Driven by the establishment of the ICTR (International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), Arusha has
very much the feel of a boom town. We
received numerous differing estimates of its
population but the general view is that it
could now be as high as 500,000.
Three years ago there was only one roundabout
- with the sign showing the centre-point
of Africa between Cairo and Capetown.
Now there are 3 roundabouts.
Arusha's recent installation of its first
set of traffic lights, together with a pedestrian
crossing, has brought chaos to the centre
of town. Nobody appeared to know whether
they should be walking or driving and a few
people have been knocked down in addition
to a host of collisions. The police are in
constant attendance around the lights and
are prone to wield the baton at locals who
"get it wrong". A very enlightened
approach towards civic responsibility!
To add to the traffic chaos, wedding photographs
are taken in centre of the Impala Roundabout
because it has a fountain. We were held up
in traffic because of visits by the President,
the Assistant President and the President
of Botswana on 3 of the 5 days that
we were out and about in town!
We stayed at the excellent L'Oasis Lodge
with friendly, very helpful staff, excellent
food and accommodation. Sipping a drink in
the garden with the birds of paradise roaming
around us was a great way to relax. Lake Duluti
Nearby Lake Duluti is picturesque and peaceful
with the Jacaranda trees in full purple bloom.
The locals thought the Lake was cursed and
contained monsters - it is very dark (because
it is very deep) and the water level never
changes, despite droughts or heavy rains.