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Arusha airport guide ARK

Arusha Airport : The Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) manages, maintains, and operates the airport, which is located approximately 7 kilometers west of Arusha’s city center. The airport is classified as group II, serves only domestic flights, and is open from sunset to sunrise for a period of 12 hours.

It was built in 1956 by a farmer known as Colonel Grey, who was doing large-scale agriculture, cultivating coffee and sorghum in the area called Burka and Mateves, on which later the airport was handed to the Tanzania government. This was after independence.

Arusha airport is among of the 59 airports managed, maintained and operated under Tanzania airports Authority (TAA), the airport is in Group II category. The airport operates as domestic only and it is located western side of Arusha city, approximately 7km (4NM) from Arusha City Centre. Airport is at 4567 feet above mean sea level having an average temperature of 23ᵒC

The airport was running under East African Airways during 1977. In the year of 1999, the inception of the Tanzania Airport Authority as an excutive agency decided to operate and run all government airports and airstrips within the Tanzania mainland. 

Popular Airports

Arusha is known for being the safari capital of Tanzania, and a popular stopover for adventurers who are preparing for a Kilimanjaro trek.

There is more to Arusha than initially meets the eye. With impressive museums, cultural heritage programmes, crafts, and curio markets galore, there is plenty to explore before you start your safari.

The city is multinational, with Iraqw, Hadzabe, Maasai, South Asian, and European residents.

The streets are bustling, with Maasai women sat on the sidewalks selling their beadwork, Maasai men wandering through town in their traditional red swathes, enterprising businessman trying to sell batiks, and tour guides offering various exciting 4WD adventures.

Despite this intensity, the city has a warmwelcoming atmosphere. Matching the ambiance of the city, the architecture and infrastructure is chaotic, with hectic traffic and old colonial buildings mixed with modern conveniences.

Arusha is relatively safe for tourists, but it is wise not to wear too much jewellery. The risk increases at night, and we do not recommend walking the streets after dark. 

But in general, the city is known for its welcoming atmosphere, and the people are very pleased to have such a thriving tourism economy, meaning the locals treat tourists well. 

We recommend that you travel the city by taxi since dala dalas (small minibuses) and bajajis (tuk-tuks) are more dangerous. A taxi ride across town should not cost more than $2.50.

It is possible to rent a car in Arusha but parking costs $0.50 per day throughout the city. It is far more common to hire a driver, and this is particularly useful for daytrips to Arusha National Park. If you are renting a vehicle, make sure that there is no charge for ‘extra kilometres’, as this can become expensive.

Dala dalas (small minibuses) are common throughout Tanzania and these only depart when they are full. They cost 400 TSH/person and they operate along the major roads throughout the day. You will find a large station on Stadium Street.

You can also take a bajaji (tuk-tuk) for a one-dollar ride to the city centre. None of these options are particularly comfortable or safe, but they do offer an authentic Tanzanian experience.

Taxis are available and they can usually be found parked in front of hotels. A ride across town should not cost more than $2.50.

There are some excellent authentic street-food options in Arusha. At Discovery Restaurant, you can sit beside Maasai men and enjoy a Myama choma (roasted meat and maize), chapati, pilau, or biryani.

Alternatively, try out Khan’s BBQ on Mosque Street, which serves great chicken dishes, Indian style chutneys, naans, and salads.

More upmarket options can be found in the Eastern side of town. Some of the best dining options are found outside of the city. The Themi Living Gardens is a leafy spot where you can eat at the eco-restaurantEat Wild. The Mulberry is another outer-city oasis where you can sit back and enjoy cocktails as you watch the sunset. For travellers who like to party, this is an excellent spot for pre-drinks.

The city has a lively nightlife, with several bars and nightclubs (we recommend Via Via) and a growing live music scene. There are weekly acts at the Mount Meru Game Lodge, Blue Heron, and the Fig and Olive

Ethiopian Airways offers Kilimanjaro flights at good prices from Addis Ababa via Nairobi (they also fly to Europe and a handful of other international destinations). Kenya Airways offer flights to Kilimanjaro from Nairobi three times a day. The flights are operated by Precision Air, a young and dynamic Tanzanian airline with competitive prices. Precision Air also operates flights from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro.

Another local carrier is Air Tanzania who operates Kilimanjaro flights from Johannesburg in South Africa and also connecting flights from Kilimanjaro to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

Charter airlines

Kenya Airways


AirAir Kenya

Precision Air




Turkish Airlines



Air Excel


Between these cities ADD – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia AMS – Amsterdam, Netherlands ARK – Arusha, TanzaniaDAR – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania EBB – Entebbe, Uganda FRA – Frankfurt, GermanyJNB – Johannesburg, South Africa JRO – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania JRO – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania KGL – Kigali, Rwanda MBA – Mombasa, Kenya MWZ – Mwanza, Tanzania NBO – Nairobi, Kenya WIL – Nairobi, Kenya (Wilson Airport) ZNZ – Zanzibar, Tanzania

There are some Bureaus de Change in Arusha clustered around the Clock Tower, and some ATMs in the city centre. It is a good idea to stop by these before your safari to take out some notes. There are not many other options during the Northern Circuit and it is good to have cash to buy souvenirs or tip drivers and guides. 

Arusha ARK airport assistance Services

Find a Taxi

Browse our list of trusted local taxis firms around Arusha/Kilimanjaro City Airport.

Rent a Car

Visit Arusha  City Airport’s Car Hire Centre for all your rental Vehocles .

Find a Hotel

Get a good nights sleep the night before you fly in a local hotel. We have list of Best Screened Hotels near the airport

Arusha /Moshi Tours

With great posibility of tours around, you will be able to see as much of the area as you can, with very little stress!


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