48 Hours in Arusha, Tanzania: What To Do

Arusha is a vibrant growing town filled with safari buzz and welcoming-dwellers, most of whom work directly or serve the safari-sphere indirectly. Set beneath the beautiful backdrop of Mount Meru, Arusha is attractive and has for many years been the first port of arrival for travellers thus gaining its title, ‘Safari Capital of Tanzania’. Arusha has numerous quality hotels, and restaurants, markets, a cultural heritage museum, hang out places and it is a suitable place to spend a few relaxing days discovering the local life before embarking on a safari or attempting to scale Kilimanjaro. Immersive cultural tours to the nearby communities are great to experience and a visit to the picturesque Arusha National Park situated near the town offers the perfect introduction to the enlivening world of safari, even though it doesn’t boast nearly the same abundance of wildlife, its unique ecosystem is very attractive.

At first glance, Arusha may not look like an attractive town, but when you explore it, you will be surprised by the interesting happenings. Here is a look at the top activities to enjoy in and around Arusha if you choose to spend a few days in town:


1. Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre And Wander Through The Local Markets

In the morning hours after a leisurely breakfast you can leave your hotel and head to the outskirts of Arusha and visit the Cultural Heritage Centre – the best place to get an understanding of the Tanzania's heritage and cultures. This unique centre is a combination of mask museum, curio shop, spice centre, antique store, and precious stone counter. The centre has hosted many famous people in the past, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea and they have been impressed, and praised it in public. Thereafter head to one of the local markets which will offer a firsthand experience into the local life of Tanzanians, and in Arusha central area, markets are as colourful and interesting as they get. Here you can see everything from Maasai handicrafts and jewellery to fresh fruits, local fabrics among many other things. Even if you are not a shopper, visiting the markets is an unforgettable experience.


2. Visit The Arusha National Park On A Half-Day Trip
On a half day trip to Arusha National Park, travellers can enjoy a perfect introduction to the world of safari on a 2-hour game viewing drive around this beautiful park. Despite the fact that there are no Big Five animals here, the park has superb plains wildlife, birdlife and scenic landscapes.

3. Hang Out At The Old Boma – Natural History Museum
The Old Boma is a great place to chill and relax in the evening, often they have an open-air cinema and live authentic music and dancing. Old Boma has a botanical garden that features a small display of plants, in addition to the museum that features an in-depth look at wildlife, and evolution as well as human fossil discoveries in Africa. The Old Boma Museum has an interesting history too, with artifacts like documents, maps, and photos of Boma during its early establishment.


4. Enjoy a Cultural Tour To Longido
The cultural day tour to Longido is 80km north of Arusha in an area of extensive plains around Mount Longido. The experience features an insight into the traditions of Maasai culture whereas the surrounding lush environs are home to rare birds and animals. The Longido cultural tour is led by a local guide includes: a nature trail to spot birds, a climb through a natural forest to the magnificent Mount Longido, a walking safari through the Maasai plains and around the slopes of Mount Longido, including a visit to a traditional Maasai village and a tour of historical sites. On Wednesdays, visitors can extend their tour by visiting the buzzing and colourful cattle market. 

The above activities can be comfortably done within two full days with overnights in Arusha before the start of a wildlife safari to the northern circuit destinations of Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire as well as a relaxing beach holiday on the Zanzibar Island.

Two Days in Nairobi City

The happening city of Nairobi is the capital and the biggest city of Kenya. The intriguing name stems from the Maasai descriptive phrase Enkare Nyrobi, translating to “a place of cool waters”. Before or after the long safaris to the safari attractions of Kenya. A short trip around the capital city can be very exciting if planned well. Between the city skyline view to the Karen area, a few museums, art galleries, and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust within the Nairobi National Park and Taste of Safari Culinary serve as a uniquely-interesting intro to Kenya if planned well. Being the economic hub and largest city in East and Central Africa, Nairobi is a metropolis that blends a lot from the region. Travellers can also get a taste of nature since some of the attractions include getting up close and personal with animals as well as wildlife.


A visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (11AM – 12Noon or 5PM – 6PM)

Watch up-close young orphan elephants that you will never forget and learn about their complex social calendar. Meet the people who have realized the benefit of keeping healthy elephant populations with a goal to re-wild the younger residents, baby elephants who have either been abandoned by the herd after getting stuck down a well, or orphaned by poachers. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) takes care of them; a calf will suckle for 2 yrs in close protection. The team at DSWT has perfected the milk formula and skills needed to take of the calves up to full growth for translocation in the wild. Traveller Reviews…
Visiting hours are restricted to: 11AM – 12Noon
Foster parents of orphan elephants can visit them again between: 5PM - 6PM


Feed the Rothschild Giraffe Species at the Giraffe Centre

An afternoon visited to Giraffe Centre give visitors the chance to pet the rare Rothschild giraffes at the world-class Giraffe interactive centre. Located in Karen area, only a few minutes’ drive away from the DSWT and Nairobi National Park, this center is managed by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Walking up the tall wooden platform, allows visitors to feed with available tasty grubs of pellet shaped biscuits, and pet the Giraffe at the same height-level. Be prepared for a welcome dose of giraffe breath and the gentle lick of long, sand-papery tongues. Traveller Reviews…


A Walk Around the Former Pristine Home of Karen Blixen

World renowned by the Oscar-Award-Winning film titled ‘Out of Africa’, the Karen Blixen Museum belongs to an eye-opening story of a by-gone era in Kenya. The museum was the home of Karen Blixen who authored her bestselling book ‘Out of Africa’ of her famed memoirs in Kenya between 1917 – 1931. Frequent visitors included the Prince of Wales, whom she entertained and dined and lovers Denys Finch Hatton whom she courted. The spending views of the surrounding hills and fauna are very fascinating on a walk around as visitors see the preserved belongings of the legendary author. Traveller Reviews…


Enjoy Swahili Culinary at the Makutano Grill Restaurant

Makutano Grill is a brilliant garden restaurant at the Karen area, ideal for farewell lunches before an evening transfer to the Jomo Kenyatta INT Airport after a Kenya Safari. The exciting menu features some Swahili dishes - very tasty and friendly waiters make the eat-out experience such a pleasure for a relaxed lunch meal and freshly-brewed coffee is served after the sumptuous meal. Guests can enjoy a stroll around the garden area and travellers can take out their bags to repack before they are transferred to the airport for their homebound flight. Traveller Reviews...

Next to the Makuto Grill Restaurant, is the Utamaduni Center a two-storey building that has some treasure-trove rooms with African artisan crafts; carefully arranged apparel prints, dining wares, art, and antiques and their friendly staff are able to assist in getting around, packing and/or with shipping if needed. Traveller Reviews…


Day Tour of the Nairobi National Park

The wildlife haven of Nairobi National Park at the backdrop of the capital’s skyscrapers is spectacular for spotting Rhinos, Lions, Elands, Zebras among other animals and birds. Travellers who have limited time in Kenya can enjoy a half-day tour around the Nairobi National Park, quite enchanting based on its close proximity to the central of Nairobi City. A morning game drive allows visitors to get phenomenal photographic opportunities of the endangered rhino species as they forage freely in the grasslands and grazing the grass. Giraffes and large plains herds as well as water birds are easily spotted when exploring the park’s gems. Big Cats (lions, leopards and cheetahs) are often spotted and the presence of buffalos and elephants and over 400 species of birds as well as hyenas showcases the biosphere supported on an enlivening game drive around the vast areas in the Nairobi National Park. Traveller Reviews…

Night Out at The Carnivore Restaurant & Simba Saloon
The Carnivore Restaurant has an exciting concept to serve soups, and salads and a variety of meats in from whole joints – leg of lamb, pork, ostrich, rump of beef, sirloin, spare ribs, sausages, chicken wings, skewered kidneys, even crocodile which are roasted on tradition Maasai swords over a huge charcoal pit. The feeding frenzy continues until the guests declare that they’ve had enough. Adjoining the Carnivore Restaurant is the Simba Saloon which has a vibrant informal restaurant that incorporates a childrens’ playground. There is a night club that operates from Wednesday to Sunday and has themed nights to cater for fans of contemporary music selections. Travellers staying the nearby Tamarind Hotel can enjoy a night out here with convenience. Traveller Reviews…

FROM OUR PARTNERS

In 2005 at just over 70, she planned to take her debut Africa safari mainly to fulfil “that once in a lifetime dream-trip to the wonderful continent” as age was also catching up on her; of course she choose Kenya and Tanzania. What she thought she knew, she said to herself, “if I don’t go this year I will never be able to go”; what she did not know was that she would come again every year after that, at times several times in a year with her clients – as “unfortunately” she got addicted to this amazing segment of Africa and it’s friendly people. In September she is sending 4 clients and when I assured her that she didn’t have to escort them as she is currently on special assignment, she said “that is….

 

And if above is not enough reason #WHYILOVEKENYA, watch

 

COMFORT GARDENS is a guest house located 8 kilometers from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi city in the Gigiri suburb whose majority residents are mainly the affluent community of Kenya residents. This area is also home to UNON headquarters in Africa as well as many foreign Embassies; and now home to Comfort Gardens. 

Comfort Gardens is a most ideal hotel for that business traveler who is involved in particularly UN matters; the US Embassy is also in this location and is one of the largest in Africa as well as the Belgium Embassy. Comfort Gardens is also a convenient stay for safari vacation makers planned to start their safari in the central Kenya and northern segments. 

&Beyond Kichwa Tembo Camp has completed a fabulous refurb; visit

NEWS FROM THE WILD

The Annual Wildebeest Migration came early this year and subsequently Maasai Mara is beehive of activity. This will ideally enhance the numbers of these gnus and other plains game coming from the mighty Serengeti in the coming months.

For those making their safaris in Tanzania, the migration is currently concentrated in Central Serengeti but fast moving up north where after “immigration formalities” at the Kenya Tanzania border they cross into Kenya for their summer holidays where they stay until around November. Last year some stayed for “Christmas”, guests visiting late in the year were fortunate to even see crossings!

All the more reason for those finalizing their safari plans for this year to get going especially in view of fact that presently Kenya and Tanzania have got lots of special offers with lots of the properties offering extra free nights after extended stays, free hot air balloon safari flights as well as free flights to the safari destinations.

With all these exciting incentives, make your reservations as soon as possible before it all fills up!

 

FROM THE REGION

Kwita Izina is the Annual Gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda and this is one of the best conservation practice that clearly demonstrates how East Africa is keen on its nature; 18 new babies were named. Marie Jose and Stephen, Brenda and Don, we are certain you still treasure the memories of seeing these gentle giants, which share some 97% of their genes with humans. Nothing can prepare one for the impact of encountering a fully grown silverback gorilla: up to three times as bulky as the average man, yet remarkably peaceful and tolerant of human visitors. There are no words to describe the thrill of recognition attached to staring deep into their liquid brown eyes.

See the new babies named during this year’s ceremony! 

AirKenya acquires two brand new aircraft

Kenya’s leading safari flight operator acquired two brand new aircraft for its safari network which operates from Wilson Airport and spreads to every safari destination to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

AirKenya

Airkenya starts off the New Year with the arrival of its seventh brand new Cessna Grand Caravan; the EX Series however, is the second of its Type with the airline. The brand new Caravan arrived in January from Wichita, Kansas, USA.  

It’s been a double celebration for Airkenya; 2 days after the brand new Cessna Caravan arrived from the USA, its second Dash 7 arrived.  There was champagne popping as the Crew alighted from the aircraft after a 5 days ferry flight.  The Dash 7 STOL aircraft is the most robust aircraft with a seating capacity of 50pax.  Airkenya is the leading domestic airline serving the tourist circuit and with the biggest capacity aircraft maintains its lead in the East African region.

 

Special Offers

Special Offers

A number of top class accommodations are running special offers for most of this year; take advantage of these incentives and save yourselves good US$ in holiday investment! These offers range from 30% Discounts on existing rates to pay 2 nights and stay 3.  

These include Sosian Lodge in Laikipia, Serena HotelsandBeyondCheli & PeacockSanctuary Retreats, Pinewood Village at the Kenya Coast.

 

Take a Picture, Not a Trophy

Take a Picture not a Trophy

 

 

KAA set to demolish burned out arrivals building

Details are emerging of plans by the Kenya Airport Authority to demolish the burned out arrivals building at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which suffered irreparable damage during a major fire in August last year.

KAA invited tenders earlier this week, seeking to contract a suitably qualified company to demolish the building and clear the site before then embarking on constructing a new state of the art arrival complex meeting the requirements of modern day aviation and allowing for Cat 1 ranking by the FAA, a prerequisite for eventually launching direct flights to and from the United States.

The fire, while a disaster of the highest order, which brought air traffic in and out of Kenya’s and the region’s most important aviation hub to a standstill for nearly two days, before traffic over gradually resumed over several days before reaching some level of normality, is now seen as a catalyst to accelerate the modernization of the airport. The construction of the long delayed Terminal Four was cranked up to around the clock work schedules and a new temporary terminal will be assembled to help process the sharply grown number of in particular transit passengers, which use Kenya Airways to fly from across Africa via Nairobi and vice versa to their final destinations. President Kenyatta in December broke ground for the new ‘Project Greenfield’ which will see the construction of a second runway, new taxiways, aprons and aircraft parking spaces and most important a new mega terminal which will more than triple the airport’s capacity to over 20 million passengers per year.

Demolition, according to a regular source from JKIA, is due to be completed by middle of this year before construction of the new arrival wing with offices and a range of other state of the art facilities will begin.

Kenya @ 50

Kenya Flag

December 12th is when Kenya celebrates Jamuhuri (Republic) Day and this year it will be a Golden Jubilee and hence the possibility that we will have 3 days of public holiday to usher in the Big50!

Whilst Kenya continues to make great achievements particularly as a key Africa hub in many sectors, we pride ourselves more so by the challenges that we have been able to overcome. Our tourism industry has been largely affected by these local and global challenges – the biggest been terrorism. However in the recent years we have and despite these challenges received some tremendous support form our international associates and specifically in the safari segment.

As Kenya sets to celebrate this great achievement, Woni Safaris would like to dedicate this auspicious occasion to express our sincere gratitude to all those who stood by us and continued with their safari arrangements this year and those who have affirmed their safari vacations and holidays next year – Asanteni Sana!

Because you like us, please send us a Congratulatory message.

THANKS GIVING

The US of A wakes up to Thanksgiving Day; we wish all our great friends celebrating this holiday all the very best.

KENYA AIRWAYS

The Pride of Africa …. always in the news!

  • October 2013 – KQ acquires its first of three Boeing 777-300ER
  • October 2013 – KQ Board appoints Willem Alexander as CEO of Jambo Jet Ltd, the airline’s new low cost subsidiary.
  • October 2013 – KQ is recognized in the Prestigious World Travel Awards 2013, which is billed as the travel industry’s Oscars!
  • November 2013 – KQ had the most punctual flights that flew into and out of London Heathrow in UK during the month of October 2013
  • November 2013 – KQ expands its cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines within East Africa, following the signing of a far reaching joint venture.

TYPHOON HAIYAN

We share with our clients and associates in the Philippines, the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan; our prayers are that day-today will be restored soon.

 

STATUE OF LIBERTY STANDS ALONE

Thousands of frustrated tourists had the choice of a one-hour boat trip around New York harbor or their money back, with one of the most iconic monuments in the United States closed. Dozens of people working on the boats taking people to and from Liberty Island, run by US National Parks, were on hand with infinite patience and multiple languages to help marshall the baffled tourists.

Statue of Liberty

"No statue today, nobody is going on the island," said A Statue official, who works at the Battery Park pier in southern Manhattan. "But you can join a one-hour harbor cruise that goes by the Statue, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, the Brooklyn bridge," he added. Large notice boards everywhere repeated the same information.

"The government has temporarily shut both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Please join our one hour sightseeing tour and see the magnificent sights of New York harbor." But many visitors were reluctant to be fobbed off with a boat trip.

"I just arrived yesterday from Seattle, I bought my tickets yesterday, they could have suspended the sales, or sent notifications," said, a 26-year-old engineer. He was uninterested in the cause of the shutdown -- the latest ideological skirmish between President Barack Obama and House Republicans over the scope of the US government. "It is a very bad political system, the opposition has such strong power," he said.

Another retired visitor from Arizona, and his wife had planned their trip to New York for six months.

Instead, she was left in tears at what she said should be the last thing to close. "The Statue of Liberty is such a strong symbol for so many people. It is America, it symbolizes freedom, jobs, a government you can trust," she said. Her husband said he was fed up. "I am really unhappy with Washington, by the executive power and Congress, they cannot get anything done," he said.