Moshi is the capital of the Kilimanjaro region, a 40 km drive from Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). As the gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park, it’s a natural stopover destination for climbers.
If you do find yourself with some time to kill in Moshi, either before or after your climb or safari, we suggest exploring this pretty little city and its gems. Even if it’s just finding your way to a coffee shop or restaurant so you can drop into a chair and gaze with heroic eyes at the mountain you just conquered or you decide to explore its surroundings.
Here is our comprehensive guide to the top 10 things to do in Moshi and its outskirts:
1. Coffee shops and restaurants
Moshi has some fantastic restaurants to the tastes of both its local and international customers. While popping into an unknown eatery that you spot and like the look of can lead to a great find, not everyone likes to leave things to chance. However, in Moshi, you can find a lot of establishments that have great settings and ambiance and offer the best service, food, and drinks. You can drink the region’s famous Arabica coffee, as well as lots of tasty snacks, including local favorites, and eat the most traditional Tanzanian dishes.
2. Local crafts
If you’re looking to take home local art, jewelry, crafts, coffee beans, or other souvenirs, you’ll find options all over Moshi. There are so many that are worth a visit, and it’s hard to pick just a few to recommend!
The Central Market (open seven days a week) is the busiest and most interesting of Moshi’s markets. We recommend taking time to explore through the warren of alleyways. You’ll find local products like spices, coffee beans, and teas sold alongside cheap Chinese imports. This is the working heart of Moshi. Traditional herbalists can also be seen selling their wares.
3. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Between 35,000 and 50,000 people climb Kilimanjaro every year. If you’re looking for a challenge, it doesn’t come more significant than this.
There are multiple routes to choose from varying in degrees of difficulty, scenery, and number of days required. In this link, you can find all the routes that we offer you. Kilimanjaro routes.
If you don’t fancy climbing to the top, you can do a day trek. This gives you a taste of the mountain.
4. Materuni Waterfall and pool
Materuni Waterfall is a spectacular 90 m waterfall in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, just north of Moshi. A short but taxing hike along a forested footpath brings you to the waterfall’s base, where the water collects in a beautifully clear little pool that is safe to swim.
5. Kikuletwa Hot Springs
Swimming in the Kikuletwa Hot Spring is definitely one of the best things to do near Moshi. The hot spring (also known as Chemka Hot Springs for the nearby campsite) is encircled by trees, giving you a sense of being tucked away from the world and its demands.
6. Lake Chala
Split by the border of Kenya and Tanzania, Lake Chala is an impressive, beautifully tranquil crater lake.
It can be done as a day trip, but it’s worth staying a night to truly appreciate the place.
Lake Chala is in a Wildlife Management area. This means you’ll need to pay a government fee before getting to Lake Chala.
7. Meet rescued apes
Set on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro Animal Crew was founded to create a safe place for rescued animals in Tanzania.
While here, you’ll get to walk around the farm with wild monkeys who don’t mind tracking your footsteps, as well as meet the other rescued animals that reside here.
8. Rau Forest
The Rau forest tour will surely give you an authentic African forest experience. Rau presents an incredible abundance of nature, and you will see several unique tree species and East Africa’s oldest tree called the East African teak (Milicia excelsa). The locals call this tree Mvule Mkuu. Also, there are blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and several bird species. On a clear day, you may also have great views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
9. Marangu village, coffee plantations, and waterfall
Marangu is a market town and it is visited by all those who want to trek through this route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The village is an ideal starting point with several opportunities for travelers, including hiking, bird watching, and, most importantly, taking the sights of Rural Africa where you can feel the real thrill of traditional Africa.
In Marangu, you can visit the Chagga Caves, where the Chagga women and children hid during the wars with the Maasai over 200 years ago, and learn about the life style of the local Chagga tribe.
However, it is an excellent place for a coffee tour and tasting banana beer.
There are three main waterfalls at Marangu. The waterfalls are situated on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, 40 minutes’ drive from Moshi town.
10. Trek through The Pare Mountains
These mountains are found in a quiet village south of Moshi. The mountains remain relatively unexplored because most hikers prefer the challenge of Kilimanjaro and Meru. However, you will find the Pare mountains unique if you love doing something different and nature. They are surrounded by beautiful forests and excellent hiking trails that impress any adventurous visitor. You can also visit the nearby Lake Jipe and go fishing with the local fishermen or see hippos and elephants, especially in the morning.