In Northern Tanzania, Arusha sits at the base of volcanic Mount Meru. It’s a hub for safari expeditions and treks up Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro, which lies some 100 kilometres (60mi) to the northeast. It’s also a useful base for exploring the Serengeti National Park, where the annual migrations of wildebeests draw explorers each year.
Adorned with colourful African material and hand-crafted local art, this hotel has an authentically Tanzanian vibe. Getting travellers in the mood for safari, the themed suites echo the highlights of the Serengeti National Park nearby. The Zanzibar Lounge is also a good place to wind down, have a coffee or refuel before a trek up Kilimanjaro.
One of the oldest hotels in East Africa, its history harks back to 1894, giving it a traditional ambience. It offers a taste of luxury with well-manicured gardens, massages in the Ai Care Spa nearby and a gym that’s open at all hours. The Parachichi restaurant and Hatari Bar come alive on Fridays with live music and DJ sets.
A photographer’s mecca, in the foothills of Kilimanjaro’s sister peak, Mount Meru, this hotel is the topographic centrepiece of the Arusha National Park. With 15 acres (6ha) of grounds, it is surrounded by some of the country’s most iconic landscapes and the wildlife that typifies East Africa. It’s also home to a nine-hole golf course for those keen to perfect their swing.
On the slopes of Mount Meru and close to the local school and church, Ahadi Lodge prides itself on being in the heart of the local community. From the lodge, you can organise a range of activities, including canoeing, learning about coffee and environmental conservation. Alternatively, take a town tour to shop for curios and beaded jewellery.
Top-floor views from this hotel’s Spanish-Peruvian restaurant give it the wow factor. The Yellow Chilli Indian restaurant on site is also worth a try for the discerning foodie. Three eateries provide a range of options for staying in, while the location – gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit – means this hotel caters to a thronging travel hub.
Set back five kilometres (3mi) from the city centre on Arusha-Himo highway, this lodge is a take on an African wilderness adventure. Among evergreen trees and banana canopies, the deluxe rooms are housed in wooden-stilted huts. In the evening, venture into town, have some comforting food at the restaurant or enjoy a cold beer around the fire pit.
Masailand Lodge, with views across the Kisongo valleys, is a solid base for nearby animal-spotting adventures. Within distance of a day trip to the Ngorongoro Crater, or a tour of the Materuni Waterfalls, there are lots of options for wildlife seekers. Climbing, horse riding or ziplining are also available nearby for the adrenaline junkies in the group.
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