We just finished descending Kilimanjaro and will be spending a couple days in Arusha. What do you recommend for a couple of tired bodies? What's a good place for a chill celebration meal?
Here's some things we found around Arusha.
A friend that grew up in Arusha took us to a very chill and fancy patio restaurant called Le Patio. They have DJs and live music and it looked like it turns into a club with a cover charge at night with a fire pit. We only stayed for dinner and left early. A lady that used to work for the UN ended up sticking around and starting this restaurant. She was hanging out with her family while we were there.
There was a bunch of little restaurants and shops by the Nakumatt Shopping Centre and Kilombero Market that included a gelato place (Ciao Gelati) and coffee shops. We had margaritas and burritos at Taste Of Mexico.
We ended up staying at Arusha Naaz Hotel. They had a good breakfast and it cost 105,000Tsh/night ($60US) if you were a foreigner and 45,000Tsh if you had an exemption waiver for a double room. We ate a place called down the street called Milk & Honey that had both local food and and some Indian and Chinese-style dishes. And there was an ice cream shop across the street from the hotel.
We took the Daladala (bus) into town 400Tsh/person and then took the Monduli dola dola for 1500Tsh/person to Meserani Snake Park. It was a little zoo that had lots of different snakes and reptiles and a few rescued birds. It cost $10US to get in. There was also a little Masaai museum there and camel rides as well as a camp ground and bar. Nothing all that cool. It was just a reason to get out of town and explore the bus lines.
We also went all the way to Monduli to go visit the most incredible tour guide in a Masaai village called Elloii.
Nguvi let us visit his home and we got to see how a modern Masaai lives. I'll post his contact info soon. He can arrange any tour around Arusha including Safari's out to some of the national parks as far away as Ngorogoro Crater. He's killed a lion, ran a marathon in England to raise funds to get his village a water pump, helps orphans pay for their schools, and is building a chicken coup for a woman's group. He helps organize social groups that helps the Masaai and other tribals in his spare time. He's about 25 years old and very soft spoken. He had said that he would love to be able to do 10-15 bookings a month with travelers that come to Arusha.
Mentioned in this answer:
Arusha National Park!!! Literally right on the edge of town - yet full of interesting wildlife (no lions - probably a bit too close to town for them). Loads of giraffe, buffalo, zebras, warthogs, water bucks, hyenas, flamingos... and a good place to see Colobus monkeys. Plus, the terrain is varied and quite lovely (not Kilimanjaro... but nice for something this close to a population center.) I wouldn't class it with the "best" wildlife parks in Tanzania, but it's so near to town that a day trip is easily arranged, relatively inexpensive, and fairly relaxing in a sightseeing vehicle. If you're going to this part of the world, it's usually to venture out away from the population centers (as with a climb such as yours). But since you're probably in or out of the Kilimanjaro Airport (Arusha's main international airport) it's easy enough to add an extra night (recover from jet lag or prepare for the trip home?) and add in a day's visit to the Arusha National Park.