Arusha is a great little town. Dramatically set below Mount Meru, it has a real frontier atmosphere, with safari vehicles, stinky trucks and cranky old taxis fighting for space on the dusty roads.
Arusha is the transport hub of northern Tanzania, the base for treks on Kilimanjaro and safaris into Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Natron.
Although generally regarded as a transit stop, a longer stay in Arusha is certainly worth considering.
The semi-rural districts around the town include some lovely accommodation options, especially amongst the coffee plantations of Moivaro Lodge, Arusha Safari Lodge and Arusha Coffee Lodge.
If you have time then you might like to consider staying in Arusha a couple or more nights at the start of your trip in order to let Africa seep more gently into your soul before embarking on your safari.
Explore villages and shamba farms on foot, visit the town and its busy central market, or just lie by the pool, catch up some sleep and start a good book.