Your Sisters is located just outside the main town of Arusha, about 20 minutes from the city center.
What’s it like?
Arusha is a big, bustling, dirty, yet colorful town. It has grown immensely in the last few decades as it is the main stopping point for tourists wanting to go on safari or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you feel like a plunge into the Indian Ocean, a trip to Zanzibar or Mombasa it is only a short plane ride or long bus trip away. All these exotic locations are, relatively, on our doorstep!
At the colorful Central Market you will find all the fruit, vegetables, grains, meat, fish, spices and whatever you could possibly need alongside every utensil required for cooking them – and the friendly nature of the Tanzanians makes bargaining a fun part of the experience!
Also, along the streets you can find the mamas selling produce from their own farms. These long days of tiring work result in little more than a few dollars, but like most women around the world, feeding their family is their top priority.
The Clock Tower, said to be situated at the midpoint between Cairo and Cape Town, is the most famous landmark in Arusha.
Who lives there?
The crippling poverty in the countryside has drawn thousands to the city centers of Tanzania in the hope of finding work and a better lifestyle. Arusha is the most popular destination for those in the north of Tanzania as the thriving tourism, mining and manufacturing industries in the area create hope for job opportunities. Sadly, demand far outweighs supply, and many migrants join the out-of-work locals wandering the streets trying to seek out a meagre living.
The children of Tanzania are very resourceful. An old pack of cards or discarded bottles, cans, wire and rope are quickly assembled into playthings.
The mud huts and narrow winding alleys of Arusha’s slums are home to most people. Such overcrowded slums can house up to 250,000 people living without basic amenities, such as fresh water and electricity.
Who travels there?
Arusha is a major starting and finishing point for Mt. Kilimanjaro climbers. Kili (as it is affectionately called) is the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet. Arusha is also situated at the base of Mt. Meru, another popular climbing expedition.
Arusha is known as the ‘safari capital of East Africa.’ Tourism is the main contributor to Arusha’s economy and the second largest contributor to Tanzania’s. The major parks around Arusha include the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and its very own Arusha National Park on the slopes of Mt. Meru.
Arusha also has a wide range of hotels a weary traveler can choose from. From the budget traveler to the luxury lover, everyone can find somewhere to wash off that red safari dust and fill their stomachs with something other than rice and beans!
Arusha sights and sounds
Weddings and celebrations are a BIG thing in Arusha! It is a common sight to see a mobile band packed into a truck like this….parading through town ushering the bride, groom and long train of others to their destination!
Containers of second-hand clothing, shoes and accessories sent from the West provide many market store holders and street vendors with a roaring trade. There are great bargains for everyone – even Armani suits adorn the slender frames of the urban Maasai!