Arusha Coffee Lodge
Micato has a lot of affection for Arusha Coffee Lodge, for its flowery loveliness, its exceptional hospitality (in a country where hospitality is the happy norm), and because it’s a restful redoubt after and before the international flights that fly in and out of nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport, which not-inaccurately styles itself as “Gateway to Africa’s Wildlife Heritage.”
The Arusha Coffee Lodge’s 18 rooms and 12 plantations suites are tucked away in meandering gardens. They feature a full range of amenities (many guests are charmed by the rose-scented toiletries), including fireplaces (the altitude here is a cooling 4,500 feet), and a verandah from which we can unwind and gaze at towering Mt. Meru, a peaceful stratovolcano that tops at just under 15,000 feet, lower than Kilimanjaro (19, 341), but only slightly less majestic.
The Lodge’s swimming pool is difficult to resist after a long flight or an exciting safari, and the lodge’s dining room is welcoming and its food edges up to the topmost rung.
Just wandering along garden paths, taking an amble into the plantation, is an idyllic delight. And if we have the time, we might make an excursion into Arusha with our Safari Director. Arusha is in many ways a quintessential African town. It’s home to nearly a half million people, but it feels far smaller. Colorful, buzzing with Africa’s characteristically calm vitality, it gives us a nice feel for Tanzania’s largely poor, but brightly alert people as they go about their day. We say this many times on this website, but here’s a good place to say it again: We come to Africa to see its animals, but we leave in love with its people.