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options for free day in Arusha

jwr
Houston, tx
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362 posts
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options for free day in Arusha

Have 10-day safari booked for February, which also includes a 2:45am arrival into JRO and transfer to Olasiti Lodge. The remainder of the day is free, while hotel check-in is around noon. Thought the 1/2 day or full day Arusha NP Tour would be perfect...until Kibo Guides quoted a $245 price for that tour. Any other suggestions for the free day in Arusha? Do not know if hotel will allow me to check-in early. thanks.

Bristol
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1. Re: options for free day in Arusha

Hi there,

If you are looking for something different to include in your itinerary, have you thought about supporting a local school and visiting them during your day in Arusha.

This can be easily arranged and is a really fun thing to do. There are many ways in which you can help schools. After doing quite a bit of research we now support a Social Enterprise called ACTT (Affordable Computers and Technology for Tanzania). They put computer labs into schools at a very affordable price!! However many schools still cannot afford the cost of computers and ACTT get many requests from schools asking for help. At present less than 5% of schools in Tanzania have a computer. In the past we have helped 2 schools through ACTT and have linked several other travellers with ACTT who have gone on to support schools and see the computers they are funding installed during their time in Tanzania.

Generally people do some fundraising at home before their trip to raise money for the computers. This does not have to be a huge amount and in the past people have funded anything from one laptop up to a full computer lab. Anything will be very gratefully received. Then once in Tanzania they meet up with ACTT and spend the day with them at the school installing the computers and joining in the celebrations put on by the children and staff.

ACTT will happily work with you to find a school in or near Arusha that need support and will arrange for the computers that you are funding to be installed on the day of your visit.

To give you more of an idea what I am talking about here is a link to my blog page for the day we spent with ACTT installing computers at JK Nyerere School in Moshi recently. We actually spent 3 weeks with ACTT so if you read some of the other blog entries it will give you more of an idea what ACTT do.

…travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/…tpod.html

Or for more information about ACTT visit their website

www.actt.co.tz

I am happy to help you or anyone else connect with ACTT or to answer any questions concerning the work of ACTT. I would encourage anyone to think about doing something like this. It really will add a whole new dimension to your trip.

Edited: 29 July 2014, 13:28
Toronto
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24 posts
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2. Re: options for free day in Arusha

we also have a free day in Arusha and decided to do a cultural tour to Ilkinding'a. See this link for a description of the different cultural programs (you can also do a google search to find the company and book on your own rather than the hotel). Prices are good, we are paying $80 for a full day tour for 2.

www.planet-lodge.com/index.php/activitie-s

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: options for free day in Arusha

I found I just needed the time to deal with the jetlag. Yes, Arusha is a lovely day trip. You could ask some of the other day trip operators for a quote. I don't think Kibo really does 'day trips'. Check the day trip section of TA or some of the TOs we recommend in bullet 4. I know EASTCO does day trips. You might be able to get something under $175, but there is entry fee, maybe VAT additions, and the car and guide rental is always over $100 or more. Some arrange a taxi for all day, but they can't guide you - and that makes a big difference.

You can get a taxi to take you into town and poke around the Maasai Market or the tourist things there.

There is also this site with a lot of cultural tourism options: www.tactotanzania.org/index.php/members-list

I know that you are doing an OAT trip which includes a lot of cultural activities and school sponsorship already, but this is a good link to consider.

Note that Olasiti is a little south of town in shall I say, a working man's neighbourhood. OAT doesn't recommend walking around it, but folks do. Just don't carry anything with you if you do. If Church is on next door, you may want to pop your nose in, but chances are you will visit with your guides on the first day if in session. Otherwise, everything is a taxi ride away....unless you are up for the dala dala ride.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: options for free day in Arusha

Hi JWR,

There is a lot to do in Arusha, but yes, some things are expensive. (unfortunately!)

My husband and I lived in Arusha last year, and one of my favourite things that we did was go for a hike in Arusha National Park. (There are also Colobus monkeys in the park, and they are SO cute!!!) When my parents visited they went for a canoe ride there, which they really enjoyed. But the cost of even just the vehicle is a lot, so the price you were quoted sounds right.

Something you might like is going to Cultural Heritage - which is a museum (where you can actually buy the pieces!) and a huge store, which is a pretty cool experience. It's also near Shanga, where you can go for lunch as well as watch the special needs staff make glass pieces.

If you're on the other side of Arusha you might enjoy having lunch and exploring at Rivertrees.

Here are links to the various places: Cultural heritage: http://www.culturalheritage.co.tz/

Shanga: http://shanga.org/

Rivertrees: http://rivertrees.com/

Have a great trip!

Janine

Serengeti Safari Co . com

Chicago
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5. Re: options for free day in Arusha

Check with the lodge. It should only cost about $50 for a half day car hire. You could visit the cultural center , the Maasai market, Shanga Center which has disabled people making nice crafts ( and nice restaurant), and just a general town tour, still leaving some down time to relax from jet lag . I did this and it worked as a great introduction to TZ.

jwr
Houston, tx
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362 posts
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6. Re: options for free day in Arusha

Several good options here, thanks. After checking a couple sites, have a quote for Arusha NP day-tour for $200. Even a day-trip to Lake Manyara for $250, but understand that involves several hours of travel time. What would Arusha NP allow me to see that would not likely be seen in Tarangire or the southern Serengeti?.....hippos? flamingos? Have read about the canoe trip....but reviews are mixed and not sure if additional charges apply...

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: options for free day in Arusha

It is green...sort of jungly. The only thing close is Manyara. Tarangire is more scrub with baobobs and swamp land...much more open. serengeti is full savannah with rock formations but few trees. If I was to wax poetic and draw some eye rolls, Arusha is more like an embrace as it is smaller and more intimate. No big cats in Arushaso you can walk. The chance of colobus monkeys not seen elsewhere on the route. I saw thousands of flamingos close. I think it is less about the animals....though there are plenty and closer than some parks...and more about the vegetation and location. You are in the foothills of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro and can walk to a waterfall. The walk with the ranger is relaxing and they discuss the local plants, tribal history and lore. I found there are more animals than Manyara and closer. No hippo here either and unfortunately, elephants are becoming rarer...though if I recall, they are forest elephants so different to the ones you see on the main circuit.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: options for free day in Arusha

You definitely could do a day trip to Lake Manyara - I think it's about a 2-ish hr drive, and the park is pretty amazing - though if you're going to Tarangire I probably wouldn't bother.

I agree with QuiltingMama - Arusha National Park is jungly. It's interesting because it's at the foot of Mt. Meru, and if you have the chance it really is a lovely place to walk. (You can also go on walking safaris in the Serengeti, by the way, though only certain safari companies offer this)

One other thing that might be of interest are two snake parks -- there is a very small one near Arusha National Park (I can't remember the name, but it's just before the park.) It's very very small...and I think entrance was just a few dollars per person.

On the other side of town is Meserani Snake Park, which has more snakes, and also takes in a variety of injured animals. One of the interesting things about this place is that the vet there runs a medical clinic for sick/injured Masaai people. We went there when we took an injured baboon in (that we found on a walk in Arusha National Park actually!) tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g297913-d21…

Good luck - sounds like you've got lots of choice!

Janine

SerengetiSafariCo.com

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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9. Re: options for free day in Arusha

With a 10 day safari in other parks, I wouldn't suggest paying $200 to go out to Arusha NP. There are other interesting things to do in Arusha to just get acclimated to being in Africa. There are plenty of suggestions above for you to do to fill the day. And you will probably want to get some rest after the long flight. Everyone is different on time differences and what's called jet lag (never bothers me, but I always sleep on the planes), so if that bothers you then you will most probably want to put in some rest time.

You might also like to stock up on some snacks to take along with you on the safari. A stop at the Shoprite will fill the bill for this.

10. Re: options for free day in Arusha

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