Main article: Mount Kilimanjaro Expedition
Note: click on images to enlarge and click on links for further info.
I was in Tanzania from 1st July to 10th July 2011. The purpose of this trip was to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (refer to main article above) and to experience the Safari. During our trip, we stayed for 3 nights in Arusha (2 nights before the climb and 1 night after).
Arusha, as most bloggers put it, is your average African town. It’s small, with lots of people walking around during the day. Albeit its modest infrastructure, it is able to meet your basic needs. They have a supermarket selling all sorts of local and imported goods, a “cinema” mall, a number of African and other western/asian restaurants, and is reasonably safe for a foreigner to travel around.
Our Mountain Operator, Team Kilimanjaro (website here), arranged our accommodation to be at The Outpost Lodge (website here). It is located on Serengeti Road, away from the normal noise of traffic and touts. It has it’s own laundry service, room with TVs, internet room (with PCs), lounge, and a small swimming pool to chill by. It even serves good coffee such as cafe latte or cappuccino at the restaurant (around ~US$3).
We paid US$128 per night (that’s US$32 per person per night as we had 4 people in our group). I highly recommended The Outpost Lodge to travelers with a “medium budget”. If you’re on a “high budget”, you might want to consider The African Tulip Hotel (website: http://www.theafricantulip.com). The African Tulip was quite near to our place.
Upon arriving in Arusha, I contacted a Malaysian friend who was working there. In the evening, he took us around Arusha town for dinner.
He took us to Khan’s BBQ, a very famous BBQ restaurant in Arusha. (Khan’s BBQ website: http://khansbbq.com)
Khan is (as you might have already guessed) an Indian name. They serve localized Indian food with an African twist. It’s a garage by day, and a BBQ joint by night. It offers you a back-alley Africa-style experience for foreigners. They do mixed grills (tandoori chicken), chips, naan bread and a serve-yourself selection of salads and sauces.
Khan’s is recommended by many travel books and I support their recommendation. However, getting there might be a problem at night. From The Outpost Lodge, it’s not walking distance. I was fortunate to have a friend working there. I would suggest other travelers to ask the hotel or your tour company to arrange for transportation if you were to go out at night.
After we got back from Mount Kilimanjaro, our Malaysian friend took us for dinner at what is known as the “cinema” mall. The cinema mall has a mini-cinema, a grocery store selling imported products and a variety of good restaurants (Khan’s also has branch there).
After being on the mountain for 7 days, we were very pleased to be served good tasty food. We ordered pizzas, briyanis, naan (from Khan’s) and lots more. I have to say, the briyani was one of the best I’ve tasted in a while.
In the end, Arusha exceeded my expectations. Prior to coming to Tanzania, I was expecting it to be a small town, being so far from the main city Dar Es Salaam. I had a very pleasant stay, all thanks to the friendly people of Arusha, my Malaysian friend and to the staff of Team Kilimanjaro . TK is highly recommeded. Their staff are honest, friendly and hardworking. For details of how excellent they were during my climb, please refer to the main article (link provided above).
The full set of photos taken in Arusha is available on my Flickr here: Arusha Album