Dramatically set below Mount Meru, Arusha has a real frontier atmosphere, with safari vehicles, smelly trucks and cranky old taxis fighting for space on the dusty roads.

Arusha is the transport hub of northern Tanzania, the base for treks up Kilimanjaro and safaris into Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Natron.

Although generally regarded as a transit stop, a longer stay in Arusha is certainly worth considering.

The semi-rural districts around the town include some lovely accommodation options, especially amongst the coffee plantations of Moivaro Lodge, Karama Lodge on Suye Hill or the Arusha Hotel if you prefer to stay in the middle of town.

If you have time then you might like to consider staying in Arusha for a few nights at the start of your trip in order to let Africa seep more gently into your soul before embarking on your safari.

Explore villages and shamba farms on foot, visit the town and its busy market, or just lie by the pool, catch up with some sleep and start a good book.

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