In Arusha region it is estimated that tourism and wildlife account for about 20% of regional GDP. Hence, it ranks third in importance after agriculture and livestock. The region receives about 80% of all tourists visiting Tanzania. This is due to the fact that Arusha region has a vast scenic countryside endowed with rich flora and fauna, charming people, excellent climate and other tourist attractions as explained here under.
It has excellent tourist infrastructure and is next door to a key tourist receiving country which Arusha complements as shown below:-
Arusha the capital town of the region, is well established as tourist capital of the Northern Tourist Circuit with an impressive array of facilities. These facilities include a fully equipped conference centre (AICC), hotel facilities and an International Airport (KIA) which is only half an hour away by car. Also Arusha town is located exactly half way between Cape Town and Cairo and has a lot to offer.
Activities include Mount Meru climbs, boating on Lake Duluti, a 211 Museum, snake parks, shopping in the curio shops, bazaars and cultural heritage centres etc.
The park has three district zones: A distinctive crater (often described as a mini-Ngorongoro), the Momela lakes which are fed by underground streams and Mount Meru which is one of the most rewarding mountains to climb in Africa (the second highest mountain in Tanzania afta Kilimanjaro). Animals here include: buffalo, elephants, hippo, giraffe, zebra, a variety of antelopes, blue, black and white monkey, leopard and hyena.
Visitors’facilities are camp sites, mountains huts, rest houses and the Momela Lodge.
This park has a permanent supply of water so that during the dry season the animal population here rivals that of Serengeti with wildebeest, zebra, eland, elephant, hartebeest, buffalo, gerenuk, fringe eared crux and flocks of birds of many different species. Prime game viewing months are between September and December. Visitors facilities are a luxury tented lodge and camp sites.
Manyara is a sanctuary to elusive populations of buffalo, hippo, giraffe, impala, zebra and the most famous residents-tree climbing lions. Elephants feed off fallen fruit while bushbuck, waterbuck, baboons, civet, leopards as well as black rhinos make their home in the forest. Lake Manyara is a magnet for birds’ life and a kaleidoscope of different species which can be found around its shores, including huge flocks of flamingo. The Park is ideal for a day trip from Arusha town. The tourist season is from June to September and January to February. Visitors’ facilities are a hotel, camp sites, a hostel and self-catering "bandas".
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountain and archaeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, Ngorongoro Crater andOlduvai George. The view of Ngorongoro crater is sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, wood land and mountain-all a haven for wildlife, including the densest predator population in Africa. The crater is home to up to 25,000 large mammals mainly grazers. The crater elephants are strange, mainly bulls. The birds’ life in the crater is largely seasonal. In the northern, remote part of the NCA are Olmoti and Empakasicraters, Lake Natron (known to breeding ground for East Africa's flamingoes) and OldonyoLengai Mountain. Visitors’ facilities include luxury lodges and campsites such as Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Ndutu Lodge and Conservation Corporation (East Africa).
Olduvai is the site of some of the most important fossil humanoid finds of all time, the "Nutcracker man" or Australopithcusbliseiwho lived 175 million years ago. There is a small informative museum located at the visitor's centre. The gorge is a treasure trove of archeological sites filled with fossils, settlement remains and stone artifacts. Lecture tours are offered. Visitors’ facilities are a camp site.
The Tindiga and Hadzabe, of Mbulu district, the Sonjo of Ngorongoro district and the Ndorobo of Kiteto district form a special group with special needs. These people until very recently lived away out of contact with other people in pursuit of a special life style. They lived on honey, hunting and the gathering of wild fruits and roots.
Other tourist attractions which are nearby Arusha Region are The Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa).
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