sunnuntai 28. lokakuuta 2012

East Africa by bus, part 2: Moshi – Arusha – Nairobi

Now in this part there are not too many things to know about the buses. From Moshi to Arusha there are bus connections all the time – just show up and pick a bus. The journey takes around 1,5 to 2 hours.

After the serene and well-planned city of Moshi, Arusha can be a bit of a cold shower since it's freezing in the mornings and the center is somehow chaotic. There are many local hotels to choose from if you're on a low budget. But there are also high-end options.

We found an amazingly beautiful hotel in the hillsaide about 20 minutes drive away. Ecologically build (but with a swmming pool), courgeos views and the most tastefully decorated lounge. This Karama Lodge hotel would be perfect for honeymooners after/before their safari.  (In the near future, we will publish a Honeymoon package where this combination will be included.)

For safaris and Mount Meru climbs, Arusha is definately the place to be. The city itself is perhaps not very interesting, but the location is amazing. And there are some activities that you can do in Arusha. Our minds were blown away by our visit to Shanga Shangaa project, where disabled people make the most beautiful handicrafts. The setting is like you just stepped to Europe – big lawn as a lounge area with nice sofas and great service. But once you see the monkeys playing in the nearby trees, you will remember you're still in Africa.

Another interesting destination within the city is a Maasai Cultural Tour in a maasai village just a bit outside the city. You can just take a tour or you can go hiking with them in the mountains for 3 days – or volunteer and stay for weeks, or months... years?

Kids in a traditional Maasai house called boma

And of course, there are the national parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area just 5 hours drive away. These are some of the Africa's most beautiful safari destinations. The biggest yearly migration of the wildebeest, the ”biggest natural amphitheater” in the crater, all the big 5.

Our safari organizer, Dennis is an amazing guy who owns he's own small ecosafari company. He is born in Kilimanjaro, but knows all the national parks like his own pockets. He can also take people to visit local villages to get an understanding of the lifestyle around Serengeti.

When it's time to head to Nairobi, it's been made quite easy. There are shuttle buses which you can book from most hotels, for example from Impala Hotel. These buses will take you easily to Nairobi through the amazing sceneries. And the road is brand new! This journey takes around 6 hours or more. The good thing abut shuttle buses is also that you can get straight to the airport and some hotels before the bus goes to the city center.

If you are flying to Arusha, keep this in your mind - you might save some money by flying to Nairobi instead. But then you'll have to purchase a visa for three times. Once in Nairobi, once when entering Tanzania and once again when you're entering Kenya again. 

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