Arusha City is located in the northern part of Tanzania in between two high mountains which are Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is the safaris capital city of Tanzania because it is surrounded by national parks like Arusha national park, Tarangire national park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Kilimanjaro national park and Lake Manyara national park. Arusha is also known as “Geneva of Africa” where tourists embarking in this hub of the northern circuit stop in this city to prepare for their journey into other parts for tourism purposes.
According to the 2012 population census outcome, Arusha had 1,694,310 people whereby 821,282 are males while 873,028 are females but currently the number of people in this city is higher than that provided in 2012. Arusha is a multicultural city that counts more than 120 ethnic groups living together. The concentration of all these tribes is due to the tourism activities that take place in the city.
In diplomacy point of view, Arusha is the hub for all diplomatic issues in east Africa. Since Rwanda genocides of up to 2015, Arusha had been hosting the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda. Also, all issues related to the East African Community are held in Arusha.
Historical Background Of Arusha City
In 1830s Arusha City was settled by Maasai who were agro-pastoralists from the community of Arusha Chini in the southern part of Mount Kilimanjaro whose main activities were trading grains, honey, local beers and tobacco in exchange to cattle, milk, meat and skin from Kisongo Maasai. In 1860 when Arusha the demand for foodstuffs increased, this was the period when the Pangani valley trade route was extended via old Moshi, Arusha and finally Kenya. Though it was not a town yet, but by that time it had some features of being a regional centre and some indicators of urbanization.
In 1896 Arusha was under colony of Germany because that time German conquered all parts of Tanganyika (currently Tanzania). They took Arusha as their colony after killing two missionaries who settled nearby mount Meru. After the First World War (1914-1918) Arusha was under control of the British.
In the 1920s, people from different parts of the United States, British and Greek started to arrive slowly and they re-occupied the old Germany estates. The town slowly grew after they shifted from new Moshi to Arusha and this was when the railway was established from Arusha to Moshi in 1928-1929.
This city has been key in the history and evolution of Tanzania because the official document of declaring independence in Tanganyika was even signed in Arusha in the year of 1961 as well as the declaration of Arusha which was also signed in 1967 in this city.
In 1994 the UN Security Council decided that Arusha becomes the city where the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda to be hosted in the city, this made the economy of the city to be higher. Due to different international issues being held in Arusha city, Arusha declared to be a city officially in 1st of July 2005
Districts of Arusha
The city is surrounded by several districts which are Arusha Urban, Longido, Karatu, Monduli, Ngorongoro, Meru and Arusha Rural Council. But the headquarter of the city is in Arusha town (urban council). Arusha town is where the number of people is higher compared to any district in Arusha
Monduli district is where some places and national parks are found such as Lake Manyara national park which found in Mto wa Mbu village. Also, the district is closer to Tarangire national park that before geographical isolated from Lake Manyara national park and the area was included with that of Lake Manyara corridors.
Karatu district is the district council that is found closer to Ngorongoro Conservation Area entrance gate and it is the area that has more than forty tourist lodges with different star rates from five stars to the lowest ones. Many tourists take their rest in this district from K.I.A to Serengeti and Ngorongoro especially for earlier morning game driving. This council is dominated by Iraqw people (Kushites) since its near to Mbulu district where these people inhabited during their movement from Ethiopia (history context).
Ngorongoro district council is one of the most restricted areas whereby Ngorongoro caldera is found with almost all big five animals. Around Ngorongoro, people live nearby this managed area but government have been educating communities around on the importance of conserving this controlled area.
Arusha city is blessed to have surrounded by many attractions like national parks, culture, mountains, lakes hotels and lodges. All these make Arusha be a navel of tourism in northern Tanzania and country wise.
In Arusha city, there are various national parks like Arusha national park, Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park and Ngorongoro conservation area. It is also closer to Kilimanjaro national park where Kilimanjaro Mountain is found and Serengeti national park. This has also attracted tourists to this city. During holidays these places serve a lot of people from different parts of the world where they visit for leisure and as the part of knowing the world.
Arusha has an active volcano mountain which is Oldonyo Lengai (“mountain of god” as translated from Maasai language) and it attracts more people to visit this city for tourism activities. Also, mount Meru which is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania and has special characteristics of a deadly volcano but the special one is, this mountain is found closer to Arusha town in which it decorates and gives a scenery view of this city.
This place has lakes like Lake Manyara and Lake Natron which are all found within Arusha city. Lake Manyara is Soda Lime Lake that is famous for having a number of bird species like flamingos, mammals and marine organisms. On the other hand, Lake Natron is the one which its water rich in soda minerals and is found nearby Kenya below mount Oldonyo Lengai with high species of flamingo. All these lakes are found in the Great Rift Valley escarpment.
This city is surrounded by plenty of accommodation facilities where guests can rest before planning their journey to different national parks. Some of the accommodations are Lake Duluti Lodge, Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha Planet Lodge, Rivetrees Country Inn, Kahawa Lodge, Karama, The Residence, Arusha Serena Hotel, Legendary Lodge, Arusha Coffee Lodge which is near the Arusha Airport almost 30minutes drive, Kibo Palace Hotel, The African Tulip Hotel, Outpost Lodge and so many others with different tastes.
Culture in Arusha
Indigenous tribes in this city are the Maasai, Waarusha, Wameru and Iraqw. All these have contributed a lot in promoting cultural tourism in this northern circuit especially the Maasai tribe by their traditional dances and Tanzania at large. Also, people use their talent to express their culture by doing carving and painting pictures.
Different groups use their art skills to express their feelings about community culture as they live in. Painters use Tingatinga style and Kisu style to present their culture and what surrounds them. Also, the Makonde tribe use woods to carve their real history from Mozambique to Tanzania.
There are several cultural dances that are used to differentiate one culture to another, for example, Maasai dances are differentiated by jumping up which is very unique compared to other cultures like Sukuma culture which is mainly tribesmen shake their shoulders when dancing.
Two types of transports are used in this city which includes land transport and air transport. These modes of transport save both residents and people visit Arusha for tourism purposes.
- Land transport in Arusha
Arusha city has good infrastructure that facilitates road transport and this makes it possible to access different parts of the city and Tanzania as well. From Arusha to the capital city of Tanzania (Dodoma) is tarmac road where travellers enjoy their voyage comfortably, also from Arusha to national parks like Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro. Roads are all tarmaced and the accessibility is marvellous and enjoyable.
- Air transport in Arusha
The regional airport that found at Kisongo serves people to travel from one place to another in Tanzania. Also, tourists use charter flights and other flights especially domestic flights such as the Air Excel, Regional Air, Auric Air and Flight Link from Arusha to airports found in national parks like that found at Manyara and Serengeti. On the other part, Arusha serves Kilimanjaro international airport that is found almost a half of the distance to Moshi city where Arusha airport used as the spoke to K.I.A that is the hub to international flights.
Arusha is endowed by many tour operators and companies due to the tourism activity which is highly conducted in the northern circuit which is caused by the national parks which are unique by having the big five animals such as Elephants, Rhino, lion and small five animals.
Welcome to Arusha City the Geneva Of Africa and enjoy and appreciate the nature for your everlasting and unforgettable experience.