Moshi is the jump-off point for your Kilimanjaro adventure, but it’s so much more than that. Your Tanzanian experience isn’t just about tough stuff like slogging up Kilimanjaro or scouting for the Big Five on the Serengeti, but about getting a real sense of life in a Tanzanian town and a few days in Moshi will help you do just that.
There’s a lot of things to do in Tanzania, so, with only a few days, choose carefully. We suggest a day chilling in the town and a day checking out one of the fascinating tours available.
1. Coffee and Bananas
Moshi is a coffee town and the local brew is pleasant and mild. The town nestles amongst lots of little coffee plantations that cascade over the foothills of Kilimanjaro, so ride the packed daladala with the locals to the tiny village of Materuni, 15km north of the town and in the Kilimanjaro foothills. Take a guided trek through the coffee and banana plantations and learn the fine art of coffee preparation. You’ll even get to produce your own! Materuni is a pretty little village with fantastic views. On a clear day you’ll be able to see back to Moshi and over the whole of the Kilimanjaro region. Don’t forget to sample the local banana beer or wine!
Extend your trip to Materuni village by hiking up to the Materuni Waterfalls. A 40 minute hike through forest & plantations will bring you to the 150m high falls for a cooling dip in the sparkling waters – so don’t forget your swimming costume!
3. Market Daze
Back in town, the Memorial Market is your chance to shop until you drop. Even if you don’t have the courage to bargain, it’s fun just to wander around and sample the colour, smells and sounds. Tuesday and Friday are the best market days, and, when you’re ready to go, take the daladala back to the town centre and get off at the bus station. Stroll down via Nyerere Road, past different street vendors and tailors, to Mbuyuni Market, Moshi’s big market with fresh local produce. Depending on the season, you’ll find mango, passion fruit, papaya, pineapple or avocado and more. Buy a selection and prepare your own salad – follow food prep guidelines and you’ll have a healthy, oh-so-fresh yummy meal that’ll make you feel good inside and out.
4. Spoilt for choice
Moshi is big enough to offer a great choice of international cuisine, including Korean (Jay’s Kitchen) and even an Indian-Italian fusion (IndoItaliano) but don’t forget to sample traditional and local dishes. Tanzanians love their meat (but veggies, don’t worry, you won’t starve. Milan’s has loads of tasty vegetarian food, as does Deli Chez.) Favourite meaty dishes include mbuzi (goat) and kuku (chicken). Indulge yourself with some goat bbq at East Africa Pub or some traditional dishes at Menu’s Bistro or Kaka’s Bar and Grill. Wash all of it down with a cold local beer such as Kilimanjaro.
5. Strut your funky stuff, Tanzanian-style
Moshi’s nightlife is big for a small town. It seems that the whole town is out enjoying itself at the weekend after a long week at work. Pool is popular so if you fancy a game try the Kool Bar or Pub Alberto’s. Both places also have a DJ and dance floor for later.
For a fun-packed Friday, head straight to Moshi’s nightclub, Black Diamond on the Kibo Road. There’s a bar to chill out in before throwing your best moves on the dance floor. Try the new club in town, Redstone, too, as they have some great bands. Dress to impress as Tanzanians love to spruce up for a night on the town.
A few days isn’t enough time to really get to know Moshi, but it’ll give you a flavour of Tanzanians at work and at play. And it’s a perfect place for that post-Kilimanjaro chill out.