Located in northern Tanzania, Arusha is only 4 hours drive from Nairobi, Kenya, and is the major center in northern Tanzania, both commercially and in tourism. With a population of around 160 thousand people (2001 est), Arusha is big enough without feeling crowded.
The city is only a half hour away from Kilimanjaro International Airport, and only an hour from Moshi and the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. At 4,757 feet (1450 m) above sea level, the town has a very temperate climate, and is above the main danger areas for diseases such as Malaria. In addition, Arusha is at the base of Mount Meru, the number three peak in Africa, and the main staging point for safaris to Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge, and many other sites.
Arusha is the center of the East African Community, and has hosted many national and international conferences and events. It is currently the host for the International War Tribunal for Rwanda, the East African Secretariat, and ESAMI (Eastern and Southern African Management Institute).
Arusha has two rainy seasons, and fertile volcanic soil. Agriculture is the main source of income for the surrounding areas