Arusha is known as the ‘safari capital’ of Tanzania. It is a pleasant town, lying at the foot of the dormant volcano Mt Meru. Arusha has a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere.
Arusha is the administrative capital of the Arusha Region and has a population of 270,485 according to the 2002 national census.
There are good transport links to other areas of the country and it is possible to combine a northern circuit safari with a visit to almost any other park in Tanzania (including Mahale ond Gombe)< by flying from Arusha Domestic airport.
Because the Northern Circuit of Tanzania is so well developed for tourism there is accommodation to suit all budgets.
Here we list a few of the options, but, if you have heard of another hotel that you would like to stay in, just let us know and we can book it for you. Most Tanzania safaris begin and end in Arusha, due to its proximity to Mount Kilimanjaro and the world famous Serengeti National Park.
The nearby Arusha National Park is good for both wildlife and hiking, with Tanzania’s second highest peak, Mount Meru. See our hiking itineraries for detailed Meru treks. It is also possible to go canoeing around the Momella Lakes, mountain biking, horse riding and visit local cultural projects.
Day 1: Momella Gate To Miriakamba Hut
We will depart to the Momella gate in the morning, as a starting point of the trek. The drive to the gate is roughly an hour and a half. After the registration you will start your trek accompanied by an armed ranger. Along the route you will catch spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Momella lakes. You will encounter animals such as cape buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs and bushbucks, to name a few. Your trek will end up at Miriakamba Hut where you will be spending the night.
Day 2: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut
Todayís trek takes you through the steep path along the ridge of the saddle. Amazing views of the Meru crater, the ash cone and little Meru can be seen along the way. While trekking through the forest keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and the attractive wild flowers. Common animals include buffaloes and the black and white Colobus monkey. Your trek will end up at Saddle hut where you will be spending the night. After resting at the camp you will set off on an hour acclimatization trek to little Meru (3810m) then head back down to Saddle hut.
Day 3: Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak To Miriakamba Hut
You will wake up just after midnight for a light meal then start your final ascent to Socialist Peak at the top of big Meru. The trail to the summit is steep and you will be climbing through gravel and rocky ridges. While at the summit you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Meru crater and ash cone. Occasionally, animals such as Klipspringers and mountain reedbucks can be seen over the rocky terrain. After the summit, you will then descend to Miriakamba Hut where you will be spending the night.
Day 4: Miriakamba Hut to Momella Gate
After breakfast you will begin your final descent to Momella gate. You will be using the southern route to descend. During your descent you will pass through the montane forest where you will pass the amazing Fig Tree Arch. Upon arrival at the Momella gate, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.