City break in Arusha? Why not? It’s only 4.5 hours from Nairobi to Arusha, making it an easy weekend getaway. Here we bring you five good reasons to visit.
1. DRINK SOUP IN THE MORNING
This might sound strange but bear in mind that Tanzanians love their food. A dish that is a staple in the morning in this town is mtori, a savoury soup made from green bananas and meat. It takes hours to prepare but it is full of flavour. Most restaurants and bars like Fifi’s serve this delicacy as early as 7 am. The coffee culture is also quite exquisite with top-class cafés in the city such as Cafe Barrista and Msumbi Coffees. If you are a bona fide coffee lover, then visit the coffee lodges in the outskirts of the city.
2. VISIT THE VIBRANT FOOD MARKET
The minute you walk into the central market known as ‘Soko Kuu’ in Swahili, the first thing you notice is the lively atmosphere. Rows and rows of stalls stocked with exotic spices, fruits and nuts that are not available in neighbouring countries. Bring your wits with you as traders are keen to make a killing and locals are eager to be your tour guide with, of course, some gratuity expected for their vigilant efforts.
3. VISIT THE MUSEUMS
There’s something for everyone when it comes to exploring the town’s museums. The Natural History Museum, located in a fortified compound, has a section dedicated to the evolution of man. The Arusha Declaration Museum chronicles the political growth of the town, colonial history and development of Tanzania. If you’re after keepsakes, head over to the Cultural Heritage Centre for crafts and artefacts. One for the thrill-seekers is the Meserani Snake Park. Take a guided tour and learn about some of the most dangerous snakes in the world including the black mamba, cobras and pythons. For the fearless, there’s the chance to hold a snake!
4. HAVE SOME NYAMA CHOMA
Many establishments in this town – Milestone is one – have perfected the art of grilling meat, be it chicken, beef, goat or even matumbo (tripe). When you walk into these establishments, don’t expect a menu, as the locals are already familiar with the delicacies on offer. Sip on your favourite drink as you await your meal and enjoy the true hospitality of the friendly people. Music is loved almost as much as the food, if not more. A quiet sundowner will turn into an exciting music scene as the evening progresses.
5. DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY!
Arusha has a number of dancing spots to offer, one of them being the Don Lounge. Judging by how calm and relaxed Arusha can be during the day, you might not expect to nd a vibrant nightlife, but as the sun goes down, the town reveals a whole new side. From spacious lounges to sports bars and grills, Arusha’s night clubs offer different theme nights including karaoke nights and live bands. After a great evening of music and dance, cure your hangover first thing in the morning with mtori.