TO STAY: We stayed in Masai Camp on the outskirts of Arusha on the Overlanding trip with Absoulte Africa – it’s a place to pop up your tent but is nothing special. See Lonely Planet’s write up here.
TO EAT: Can’t fault the Blue Heron, we had a light lunch here and coffee – lovely garden atmosphere and definitely worth the visit. Blues and Chutney also comes very highly rated – it also has extremely good reports about the accommodation offered here. We also stopped at the Mango Tree for a few drinks which was pretty good, a nice local mix of people pull in here on the weekends.
TO DO: You could always go climb Kilimanjaro – something I did in 2008… We organised our trip through African Travel Resource, and would do so again.
TO STAY and EAT: I spent two nights with the tobacco farmers having dinner and drinks at the Orion Hotel, an old German hunting lodge in it’s heyday. It’s probably the only place that’s half way decent in town.
To STAY and EAT and DO: Our time at Lakeshore Lodge cannot be faulted. The resort has a range of accommodation types, from honeymoon type chalets, to smart bandas, to camping under the mango trees. The food is absolutely exquisite top restaurant-quality and there is a fully stocked bar with the most incredible lounge overlooking the lake. You’ll have to come off the beaten track to get here but it’s so worth it. The owner Chris will pick guests up from Sumbawanga if necessary. There is so much to do here – kayak, diving, boat tours, walks – and visits to nearby game parks can be arranged.
To STAY: We stayed at the Moravian Conference Hotel. It’s run by a Christian organisation so you’re pretty safe here. The rooms are simple but clean – two beds in each with an ensuite. At under £5/night, it’s more than adequate! It’s a dry establishment so you’ll need to go elsewhere if you want a beer or two.
To EAT: We had dinner at Forest Hill, a short trip from the Moravian Conference Centre. The owner was wonderfully friendly and the food was pretty standard but good for this part of the world – I would recommend it if you’re passing through. They also have rooms for the night here.
GUIDED EXPEDITIONS ROUND TANZANIA
If you’re looking for a tailor-made and exclusive safari experience get hold of Brad Hansen of Hansen Safaris. Brad is extremely capable when it comes to accommodating his guests’ expectations and turning whatever adventure they desire into reality – walk like Livingstone through the bush, done! Armed with excellent local knowledge and heaps of bush sense, Brad doesn’t disappoint – give him a shout and see what he can muster up for you!
I used Vodacom. The coverage in cities is fine but the moment you’re out in the middle of nowhere, reception is zero. It’s the same with all the providers.