Arusha, or “A-Town” as it is known by the locals, is the capital of the Arusha region and is considered to be the gateway for the northern safari circuit. It hosts a stream of international tourists who use it as a base to explore some of Africa’s most beautiful landscapes including the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge and Mount Kilimanjaro. One of its most popular attractions is Lake Manyara, situated at the base of the Rift Valley Escarpment. The natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna of this small National Park inspired Ernest Hemingway to describe it as ‘the loveliest…in Africa’. Situated on the southern slopes of Mount Meru, an active stratovolcano and the tenth highest mountain in Africa, Arusha’s proximity to the equator is tempered by its altitude, resulting in a temperate climate and an average temperature of 25°C.
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Established in 1900 by German colonists, Arusha developed into a significant trading and administrative center. Today, its primary industry is the service sector, though tourism also provides a significant contribution to the economy. Inhabited for the most part by indigenous Bantu, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian populations, there is a sizeable expatriate community living in Arusha which can benefit from the InterNations global network. Working in a diverse range of roles, Arusha’s expat community includes tour guides, conversation scientists, business people and law professionals. The expat community in Arusha is evident throughout the city, with concentrations in the city center, in Sakina to the north and Njiro to the southeast. Housing is generally in apartments or villas and an expatriate living in Arusha can expect to pay between $500 and $1000 per month for a family home. The cost of living increased when Arusha became the base for International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994, as the influx of comparatively highly paid UN tribunal staff pushed up local prices. However, for expats in Arusha on an international salary, it is still an affordable place to live.
If you have been offered a job in Arusha and want more information on what it is really like to live there, or if you have already relocated to the city and would like to get in touch with fellow expats to widen your social circle, InterNations can help. Our online forums and Expat Magazine are designed to enhance the experience of those who live and work abroad. Membership of InterNations has significant benefits for expatriates in Arusha; our online network features a wealth of user-generated information which harnesses the combined know-how of both local residents and current and former expats. Organizing visas, accommodation and getting a handle on local logistics can be done with the help of those who have been through it all already and know where to go and what to avoid.