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Arusha Layover

Summary: Add an extra night upon arrival at Mount Meru Resort (a hotel in Arusha) to relax and recuperate before beginning your safari. Optional activities are available on this extra day or you may choose to simply relax and enjoy the property and facilities at this charming lodge.


Arusha Layover: $190 per person in an Executive Room plus $90 single room supplement, if applicable

Arusha Layover: $275 per person in a Luxury Suite plus $160 single room supplement, if applicable

  • Includes accommodations at Mount Meru Resort
  • Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner

Option # 1 for Sightseeing: $150 per group

  • Includes 1⁄2 day use of vehicle and guide
  • Includes general sightseeing and shopping in Arusha

Option # 2 for Village Visit: $150 per group

  • Includes 1⁄2 day use of vehicle and guide
  • Includes cultural tour of Poli Village

Option # 3 for Arusha National Park: $300 per group

  • Includes 1⁄2 day use of vehicle and guide
  • Includes game drives in Arusha National Park
  • Excludes park fees of $30 per person

Background: We highly recommend the Arusha Layover Option for all clients without any significant time constraints. The Mount Meru Resort is one of the finest lodges in Arusha and is conveniently located half way (or 30-minutes) between the International Airport at Kilimanjaro and the Domestic Airport at Arusha.

The following is a list of reasons why an extra night at Mount Meru Resort may be a worthwhile addition to your itinerary:

  • The Delta / KLM / Turkish Airlines flights arrive late in the evening while the flight to the Serengeti the next day departs at 8.00am in the morning. By adding an extra day in Arusha, one is able to rest and recuperate from the long international flight before beginning the safari as well as adjust to the time difference. Being well rested and in a healthier position will ultimately lead to a more enjoyable safari experience.
  • Though missed or significantly delayed connections in Europe are unusual, they do occur from time to time. An extra day in Arusha functions as a form of insurance that would protect the safari itinerary from being compromised as most international flight problems result in a delay of not more then 24 hours. With two nights at the Mount Meru Resort, the worse scenario from a missed connection would mean the loss of just one night in Arusha while the main safari itinerary would remain unaffected.
  • Adding an extra day in Arusha allows for opportunities to explore the charming town of Arusha as well for cultural and shopping excursions.

Sightseeing and Shopping Option # 1: This option includes the 1/2 day use of a vehicle and guide to tour the charming town of Arusha. The tour includes general sightseeing and shopping opportunities. Some popular souvenir items in Tanzania include wooden animal carvings, African masks and picture frames, hand woven baskets, dining sets, local paintings, jewelry, safari books, and Maasai arts and crafts (beadwork, shields, spears, jewelry, etc.). Tsavorite and Tanzanite are two popular gemstones in East Africa. Tanzanite, a bluish gemstone, is mined only in Tanzania (next to Kilimanjaro Airport). There are a myriad of shops and markets in and around Arusha. One shop that we recommend is called 'Cultural Heritage'. Cultural Heritage accepts credit cards and they can reliably ship large items.

Poli Village Visit Option # 2: Visit a traditional village in Arusha and learn about the culture and life of most Tanzanians. Poli is a village within the Usa River district and close to the offices of Africa Dream Safaris. Clients who wish to visit a non-touristy village will enjoy this 2-hour excursion to the nearby village of Poli. Clients will meet with the Chairman (Mayor) of the village or a representative from his village council and learn how a village of this size is managed along with the day-to-day issues. Site visits will include the primary school, hospital, courthouse and the village offices. This tour is usually a highlight for clients seeking cultural interactions and insight into the life of most Tanzanians.

Arusha National Park Option # 3: Explore Arusha National Park on a 1/2 day game drive from Mount Meru Resort. Though the park does not offer nearly the same caliber of big game viewing as the other more famous parks of Tanzania, it does make a pleasant beginning and introduction to a Tanzania safari. Lying between the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, Arusha National Park is an outstandingly beautiful area. The park has a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched, through the highland montane forest and up to the imposing summit of Mt. Meru. There are three distinct areas found in this little park covering just 50 square miles: Ngurdoto Crater, Momela Lakes and Mt. Meru.

Associated with different vegetation zones are different types of animals: migrating water birds settle on the lakes, waterbuck and reedbuck are found near the water, while shy bushbuck and duikers keep to the forested areas. Almost 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park. The highlights of a visit to Arusha Ntaional Park include the chance to see the beautiful black and white colobus monkey as well as the chance to glimpse the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

St. Jude's School Visit Option # 4: The School of St Jude is a charity funded school that provides a free, high-quality primary and secondary education to over 1,600 of the poorest, brightest children of Arusha region, Tanzania, East Africa. The school, located across three campuses, also provides boarding for 1,100 students, and employs over 450 Tanzanians. It was founded by Australian Gemma Sisia in 2002.

We have set up two tour options for our guests wishing to visit St Jude's. The first option is for a quick 2-hour tour of the facility for those guests with limited time. Guests will get to eat lunch with the children around noontime and receive a tour of the main buildings either before or after lunch. The 2nd option is for a home visit and involves a ride in one of the St Jude's school buses at the end of the school day back to a child's home. Either option can only be conducted Monday through Friday when classes are in session. Please contact your safari consultant and we can check with the school to make sure classes are in session on your proposed travel dates.