Climb the Iconic Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing the Kilimanjaro should be at the top of your Moshi things to do list. Africa’s tallest mountain attracts many adventure lovers from every corner of the planet every year.
Moshi is the closest town to Kilimanjaro. You can come here just before the climb to prepare or to book with a tour operator. You can also return to Moshi to unwind after a successful climb. Moshi has a number of decent hotels so your stay will be comfortable and fun.
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed via any of these routes: Marangu Route, Northern Circuite, Umbwe Route, Lemosho Route, Rongai Route, Machame Route or Umbwe Route.
The route taken determines how long the climb will take. Making it to the peak usually takes 5 to 9 days.
You’ve Been to the Kilimanjaro… Now Relax with Kilimanjaro Beer
You can have local or imported drinks while in Moshi. Some of the bars serve food so you can eat something as you sip your drink.
Kilimanjaro is the beer of choice if you are in Tanzania. It is awesome.
Moshi has several decent bars.
Check out La Liga (Viwanda St.), Amans Shisha and Lounge (Sokoine Road), Glacier (off Lema Road), KNCU Restaurant (KNCU Building) and Pub Alberto (Kibo Road).
You can also ask the locals for recommendations.
Visit the Open Air Markets
If you really want to experience the real Moshi then you must find time and make it to an open market. You don’t have to buy anything. Just go and take in the atmosphere and interact with the locals. It will be an awesome experience.
These markets mainly sell fresh foodstuffs, clothes and other essential goods. You can buy some clothes if you are into second-hand clothes.
You can also shop for kangas. Kangas are those colorful rectangular clothes the locals tie on their wastes. They have some interesting Swahili sayings. You can get a local to translate what the saying means.
Go Souvenir Shopping
You don’t want to leave Tanzania without some cool stuff to remember your trip. Among the things to do in Moshi, this can be one of the most rewarding as you will carry the souvenir with you to remind you of your awesome trip.
The town has several places you can buy beaded or curved artifacts. There is the Maasai Market, Tinga Tinga Arts & Craft Market and several other shops run by independent traders.
The number of rule of shopping in Moshi as a foreigner is to always bargain. This is the best place to put your haggling skills to use. It’s like they charge two different prices for any good: one for the locals and another for tourists.
Act like someone who stays in Moshi and you might just get a better deal. Moshi has a significant population of resident white volunteers so even a ‘mzungu’ tourist can pretend like he stays in Moshi. If you ask how much you’ll have to pay in Swahili, the goods will suddenly get cheaper. They will even quote the prices in Tanzania shillings and not dollars.
Take a Day Trip to Marangu (and Marangu Waterfalls)
If you are looking for things to do outside of Moshi town then Marangu village should be your next stop. Marangu village is some 40 minutes drive away from Moshi.
You’ve probably come across the word ‘Marangu’ if you’ve been doing some research on which routes to take to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The Marangu Route is one of the routes you can take when climbing the Kilimanjaro. It is one of the least taxing in energy and time.
But Marangu offers more than a Kilimanjaro climbing route; the village has amazing sights and scenes for tourists. The amazing Marangu waterfalls can be found here. The area has beautiful landscapes with several green trees.
There is a shaded area where you can picnic.
You can also take a cultural tour of the village. Visit the local blacksmiths and see how they make traditional tools.
Visit Kikuletwa Hotsprings
Kikuletwa hotsprings is some 1.5 hours drive from Moshi. The distance away from Moshi might be intimidating but the drive will be worth it once you make it to the springs.
This is an awesome place to come with friends to relax and just chill, especially after a tiring Kilimanjaro climb. The water is warm and you can take a swim.
The place is sheltered from the surroundings with trees. And there is a rope swing for the child in you!
Moshi has several volunteer programs. You’ll need a volunteer permit to do this.
You can seek the help of a local NGO to organize your trip – your placement and living arrangements.
Just make sure you don’t pay much more than is necessary for a volunteer program. There are organizations that offer very affordable rates. Shop around. Check out the guys at foot2africa, Give a Heart to Africa and Stella Maris Primary School.
Take a Guided Walk around Town
A guided walk around town will allow you to understand Moshi better and let you know the locals’ way of life much faster. You will also know the paths to take when you are out alone just taking a stroll.
The guides are not very expensive. Most of the hotels have (or have access to) guides.
The guided tour will take you to parts of Moshi any tourist would miss without a guide. It is definitely worth the small price.
No Swimming Pool at Your Hotel? Go to YMCA
There are those hot afternoons when all you want to do is take a dip. Do not stress if such a moment finds you in a hotel/hostel with no swimming pool. YMCA has a good sized swimming pool.
YMCA is accessible from pretty much any part of Moshi. It is to the North of town.
Cold drinks and fast WI-Fi are available.
Your Comfort Zone Is a Liar! Break Out Now
If you want to break out of your comfort zone then forego the taxi and take a daladala while in Moshi. Daladalas are those 14-seater public transport vehicles you’ll see conductors loudly calling people to board.
They are much cheaper than taxis but can be very INCOVENIENT.
Quick advice: make sure that any vehicle you board is roadworthy and is in good condition. If it is already dark and you are a tourist, and you have the option of taking a taxi or a daladala, please go for the taxi. Common sense prevails in all situations.
Sample Local & Exotic Food and Drinks
One of the best things to do in Moshi is to take in the culture in food and drink. Moshi has several restaurants that serve both local and exotic foods. Food is quite affordable in Moshi so you shouldn’t worry about prices that much.
You can have some pizza at Indoitalioano or Deli Chez(Hill Street). Indoitalioano mainly serves Italian food. Indian food is also on the menu. Actually, there is a lot of Italian and Chinese food on the menu in many Moshi restaurants. For more Indian or Chinese food, you can hit Deli Chezi, El Rancho or Panda Chinese.
Other awesome joints include Salzburger Cafe (Kenyatta Street), El Rancho (Lema Road), Fifi’s Restaurant (Rindi Lane) and Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge (Chagga Street).
Learn the Local Language
If you are staying in Moshi for months then it may benefit you to learn Swahili. The area is populated by people from the Maasai and the Chagga tribes. There are also a lot of young people from other parts of the country looking to secure jobs as porters and guides.
These groups have their own tribal languages but the most widely spoken language is Swahili. Almost all Tanzanians speaks Swahili.
There are local tutors who can help you master the language. You can also buy a teach-yourself course online. Here’s a resource plus Swahili translator to get you started.
Visit Lake Chala
Visiting Lake Chala is one of the perfect things to do in Moshi if you want to get away and experience the calmness of nature.
Lake Chala is a caldera lake on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Eastern edge. It makes for a great day trip out of Moshi.
Let’s Plan Your Tour…
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