Easter Weekend: Road Trip Nairobi – Arusha

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Easter vacation being a long weekend, you can make plans quite in advance. Having Friday to Monday as additional public holidays in Kenya, a trip to Arusha, makes an excellent choice for an out of the country trip. The town is a short 3-hour journey from Nairobi but make that 4 hours for the additional time to be spent at the border. It’s a fun, hassle free drive; one with scenic views of the Maasai land and without much traffic for most of the way.

Discovering Arusha – Moshi towns can be an exciting adventure but also a disappointing one if you are not well informed. In order to avoid pitfalls during your Easter vacation, here are top things you should know before planning a visit to Arusha.

  1. Where to Stay

Arusha is the hub for tourists with a great variety of accommodation to suit every budget. Over Easter vacation weekend, since the hotels in Arusha fill up quickly, the next best alternative is therefore Moshi. The small town is 80km away or a 2-hour journey by public vans from Arusha.

Stay at Kilemakyaro Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. En-route there, you can spot 2 of the 7 peaks if the cloud cover is on the lower slopes. The lodge offers the serenity often sought away from the noisy city. The blend with the nature in the 600-acre land is exquisite. Violet flower bushes dotting the grounds together with the view of the majestic volcano appeases your whole being.

easter weekend kilemakyaro lodge

The rooms at Kilemakyaro Lodge

A stay at Kilemakyaro Lodge is perfect for those wishing to climb the mountain, do cultural tours in the Chagga village or simply sit by the pool all day long during the Easter weekend. Since Easter weekend is a high season, book early so as to secure your room with a view of the Kilimanjaro

  1. Immigration Rules

As you approach the border at Namanga, a gentle breeze rushes down the series of spectacular hills to give you a refreshing welcome. Passport and yellow fever vaccination card in hand together with your luggage, you will line up for immigration & customs check on the Kenyan side first, then drive over to the Tanzanian side. There shouldn’t be any scruples whatsoever if you’re a law-abiding citizen.

  1. Means of Transport

The choice between public transportation and taking your own car should not only be weighed by the money to be spent or convenience. The ease of circulation with a Kenyan Number Plate is the most important factor.

Should you opt to travel with your own car, you’ll need:

  • COMESA car insurance
  • Copies of your log book
  • Copies of your driving license
  • Maintain a constant speed of 50kph on the highway and 40kph in town

Given the above restrictive measures, riding a bus to Arusha and opting to car hire is the best choice for your Easter vacation.

  1. Shorter Safari Circuits

Tanzania is a big country with a lot of places to explore. Arusha – Moshi towns have more than enough places to visit on a long extended Easter vacation. This is often referred to as Northern circuit. Notwithstanding, to do a safari in Tanzania you have to dig deep into your pockets. Despite the Kenyan nationality, all visitors with a foreign passport pay the same amount. The park fees range between 50$ and 70$ per person per 24-hours.

easter weekend marangu falls

Marangu Falls

The most notable places to visit on a shoestring budget by public means are:

  • Kikuletwa Natural Springs
  • Marangu Falls
  • Arusha Declaration Museum


  1. Tour Agents

TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks), the government run agency, operates all the national parks, in a more complex way than KWS (Kenya Wildlife Services). To simplify the processes of doing a safari in the national parks, you need an authentic tour agent during your Easter vacation. There are over 200 registered and verified tour agents with varying quotations hence choosing one can be an uphill task.

easter weekend serengeti

Serengeti Plains Wildlife

Laitolya Safaris runs a seamless operation from Mount Meru to Serengeti through Lakes Manyara, Burungi and Eyasi. Whether you want to climb Kilimanjaro to the summit or do cultural visits and coffee plantation tours, they offer tailor made tours. After the trip, do not forget to tip your driver and the guide.

  1. Where to Shop

In Moshi, the Nakumatt shopping complex has a souvenir shop that engages in Fair Trade. Next to the main bus station at Arusha, the market is a great place to shop for coffee, Ankara materials and also taking a walk on Sunday when it’s not so crowded. The KNTCU Coffee Shop is the place to buy your freshly ground or brewed Kilimanjaro coffee and souvenirs.



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