The Best Hostels in Arusha Tanzania for Backpackers
Writing about the best hostels in Arusha Tanzania was not easy. The truth is, most hostels and hotels in Arusha are pretty poor in terms of standard. Hence, I didn’t want to write about them. However, things have changed in Arusha recently.
Arusha is not the prettiest town centre and often just a stopover point for safaris or volunteers. However, there are many cafe’s and restaurants here which make it an enjoyable stop while the supermarket is also a bonus in this part of the world.
Arusha is not exactly expensive but the western type cafe’s and restaurants are certainly priced at a premium. There are some local places to eat for cheap but the truth is, they are not the most clean. Also, you get what you pay for in terms of the food.
However, in my opinion, the best thing about Arusha in recent years is the rising popularity of hostels. In other words, five years ago, there were none. But now, you will find many hostels which are geared toward backpackers.
In this post, I would like to outline my picks for the best hostel in Arusha Tanzania:
The Best Hostels in Arusha Tanzania
I thought you might be a little busy so here are my picks for the ten best hostels in Arusha Tanzania for Backpackers:
Overall Best Hostel in Arusha Tanzania – Wakawaka Hostel
Best Hostel in Arusha Town Centre – Arusha Backpackers Hotel
Best Cheap Hostel in Arusha – Banana Farm Eco Hostel
Best Hostel for Couples in Arusha – Mambo Arusha Hostel
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Arusha – Siret Hostel
Best Hostel for Volunteers in Arusha – Wakawaka Hostel
Best Homestay Arusha Hostel – Hekima House Hostel
Best Arusha Hostel for Solo Travellers – White House of Tanzania
As you can see, there are now quite a few Arusha hostels for backpackers. While location is important, I have to say that the option to stay somewhere nice in Arusha is usually more of a priority. That is to say, the town is not super attraction so you might as well avoid the dodgy Arusha hostels.
What to Consider for the Best Hostels in Arusha Tanzania
Check out time is one of my main objectives when it comes to staying at a hostel. I just hate when hostels slap a 9am check out time. Needless to say, this usually means being rushed in the morning and I see absolutely no reason to force backpackers to get up that early.
Anyway, here are some things to consider when choosing the best hostel in Arusha Tanzania:
- Location – Arusha is a super busy town and quite industrial. That being said, most tourists will never get to see the industrial side of town and tend to stick with the main street and area around the clock tower. My advice is to choose a hostel based on the actual accommodation in this case because location is not hugely important. After all, there is nothing in town by the way of sightseeing.
- Cost – The best hostels in Arusha Tanzania are reasonably priced. To be honest, I think they could charge a lot more given the price of western cafe’s etc. that tourists tend to frequent. As a rule, hostels tend to be priced between $15 and $25.
- Activities – If it has free breakfast, great. Don’t worry about laundry or Wi-Fi. Laundry is available on the mainstreet and you should have your own sim card when arriving in Arusha.
- Check Out – As already mentioned, avoid anywhere with a check out time earlier than 10am.
- Cleanliness – Hostels in Arusha Tanzania are looked after a little more than elsewhere in Africa. However, some are nasty so choose wisely.
Picking the best hostel in Arusha may not be a big deal for you. If you only stay for a night or two, downtown is probably the best option. That being said, maybe you will volunteer here for two weeks, in which case you might want to be a little more careful.
Overall Best Hostel in Arusha Tanzania
Mambo Arusha Hostel
Mambo Hostel is located just a very short drive from town and has everything you could really want in a hostel. The terrace, garden and lounge are great places to chill and the staff are fantastic. In fact, they have an information desk and run this like a proper hostel.
Proper hostel? Yes, trust me, most of the best hostels in Arusha Tanzania are not your typical hostel. You also only need to look at the reviews to know this is a great place to stay in Arusha. From the cleanliness and friendliness to the fine location – this is my top pick for the best hostels in Arusha Tanzania!
Check Best Price for Mambo Arusha Hostel
Best Cheap Hostel in Arusha Tanzania
Banana Farm Eco Hostel
Located approximately 6km from town, the Banana Farm Eco Hostel may be a little away from town but nevertheless, this is excellent value. The gardens have a lot of space and with the above in mind, it’s still easy to get into town.
Continental breakfast is included and you can rent bicycles nearby to get around. If I was staying for a couple of days and wanted to avoid the noise, this is the cheap hostel in Arusha that I would choose for my stay.
Check Best Price of Banana Farm Eco Hostel
Best Hostel for Couples in Arusha
Mambo Arusha Hostel
As already mentioned, Mambo has so much to offer backpackers. However, the beds are oversized which makes it better for couples when they hang out in the room. Also, for privacy, the private rooms are beautifully designed and perfect for couples.
Needless to say, all of the same reasons above still apply and this for me, is the best hostel for couples in Arusha.
Check Best Price for Mambo Arusha Hostel
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Arusha Tanzania
Many of the best hostels in Arusha Tanzania are situated outside of the city centre. Located in a safe and small neighbourhood just out of town, this Arusha hostel is perfect for digital nomads. In fact, Siret is one of the only hostels in Arusha that seems to be run like a hostel. You have free Wi-Fi and a shared lounge which is okay for working. However, the close proximity of town make this perfectly located and an ideal choice in terms of the best hostel in Arusha for digital nomads.
Best Hostel in Arusha Town Centre
Arusha Backpackers Hotel
Believe it or not, there are no other options in Arusha town centre. Sure, you will find cheap hotels in Arusha but no hostels. For this reason, I have stayed at the Arusha Backpackers Hotel on a few occasions. What I like about this place is that you can have your own little room – it may be a tiny box with no frills but still, it’s your own space. What I would not like, is if this was my first time to Arusha and I ended up here. Wi-Fi is not reliable, food is not the best either but as far as cheap hostels in Arusha go – this is the only obvious option!
Check Best Price for Arusha Backpackers Hostel
Best Hostel for Volunteers in Arusha
Wakawaka was very nearly my pick for the best hostel in Arusha Tanzania. You will find excellent Wi-Fi here along with an extremely welcoming owner. Further, the location is just about right and they know how to accommodate volunteers in particular. You will find the hostel comfortable an I would happily stay here if my first option for not available.
Check Best Price for Wakawaka Hostel
Best Homestay Arusha Hostel
Hekima House Hostel
Hekima Hostel in Arusha is very much a homestay-style accommodation with friendly staff and great facilities. Located just 4km from the centre, the hostel is also within easy reach of town and bicycles are available for guests. Hekima also offer an airport pick up service and the nearest supermarket is just 1.3 miles away. With free Wi-Fi and super friendly staff, this would be my pick if you want somewhere that feels more like a home.
Check Best Price for Hekima House Hostel
Best Hostel in Arusha for Solo Travellers
White House of Tanzania
Few Arusha hostels receive the same glowing feedback as this accommodation. Located just one mile from the clock tower in Arusha, the hostel is perfectly situated. Also, you will find a lot of common areas and a great vibe which seems to encourage backpackers to mingle. The host is also super popular and in general, this is an excellent and clean hostel that suits solo travellers.
Check Best Price for White House of Tanzania
Enjoy Your Stay in Arusha
And that’s it – the best hostels in Arusha. I hope you found what you needed?
And also, do you have travel insurance for Africa yet? I always go with World Nomads who provide excellent cover for trips to Africa!
You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your hostel, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that I value the trust of my readers and will never endorse something I do not personally support. Namaste 😉
October 28, 2018 at 1:35 am
Awesome article, next time make sure to check out Tumaini Cottage a small local owned lodge on the outskirts of Arusha
October 28, 2018 at 2:45 am
Hi Tony, sounds great – I have not heard of Tumaini before. Have you stayed there before? Maybe you work there? Cheers
November 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm
These hostels look great! Would love to stay at all of them. Much better then most I stayed at 😀 Hehe.
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November 8, 2018 at 1:43 pm
Looks like an amazing hostel. It’s too bad Tanzania has taken a sharp turn right-wards recently. Tanzanian politicians seem very interested in the private matters of others, recently.
November 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm
This is fantastic that Arusha is opening more hostels! This will certainly boost the number of backpackers to the area. The Banana Farm eco hostel looks right up my alley. I need something more chill after a few days in a city.
November 9, 2018 at 1:56 pm
Hey, Derek, you have some good tips here, really useful. Wouldn’t even remember, for instance, to ask about the check out time, and it’s good to know that laundry can be found anywhere. Nice to hear that the town is opening up.
Mambo Hostel seems nice, clean, would definitely consider the place. Thanks! 🙂
November 10, 2018 at 2:59 am
I love how you highlighted the best hostels for different types of travelers. I’d love to stay in the Mambo Arusha Hostel because I’m definitely someone who likes more privacy. I’m also glad that you pointed out which of the hostels have free wifi (one of the most important things…)