When to Go in Arusha

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When planning your trip to Arusha, when to go involves considerations such as climatic conditions and festivals. Arusha is an administrative region in Tanzania and it attracts many international tourists every year. The rich culture and the abundance of wildlife are some of the many reasons to visit Arusha.

Climate

Arusha is located near the equator in the foothills of Mount Meru, which is the second highest mountain in Tanzania. At night, temperatures drop and it gets cold from June until October. Arusha is at an elevation of 1,400 meters, which lowers temperature and humidity levels. For the majority of the year the region is cool and dry. Minimum temperatures are 13 C while maximum is 30 C, with averages of 25 C. Seasons are divided into a wet and dry season. Heavy rainfall occurs from March until May. This is called masika in the local dialect. From November until January there is lighter rain. This is called mvuli in the local dialect. During the dry season, which is from May until October, the temperatures are cooler.

Safaris

Arusha is a good base for going on safaris and attracts many tourists who are joining up with the northern safari circuit, including Serengeti and Ngorongoro. It is also a transit point for mountain climbers tackling Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. If you are planning to join the Northern Safari circuit, you need to consider the area's climatic conditions which will influence wildlife viewing. During the rainy season it is low season in the region, as the heavy rains make it difficult to travel. The heavy rainfall makes some of the roads impossible to travel. When there is a lot of rain there is an abundance of water for animals to drink, and they do not have to congregate at watering holes. This makes it more difficult to see a variety of wildlife, as the animals are more spread out across the region.

Between low and high season is a good time to visit because you can see many animals at this time without being around other tourists. Of particular significance is the migration of wildebeests and zebras which happens every year between February and March. This is also when there are many baby animals and predators to be seen.

Festivals

Tanzania hosts festivals every year, and events sponsored by corporate companies include international artists such as Ja Rule. There is a good music scene in Arusha, with hip hop being popular. Performances are mostly in Swahili with international influences. Nane Nane is an agricultural event that falls on a public holiday. It is held on the 8 August and Nane Nane translates to eight eight. During this event, agricultural businesses congregate to network and share information. This festival attracts thousands of people annually including farmers and stakeholders.

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