous, dusty and exposed to direct sunlight with virtually no shade.
The costs include transport, lunch, local entrance fees and a small gift to Moita village.