Gate way to the Safari Circuit of Tanzania
One of Tanzania's most developed and fastest growing towns, the bustling ‘Safari Town' of Arusha is a hive of arrival and departure activity as countless 4WD safari vehicles load up with provisions and set off with their passengers into the endless, game-teeming plains of the mighty Serengeti National Park. Established in 1900 as a minor German military garrison, Arusha lies halfway between the Cape and Cairo and was once a major trading post for the local Waarusha and Wameru tribes.
Nowadays it is not only the country's most active tourism centre but also an important regional business and administrative centre and host to a colourful array of street markets, museums, craft shops, Makonde carving workshops, street cafes, restaurants and bars.
Beautifully situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha enjoys a pleasant climate with temperatures ranging between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Industry and economy
The primary industry of the region is agriculture, with large vegetable and flower producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. Arusha is also the sole source of a gem-quality mineral called Tanzanite, which is currently produced in large quantities by corporate mining concerns. Given the town's location near such popular tourist attractions as Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Arusha also relies heavily on tourism for income. The town is also home to the offices of the East African Community, and plays host to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Arusha is served by Kilimanjaro International Airport, which lies 60kms to the east.