Alluring Arusha: A Gateway for the Free Spirited!

Arusha

Arusha, the fourth biggest town in Tanzania offers more than a conducive, almost predictable climate; it is the safari capital of northern Tanzania, and acts as the gateway to Mt Meru and Kilimambogo, expeditions to Arusha and Tarangire National Parks, wild safaris in Serengeti as well as experiencing Lake Manyara and the enchanting Maasai culture. The town, originally built in the 1900s as a German garrison has since grown to catch up with other popular Tanzanian cities, and now hosts the East Africa Community Headquarters as well as the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Jovago’s Top 3

Apart from serving as a gateway to most of northern Tanzania’s tourism circuit, Arusha in itself is a multi-faceted city with every contradiction that comes with a rising urban center. The architecture depicts a somehow balanced mélange of colonial, western and local that seem to have long reached a non-written consensus on co-existence. The people are warm and friendly, and whatever the town lacks in infrastructure, it does compensate in its camaraderie and welcoming weather.

Hiking Mount Meru

Mt MeruMount Meru is Africa’s fifth highest mountain at 4,565 meters and renown for charming views and postcard photography for those bold enough to scale the volcanic rocks to the summit. Geography explains the mystique of the intriguing horseshoe shape as stemming from a massive eruption thousands of years ago, leaving a crater in the middle of the once Kilimanjaro-sized giant. This hike can take 3-4 days depending on one’s fitness and ability to acclimatize.

Arusha National Park

Arusha NPArusha National Park is one of the smaller parks in Tanzania, good or bad thing? I’d say it’s an advantage for the Safari enthusiast with limited time and big heart for game! The one-day trip makes for a hustle-free rendezvous with buffaloes, elephants, primates, and many more. Bird watchers will be entertained as well. The topography is just as rewarding with a thick tropical forest, ice-cold turquoise lakes and the popular Ngurdoto crater, all making beautiful picnic sites.

Shanga Shangaa – Africa House

Shanga ShangaaThis is the ultimate, stop, shop and snack hot spot in Arusha. The name is a fair translation to mean ‘amazing necklace’ an item no shopper will leave Shanga Shangaa without. This fantastic place was set up to help people with special abilities earn a living as well as morally support each other. Every product is made of recycled materials, glass, beads and stones giving birth to an authentic and exquisite collection. There’s a café that serves delicious local and Swahili cuisine, you can also wine and dine on the lovely lawns forming a perfect way for a leisurely spent afternoon.

Restaurants

From Chinese dumplings to Swahili mahamri and Italian Pizzas, Arusha does not disappoint. Most of the restaurants are centrally located in the business district with just a few locations in the residential. Njiro road as well as Moshono area are popular for night clubs, but as an experienced club hopper, the locals know best; make friends, and test the cues!

Shopping

The Tanzanite Experience is a must-go zone for best cut stones and some extensive crash-course on the precious pebble. The shop by Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO) is great for high quality beadwork. Kase on Boma road has good maps and books on National Parks and Heritage, for the self-caterer, Soko Kuu will do great favors to your kitchen!

Hotels

Whether on a budget-conscious trip, or seeking luxury on the slopes of Mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha has great considerations for your ledger books! Log on to Jovago-Arusha-Hotels for all your accommodation needs.

Fun Fact

Arusha Clock TowerArusha’s clock tower is believed to mark the midpoint between Cairo and Cape Town-there is a huge deal of disputing bar talk as well as Geographical evidence. Not to worry though, this vibe keeps the locals going, and the region happy to take directions from one of Africa’s most popular clock tower!

Safety: Whether in London, Libreville, Amsterdam or Arusha, being street smart is critical for every newbie. Walk confidently, avoid unnecessary crowds, negotiate like a native and don’t display expensive jewelry, cameras and accessories downtown. You’ll be fine.

Money: Tanzanian Shilling, All International Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard) are accepted in the ATM.

Exchange Rate:  http://www.xe.com/currency/tzs-tanzanian-shilling

Country Code: +255

Main Airport: Arusha is served by two main airports; Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha Municipal Airport. The former has a good number of international flights, while the latter is mostly domestic.

Visa Requirement:

http://tanzaniaembassy-us.org/?page_id=76

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Doula (Cameroon) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The company is founded by Africa Internet Holding and has MTN as one of the investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.
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Top Honeymoon Destinations in East Africa

For the intrepid traveler, East Africa offers the ultimate fun field at any given season. From vast stretches of sunny and sandy beaches, ancient cultures, world heritage sites as well as bounteous wildlife roaming the hundreds of natural habitats. This is not to say that romance and intimacy cannot be achieved, in fact some of the most celebrated honeymoon resorts, luxury camps and private islands are found on the region. From exclusive cabins in Vamizi island to moonlit cruises on the Nile, and air-borne safaris across jungles; here is the region’s top honeymoon spots as recommended by real travelers who have booked their first post-nuptial holiday with Jovago.com

VAMIZI, AND PARADISE ISLANDS – Mozambique  

VamiziWhile Vamizi is nestled in the serene environs of the Quirimbas Archipelago, Paradise Islands (Santa Carolina) is the most accessible of Bazaruto’s five islands. The two jewels rival each other in sheer charm, presenting a dilemma to any couple dreaming of pure indulgence and intimacy. Both are circled by the still, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, with mangrove forests, river deltas, and ancient fishing villages dotting the shorelines and quietly binding the territory. While Paradise Island was a hit with lovers and wealthy Rhodesians before the Mozambican war –the shadows of the abandoned resorts have actively come to live as forts of solitude and exclusivity. Vamizi on the other hand retains her charm, which was very well immortalized in the words of iconic Daniel Craig of James Bond who claimed to have left a piece of his very bold heart on the crescent shaped isle!

SERENGETI –Tanzania

SerengetiIf you are looking for nature in its most virgin form, Serengeti in Tanzania has more than just character. The location, activities, wildlife and the general panorama is excellent. Depending on your budget, you can chose any of the relatively simple but excellent in service lodges or splash on the luxurious cottages such as Singita Ssasakwa Lodge. The difference is all in the century old-furnishings in the manor houses, rustic trinkets and antique fireplaces with a great resemblance to royal grandiose. The guiding, game drives, menus, balloon rides and outdoor activities will mostly offer a common denominator for any couple starting off at Serengeti.

MASAI MARA – Kenya

MaraYearning for a rustic, out of Africa honeymoon setting? Masai Mara, will shower honors on your travel diaries! You can opt for lazy days in one of the many luxury camps, while sipping your favorite cocktail along the river banks, or join the Masai community in their daily rituals. The Mara is also renown for hosting the greatest animal migration, and if you say ‘I do’ in the right month, then you will join the millions of explorers who have traversed continents to witness the wildebeest migration! If rustic and not luxury describes your inner style, try taking up the camping option, and al-fresco your couple baths right under the indigo sun sets!

ZANZIBAR – Ultimate Sun-downer cruises

ZanzibarFor the ultimate and most giving beach honeymoon, Zanzibar is your best option! The Indian Ocean Archipelago is easily accessible from Dar es salaam via ferry or on a flight from Nairobi. Zanzibar offers a timeless experience with cultural and heritage sites in Stone town such as House of Wonders and the Museum Palace. Beyond the stone walls is a beach ablaze with activity, it’s a great location for fresh sea food as well as discovering Swahili cuisine. No trip is complete without a visit to the Spice Island of Pemba, and the eco-mooners can also make a nightly sojourn on Chumbe Island for an exploration of the famous Chumbe Island Coral Park. Still a day on your itinerary? Take a quick flight to the mainland for a drive in the nearest park before kicking it back on shore in time for a sun downer cruise.

NAIVASHA and the Rift Region

NaivashaFor just less than two hours on the road, you will have bade farewell to the urban capital of Nairobi and said hello to the charming countryside of Naivasha. The countryside has numerous boutique hotels designed in the pre and colonial times, depicting a romantic fairytale that defies all odds. The Rift Valley region is home to numerous lakes, boasting of abundant birdlife as well as other features such as cliffs, rocks and the popular Hell’s Gate, home to the Lion Kings domicile. It’s a great destination for couples keen on exploration, rather than relaxation.

PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS – Rwanda

ParcFor those keen on kicking off bucket-list items before, the little ones show up, trekking gorilla’s in Rwanda would make for a great idea. It’s however important that you make proper arrangements prior to walking down the aisle. Make sure your body is ready for the uphill task, get all your vaccinations and book your permits if need be. There are great lodges in Volcanoes Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) – the northern extension of Virunga Mountains, to welcome you with a few honeymoon treats as well as plan your excursions.

ABOUT JOVAGO

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal). The company is founded by Africa Internet Holding and has MTN as one of the investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JovagoTravel @jovagotravel
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jovago.com