Despite its proximity to the equator, Arusha’s elevation of 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures relatively low and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year. The temperature ranges between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average around 25 degrees. It has distinct wet and dry seasons and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, a couple of hundred miles east.

As the safari capital of northern Tanzania, though, Arusha is also where you’re most likely to encounter touts offering safaris, souvenirs and all manner of deals, some genuine, many of them not. Their main haunts are the bus stations and along Boma Rd. The city’s downtown area and the main road towards Dodoma are noisy and packed with people and traffic.