I have spent close to two months in Arusha as a volunteer for Youth Challenge International. I have been volunteering as a teacher with a local partner organization called Umoja Center. When I am not working on projects or teaching, I have been getting to know the city as much as possible. Thus, I have created the following list of places I have visited and recommend to other volunteers.
- Natural History Museum in Arusha – I went to this museum on my first weekend in Arusha and it was a nice place to visit and a good place to start while trying to learn how to navigate yourself through the city. It also has a nice garden and a small market to look through.
- Via Via café – This place is very popular with tourist and expats. It is a good place to dine in. On Thursday nights they have a club night where there is a local band playing, and after this there is a DJ playing music to dance too, as well as karaoke.
- Afriacafe – If you need a break from ugali and are having a craving for a hamburger then this restaurant is a good place to visit and is very popular with many tourist and local expats.
- Njrio Complex – In this complex they have a movie theater, shops, and restaurants. Although it is a little more expensive compared to local restaurants and shops.
- French Alliance – Is a nice venue to watch foreign movies on Wednesday nights. One can even enroll in French classes here.
- Arusha Hotel – is a good place to check out because they have a nice pool and hot tube which is open to the public. They also have a decent menu to choose some western food.
- Masaii Market on Fire Road – This market is the perfect place to gets gifts for your family and friends. It might be overwhelming at first with all the sellers yelling at you to come into their shops. However, there is a variety of items to choose from and you can bargain with the sellers.
- Fabric Market in Downtown Arusha – I highly recommend going to this market. I have bought many beautiful fabrics from here which you cannot find outside Africa. For example Kanga and Kitenge and the expensive fabric are made out of wax.
- Big bite – This is a good Indian restaurant, I only went there once with friends but I have been craving it ever since. If you go with a big group of people that way you can order a lot from the menu and share it with everyone.
- Michelle’s – A French restaurant and on Tuesday nights it is a good place to go for cheese and a great place to meet and socialize with people.
Arusha is a great city and it is very easy to meet many wonderful locals and other volunteers from around the world. I wish I had more time in Arusha because there is a lot you can do and see which was not featured in my top ten list.
-Nisha Minhas, Youth Ambassador, Tanzania 2012
YCI is currently recruiting volunteer teams to work in Tanzania. Check out our Program Calendar for more details