East Africa, Tanzania

Arusha

Arusha Beautiful View

A city in Tanzania’s upper northeast with a population of more than 400,000 that seems like perhaps a third of that, Arusha is a prosperous, very African town, presided over by Mount Meru, a giant, 14,977-foot volcano reminiscent of its Great Rift Valley relative, nearby Kilimanjaro, the apex of Africa. Its two airports, Mount Kilimanjaro International and Arusha Airport, the busy domestic hub, serve as gateways for visitors to the country’s great national parks and safarilands: Serrengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Selous and Ruaha.

Micato safariers typically use Arusha as an overnight stop before or after setting off for the gamelands; it’s a wonderful place to relax—at the sylvan Arusha Coffee Lodge, for instance—and perhaps take a drive around town for a look at what non-wilderness Africa looks and feels like, and to gaze up at regal Mount Meru, a sample of the wonders to come.

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