Arusha has a significant place in the history of modern Tanzania. It served as an important location for the United Kingdom to sign official documents granting independence to Tanganyika in 1961. The city has undergone various changes throughout history.
In the 1830s, the Arusha people, originally from the Arusha Chini area of the Kilimanjaro Region, settled in the Selian area on the southwestern slopes of Mount Meru under Maasai authority. Arusha was later conquered by the Germans in the 1890s and was subsequently retaken by the British during World War I. Despite these regime changes, the growth of Arusha remained relatively stagnant until after World War II.
Today, Arusha is a multicultural city with people from diverse backgrounds, reflecting its rich history and the influence of various ethnic groups in the region. It serves as the gateway to Tanzania's national parks and is known for its vibrant safari tourism industry.
Here are some things to do and see in Arusha:
- Safari Tours: Arusha is the starting point for many safari adventures. From here, you can embark on thrilling wildlife safaris to national parks such as Serengeti, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Crater, where you can witness the Big Five and other fascinating wildlife species.
- Cultural Heritage Centre: Explore the Cultural Heritage Centre, which showcases traditional African art, artifacts, and handicrafts. Visitors can browse the vast collection of artwork, sculptures, jewelry, and clothing while learning about the rich cultural heritage of Tanzania.
- Maasai Market: Visit the Maasai Market, where you can experience the vibrant market atmosphere and browse a wide range of handicrafts, including traditional Maasai jewelry, textiles, wood carvings, and more. It's a great place to shop for souvenirs and interact with local artisans.
- Ngurdoto Crater: Take a visit to Ngurdoto Crater, a collapsed volcanic crater located within Arusha National Park. The crater offers stunning views and the opportunity to spot wildlife such as buffalos, monkeys, and a variety of bird species.
- Mount Meru Waterfall: Hike to the beautiful Mount Meru Waterfall, located within the Arusha National Park. The trail to the waterfall takes you through lush forests and provides a refreshing experience as you witness the cascading water.
- Aim Mall: Enjoy a shopping and dining experience at Aim Mall, a popular shopping complex in Arusha. The mall offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it a great place to relax and unwind.