Arusha is a city in north eastern Tanzania and the capital of the Arusha Region, with a population of 416,442 plus 323,198 in the surrounding Arusha District (2012 census). Located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha has a temperate climate. The city is close to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub. It hosts the East African Community. From 1994 to 2015, the city also hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, but that entity has ceased operations. It is a multicultural city with a majority Tanzanian population of mixed backgrounds: indigenous African, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian population, plus a small European and an American minority population. Religions of the Arushan population include Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
Despite its proximity to the equator, Arusha’s elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures relatively low and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year. The temperature typically ranges between 5 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average annual high temperature around 25 degrees. It has distinct wet and dry seasons, and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, a few hundred miles east. Under the Köppen climate classification system, it has a temperate highland tropical climate with dry winters (Cwb). Areas to the south and west of Arusha away are classified as tropical savanna climates (Aw).
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