I flew out from Bristol to Kilimanjaro International Airport on the 6th October to visit and stay with my friend Georgie. She lived in Soweto, and so around my Kilimanjaro climb (read more about that here) we spent a lot of time in and around Moshi.
Before flying out, Georgie told me that Moshi was larger than the small country town in Somerset that I hail from, and I laughed at her. I was wrong, much to my dismay, and Moshi is actually a reasonable sized town.
It’s situated on the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro and known for a number of industries, including coffee* and bananas, grown on the slopes of the mountain.
*Best. Coffee. Ever.
If you’re thinking of travelling to Moshi, here are some of the best places to head to when you arrive!
Moshi Railway Station
We came across an abandoned railway station in Moshi, built under the German colonial rule in around 1912.
It was kind of strange to see somewhere so derelict, but also so interesting to walk around this place, now inhabited by mainly goats and cattle.
Kikuletwa Hot Springs
If ever there was a more picturesque swimming spot, I’m yet to find it.
The Kikuletwa Hot Springs are a big tourist hot spot, and with good reason. Fortunately we went on a Monday and it was very quiet. There were maybe another 8-10 people? At one point we had the water to ourselves.
It takes around 2 hours to get there from Moshi, down a lot of dusty roads and tracks, through Maasai villages. We took a taxi for 70,000 shillings (around £25), and Machame, our driver, waited for us there before driving us home.
In comparison, to take a tour out here would have been at least 3 times that price…
It was just so blue, so clear and a real paradise, with all of the water bubbling up from underground caves. There are also lots of Garra Rufa fish, which seem to latch themselves on to your toes whilst you swim. Who needs to pay for a fancy fish pedicure?
One thing to add is that if you aren’t a strong swimmer you will need to stay in the main area. There is another large lagoon but you have to swim against a very strong current to get to it. Well worth pushing through though!
It’s also well worth going to more local restaurants and bars for food and drinks. The local Tanzanian food is just incredible, and once you get past the fact you use your hands to eat a lot of it, it’s wonderful. So many grilled meats, vegetables and spices. Samosas for breakfast took some getting used to, but it’s all good!
I think Tanzanian food is one of my new favourites, everything was so fresh and tasted incredible.
All washed down with a bottle of Kilimanjaro or Pineapple Fanta, obviously…
It’s worth trying the local coffee as well whilst in Moshi, it’s strong, but hands down the best coffee I have ever tasted in my life. I brought enough home to open my own coffee shop…
I know that I’ll definitely go back one day.
Georgie told me that when you visit you will either love it or hate it. There is no in between.
I adore it.