Day Trips from Arusha
Arusha Day Trips
Whether you’re in Arusha for business or pleasure, the city offers a wealth of fun day trips and excursions.
Maybe you’ve got a day to spare ahead of your Mount Kilimanjaro Climb or maybe you’re killing time before joining us on safari. Regardless of the reason, we’ve got a number of fun day trips and tours for you to choose from.
Arusha National Park Day Trips
The most accessible national park in Tanzania, Arusha National Park is just a short (1 hour) drive from Arusha proper.
While the park is not home to any big cats or larger mammals, it is an ideal place to spot buffalo, zebras, warthogs, and a variety of primates. In fact, Arusha National Park is the best place in Tanzania to spot black and white colobus monkeys.
With fewer dangerous animals to worry about, Arusha National Park is the ideal place to take a canoe safari or walking safari. With a picnic lunch prepared by Shadows of Africa, this is the perfect way to start (or finish) a longer safari adventure.
At the time of writing, canoe safaris within Arusha National Park are temporarily not taking place. Ask your safari expert about canoe safaris in Lake Manyara National Park as a fun alternative.
Lake Manyara or Tarangire Day Trip
Located between 1.5 and 2.5 hours from Arusha, the twin parks of Lake Manyara and Tarangire offer the more quintessential safari experience.
Home to four of the Big five (rhinos being the notable exception), both parks are a terrific place to spot lions, elephants, giraffes, zebra, antelope, and a huge variety of other iconic African wildlife.
Tarangire is most famous for having Tanzania’s largest elephant population, so if seeing a Tembo in the wild is on your bucket list, this is the perfect place for it. Conversely, Lake Manyara is famous for being one of only two places in the world where you can see tree-climbing lions. It is also a great place to take a canoe safari or a quick walk on the treetop walkway.
Arusha National Park Day Trips
Ngorongoro Day Trip
While the Ngorongoro Crater lies approximately four hours’ drive from Arusha, it is possible for a particularly ambitious traveler to make the trip in a single day. While we don’t usually advise this due to the rushed itinerary, it’s a great way to see the World-Heritage listed Ngorongoro Crater when time isn’t on your side.
Departing early in the morning, you’ll arrive at Ngorongoro Crater in time for a picnic lunch and an afternoon game drive. Short of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro is the best place in Tanzania to spot the Big Five. Rhinos, elephants, buffalo, and lions are especially common sightings at the verdant floor of this stunning natural wonder.
You’ll return to Arusha after dark, so be prepared for a long day!
Marangu Village Tour
Located in the Kilimanjaro foothills, the sleepy village of Marangu offers a fascinating window into modern Tanzanian life.
A day tour to Marangu includes visits to a local coffee plantation, a chance to sample locally brewed banana beer, a tour of the Chaga tunnels, and a walk to a gorgeous local waterfall.
Maji Moto Hot Springs Day Trip
Maji moto means ‘hot water’ in Swahili, but you’ll find the crystal clear waters of this natural hot spring to be quite pleasant.
A bumpy two-hour drive from Arusha, Maji Moto is a popular swimming spot with locals and tourists alike. Shaded by the towering trees that surround the oasis, Maji Moto is a perfect place to take a dip, layout in the sun, and enjoy a local lunch purchased from the vendors on-site.
Kahawa Coffee Tour
Tanzanian coffee is famous around the world for its rich flavors, so why not go straight to the source and try it for yourself?
The Kahawa coffee plantation is located in the village of Nkoaranga, about 25 kilometers from Arusha. Here, you’ll have the chance to tour a working coffee plantation, roast and grind your own beans, and enjoy a hot cup of the freshest coffee you’ll ever have.
Couple this with a hot local lunch and your own bag of Tanzanian coffee beans to bring home and you’ve got the recipe for a delicious cultural experience.
Arusha City Walking Tour
While Arusha cannot boast the same cosmopolitan charm as Nairobi or Kenya, there is still plenty to see in Tanzania’s safari capital.
A half-day or full-day walking tour of Arusha includes visits to local markets, a chance to dine in a local restaurant, and the guidance of a guide with a fantastic knowledge of the city’s past and present.
For the more energetic and adventurous traveler, there are a number of cycling day trips to be taken in Arusha and the nearby town of Moshi.
These can range in length from two-hour tours of villages on Arusha’s outskirts to half-day tours to Arusha National Park and Mt. Meru, all the way up to full-day cycling tours to local landmarks such as Maji Moto or a full-day spent within Arusha National Park.
Horse riding Safaris
Working with our local partner, we are able to arrange a horse-riding experience that lets you see African wildlife from horseback! You’ll feel like one of the explorers of old as you spot zebras and bushbuck from horseback.
It can be a fantastic way to unwind after a long trip in a safari vehicle or as an add-on to begin your safari adventure.
This is a dramatic topographical feature with steep falls that fall away into a lush green crater. The attraction of this walk is threefold: the exercise, the awesome views, and the opportunity to meet authentic Maasai villagers. If walking around the crater rim, we cover around 4.2 km, however, climbers will often want to descend to the crater floor, which may add another 3 km or thereabouts. Bear in mind that if descending to the crater floor, the return to the rim requires an ascent of 257 metres, which will normally take somewhere between 30-50 minutes and is quite strenuous, dusty and exposed to direct sunlight with virtually no shade.
Two options are possible on this excursion: either one may walk around the lake or canoe across it. Depending on which hotel we start from, the drive is around 15-20 minutes to reach the lake. The walk around the lake covers some 3.5 km, however, we normally have a picnic along the way and may stop regularly if we encounter birds, monkeys or monitor lizards.
Faraja Orphanage, Arusha
The work this orphanage does is incredibly valuable. We recently learned of one child who was found abandoned on a rubbish dump by local people that knew of the orphanage. Still today nobody knows who her parents are and yet she is now so happy and well cared for! One of our climbers came to meet this little 6 year old girl and spent two days with her and now sponsors her school career with quarterly payments of USD 250.
For those burdened to do so there is opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these little ones, and many clients leave this place in tears, more moved than they ever thought possible, and with a strong desire to one day return.
Around 2-3 hours should be allowed for the trip. The costs cover our staff fees and vehicle support. Most climbers choose to donate a small gift to the orphanage in addition to this, but are not obliged to do so. The orphanage is very much encouraged by visitors simply being willing to spread the word and encourage others to visit.
On this day trip you’ll be collected by your driver at around 0730 for transfer to Materuni Village – north of Moshi – to begin your hike to the waterfall at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, where you have the option to swim in the very cold glacial waters!
After visiting the waterfall, we hike to the local village for a traditional Chagga lunch and then enjoy a coffee plantation tour, before returning to Arusha (or JRO if you’re flying home today).
The distance from Arusha to the hot springs is 69 km and the journey normally takes around 1 hour 45, so one should allow 5-6 hours for this excursion.
Arusha National Park Day Trips