15 Awesome Things To Do In And Around Moshi, Tanzania

15 Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania

It’s been several weeks since I moved my life to Moshi, Tanzania, so I thought it was about time I shared a little insight into what my new hometown has to offer (especially for those of you back home who I know are dying to pay me a visit! haha).

For those that don’t know, Moshi is a medium-sized town located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. And while the famous mountain might be the main attraction in Moshi, this vibrant town is also the gateway to SO many other beautiful places that will give you a taste of East Africa.

These include: 

  • Spotting the Big Five on a wildlife safari
  • Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro the “Roof of Africa”
  • Finding your inner zen at Lake Chala
  • Learning about Maasai culture
  • Taking a dip at the Kikuletwa Hot Springs
  • Sampling local food
  • Visiting Materuni waterfalls
  • Hiking Mount Meru
  • The Old Railway Station
  • Marangu Village tour
  • Exploring the local Moshi markets
  • Walking with rescued monkeys
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Hopping on a plane to Zanzibar
  • Relaxing by the pool with a beer

Read more below…

15 things to do in and around Moshi

1. Spot the ‘Big Five’ on a wildlife safari
A black Rhino, one of Tanzania's Big Five on safari

Seeing Africa’s “Big Five” in their natural environment is an experience not to be missed, and there’s no better place to do it than Tanzania. Listed as Africa’s top safari destination, Tanzania is the home to a number of national game parks with an abundance of diverse wildlife. From the natural wonder of the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti’s vast iconic plains that go on for as far as the eye can see, each of Tanzania’s parks has their own character and uniqueness.

Read more:

2. Climb to the “Roof of Africa”

The True Cost of Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

The main attraction in Tanzania, a climb to the “Roof of Africa” is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and one that I am yet to tick off my list. Rich in diverse fauna and flora, Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 5,895 metres making it the tallest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest freestanding mountain.

Climbs usually take from 5 to 10 days depending on your ability, budget and time. There are several routes to choose from, with each one taking you through different climate zones, from equatorial rainforests surrounded by banana and coffee plantations to near arctic conditions. If you don’t have the budget to make it to the top, then there’s also the option to explore the base of the mountain with a day hike through Montane Forest.

Read more:

3. Find your inner zen at Lake Chala

Views of Lake Chala, near Moshi, Tanzania

Lake Chala is the perfect place to get some downtime from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located just 1.5 hours away from Moshi on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, this tranquil location is one mighty fine example of how much natural beauty this country has to offer.

Lake Chala is believed to be the caldera of a volcanic eruption which happened over three million years ago. Now all that remains is a beautiful blue lake surrounded by lush green forest, where you can see an abundance of different monkeys and birdlife.

Read more:

4. Learn about Maasai culture

The Maasai are probably one of East Africa’s most emblematic tribes and are easy to spot around Moshi with their distinctive look. You don’t have to walk very far to be greeted by a friendly, tall male Maasai wrapped head to toe in a boldly coloured shúka.

But if you would like to learn more about these indigenous people, spending some time with them in their own communities is a great way to do it. It’s important to do your research though if you would like an authentic experience, as there are a number of trips out there that are tourist traps.

Read more:

5. Take a dip in the Kikuletwa Hot Springs

Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania

Located approximately 1.5 hours away from Moshi, Kikuletwa Hot Springs is one of Tanzania’s many hidden gems. A beautiful natural pool hiding away among twisting fig trees in the middle of a dusty landscape, this little oasis is a great place for relaxing. The crystal clear waters are a lovely warm temperature and you can even enjoy a free fish pedicure with all the tiny fish that nibble away at your feet.

6. Sample the local foods 

15 Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania

Photo taken by Xiaojun Deng. Sourced from Flickr.com

Although Moshi might be considered a small town, you’d be surprised by the variety of restaurants to choose from. From Indian and Italian cuisine to Asian and European foods, there is a world of food to be found in the town centre. But perhaps one of the best ways of experiencing local life is to sample Swahili dishes. If you’re not sure where to start when looking at a menu, take a look at these 10 mouth-watering Tanzanian foods you shouldn’t miss. 

Best places to eat local food in Moshi:

  • Pamoja Cafe
  • Maembe Cafe
  • Kili Home
  • Secret Garden Hotel
  • Green Bamboo Restaurant

7. Materuni waterfalls and coffee farm tour

Learning how to make coffee at Materuni, Moshi

A stone’s throw away from Moshi town centre lies the Materuni Waterfalls. A day tour will begin with a short hike to the waterfall where you can make a splash in the mountain water of Kilimanjaro and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding valleys. Along the way, you’ll also get to experience the local life of the Chagga people and on the way back you’ll stop by a traditional ‘shamba’ (farm) to see how coffee is produced – from picking the bean to roasting and then drinking a tasty cup yourself!

8. Hike Mt Meru

15 Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania

If Mount Kilimanjaro is a little out of your budget, Mount Meru is a great alternative for a more affordable trekking challenge. Standing at 4,566 meters it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and some climbers even consider it more a beautiful hike than Kilimanjaro. Located in Arusha Park, with the Momella Lakes close to its foot, Mt Meru boasts diverse flora and fauna, and you may even be lucky enough to see some zebras and buffalo on your way up.

9. Watch the world go by at the Old Railway Station

15 Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania

Perhaps one of my favourite activities in Mosh town is heading to the old railway station which is no longer in use. Not only can you get great views of Mt Kili on a clear day, it’s a great place to while away a few hours and people-watch as most of the locals still walk along the tracks as part of their daily commute. The best time to go down is before sunset when most of the locals are coming home from work. Plus they’ve converted one of the booking offices into a small bar where you can grab your local beer of choice – I’d recommend a Kilimanjaro beer of course!

**Update – Since first writing this post, the railway station is now back up and running, but it is still possible to visit and grab a drink or two. 

10. Marangu village tour and caves

Chaga homes at Marangu Village, Tanzania

Experience life on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and visit Marangu Village. Highlights include meeting friendly coffee farmers, visiting the waterfalls and a local Chagga museum, eating local dishes and drinking home-brewed banana beer. There is also the opportunity to visit the colourful local markets and see the historic caves that were used as hiding points from enemies during clan wars.

11. Explore the local markets

Local Market in Tanzania

If you want to go bargain-hunting or simply want to see the authentic side of local Tanzanian shopping, exploring the bustling local markets is a great activity to do. These markets mainly sell fresh fruits and vegetables, second-hand clothes and other essential household goods. You can also shop for kangas, the colourful materials you’ll see the local women tie around their waists. Memorial Market in Soweto is a short dala dala ride from the town centre and the best place to just wander around and take in the vibrant atmosphere.

12. Walk with rescued monkeys 

Photo Diary - Walking With Monkeys in Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Animal CREW is part of Makoa Farm, a gorgeous lodge located on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, and their main aim is to educate people about animal conservation.

A large part of the farm looks after orphaned or injured animals, providing a safe haven for a variety of different species. Visiting the farm is a great day trip for animal lovers. You not only get to go on a hike with the monkeys who freely follow along, you also get to meet some of the other residents of the farm including a three-legged serval cat, a duiker, bush pigs and a rather bad-tempered marabou stork (to name but a few!)

Read more: 

13. Volunteer in the community

6 questions to ask yourself before volunteering abroad

There are many different NGOs and organisations in Moshi that offer various different volunteer programmes, from manual work to teaching or medical clinics to women’s projects. If you’re looking to do something that gives back to the community during your stay, get in touch with organisations to see if there are any projects that match your skills. Remember, it’s important to do your research when volunteering abroad to ensure that what you are doing is sustainable and ethical.

Read more: 

14. Hop on a plane to paradise 

Blissful beaches and lodges in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Picture a beautiful island surrounded by crystal clear waters and blindingly white sands, where every sunset is more breathtaking than the last. You know, the ones you see advertised in almost every honeymoon magazine? Well, that’s exactly what you get when you go to Zanzibar – a postcard-perfect island just humbly lying off the coast of East Africa. If you want to escape Moshi for a week or two, then Zanzibar is the place to go and it’s relatively easy to get to from Kilimanjaro Airport.

Read more: 

15. Relax by the pool with a beer

For those hot days where all you want to do is take a dip in the swimming pool, there are a number of hotels and lodges located near the town where you can do just that! My personal favourites have to be Mountain Inn, Honey Badger Lodge, Kili Wonders Hotel, and Weru Weru Lodge but there are many others to choose from.

15 Awesome Things To Do In Moshi, Tanzania


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  • Reply
    Kim @ Those Who Wandr
    May 19, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I’ve personally never heard of Moshi, but what an extensive guide of things to do there/nearby! All of the activities listed are so diverse too, from enjoying the beach to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Would love to visit one day!

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      April 10, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Hi Kim! Thanks for the comment. It’s a vibrant little place, you are very welcome here any time!

  • Reply
    Cruise Writer
    May 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro is on my bucket list. Suggesting Mount Meru as an option is also good. Is it a shorter hike – equal in skill level? The falls also look quite interesting. Like the other poster, I have never heard of Moshi, so nice to have some options should I ever get to do the hike.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      April 10, 2019 at 9:28 am

      Hi Cruise, yes Meru can be climbed within three to four days (although I’d advise the longer trek). In terms of difficulty, there are more challenging parts on Meru,.however the scenery is incredible and very different to Kilimanjaro.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Hi Nikki,

    How are you doing today, Hope things are OK with you, my name is Elisante Shirima, I work with many bloggers like you and I would like to invite you to my home village Materuni and see if we can work together for mutual benefits

    Here is my phone number 0752191326

    Best regards


    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      April 10, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Hi Elisante, please feel free to email me directly with more details on your company. Would be great to hear from you.

  • Reply
    Charmika Schuster
    April 26, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Hey Nikki – nice blog, thank you for sharing. Lord willing, I’m heading back to Moshi May 16 from Portland OR. I’d like to connect with you just briefly.
    Can we email? Thank you Charmika Schuster

  • Reply
    May 3, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, Tanzania looks so beautiful! Africa is one of the top destinations on my bucket list and going on a safari seems like a dream. But more than the safari, I’d like to experience the culture and food. Volunteering in African countries is a great way to immerse yourself in the local life.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      I agree Anda, experiencing the food and culture is a great way to get to know a place

  • Reply
    May 4, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Man, reading this really makes me want to go back! We went to Moshi to climb Kili in 2016, but we didn’t spend to much time in the area aside from on the mountain. As soon as we climbed back down, we went straight to Zanzibar. I really wish we had seen more of Moshi, especially to learn more about the Maasaii.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      I’d love to climb Kilimanjaro one day, that’s the one thing I need to tick off this list! Especially since my partner is a professional guide!

  • Reply
    Sinjana Ghosh
    May 4, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Tanzania was never anywhere on my bucket-list till I read this post. What an incredibly beautiful place and how beautifully you have captured it in your pictures. The Mount Meru trek must be totally worth the hike for those views. Zanzibar’s sunsets are just something out of the world as you say.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Well let me know if you do get round to ticking it off the list. Will be happy to help 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    May 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Moshi is nothing short of a revelation. So many things to see and experience. Of course, Kilimanjaro stands as a towering icon of the region, but there is so much more. Would love to experience the safari and spot the Big 5. Another exciting experience would be meeting the legendary Masai tribe.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Yes there’s so much to see and do here besides the mountain and safari, it’s a wonderful place for nature lovers.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    These are brilliant ideas! I have never been in Tanzania but a dip at a hot spring or a hiking trip to Mount Kilimanjaro is very exciting. Will definitely see if we can visit soon. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Clarice, you’re welcome here any time!

  • Reply
    Arnav Mathur
    May 5, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Everything about this post is awesome Nikki !
    Being an outdoors lover, I would love to check out the hike, dip in the waterfalls, and the spring, and yeah go on a local food trail. Need to put Moshi on my radar now!

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Definitely consider Moshi if you love the outdoors, it has so much!

  • Reply
    Shreya Saha
    May 6, 2019 at 2:21 am

    I had been to Kenya last year, and I find so many similarities between Kenya and Tanzania. However I would love to go to Tanzania and experience all the activities that you have listed here, that would be great fun.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I’ve not explored much of Kenya, but would love to see more of it. Especially to experience a safari there!

  • Reply
    Manjulika Pramod
    May 6, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    OMG! This is lovely. I want to come and explore all this with you. East Africa is enigmatic and Moshi has come as a total surprise to me. Lake Chala is so pretty and Marangu village tour and caves would be so interesting to indulge into. Enjoy and explore more. Keep sharing.

  • Reply
    Amar Singh
    May 6, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Well first would love to congratulate you on moving to such a beautiful part of the world with nature at its best. I have this high on my list to visit and mainly due to the natural beauty. Love the wildlife and the mountains. I would live to trek but with younger kids not sure whether it’s possible. Had never heard of Moshi before but now seem to know about it after reading your post. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      May 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      I am very lucky! I think the youngest child to ever climb Kilimanjaro was eight years old, so it’s possible if they are close to that age?

  • Reply
    dileesh PJ Poriamvelil
    May 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Nikki Godwin, thank you for your wonderful and real explanation about the place in moshi. And I really want to visit moshi. I stay in bukoba and we plan to visit different places every year. In 2017 I visited Serengeti national park. Two nights we were in the middle of the forest and it was a wonderful experience. Actually i wanted to stay more than 5 days in the forest. Then last year I went to sanane island. It was very small park with only few animals but the view and climate I liked.
    After reading your blog I thought of visiting moshi this year. Thank you

  • Reply
    November 11, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I’m honestly a bit tired from Click bait titles some bloggers love so much.
    Number 1, 8 and 14 – absolutely not related to Moshi. You would never do safari to Ngorongoro or Serengeti starting from Moshi. Arusha or Karatu are much closer, thus safari experience is much better and a LOT cheaper. With all due respect if you couldn’t find 15 things to do in and around actual Moshi, write an article 12 things to do, or 10… More doesn’t mean better in this case. It only distracted and disinforms tourists.
    I’ve been in Tanzania for a long time. And lots of tourist are disoriented when they get to the country, because of unclear information on the blogs and social media.

    • Reply
      Nikki Godwin
      November 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Alex, thank you for your comment, however I have to disagree with some of your points.

      While I agree as a writer, we obviously want clickable and engaging titles, I wouldn’t exactly describe the article as “click bait” or misleading. Yes, while Meru, Zanzibar and some safari destinations are not located right on Moshi’s doorstop, they are all accessible and easy to get to from Moshi. Technically the same could be said about the Hotsprings and Marangu, they still require some travelling to get to but they are within easy reach.

      This article aims to show tourists planning to visit Moshi what the possibilities are while staying here. Having lived here for quite some time (and visited on several occasions before that) I have managed to do all of the above activities from Moshi as my base/starting point.

      Also having worked in the tourism industry here for some time, I believe there is very little difference in the price whether you start a safari from Arusha or Moshi. Karatu for sure, but this isn’t an article about Karatu or Arusha. There are plenty of companies in Moshi that organize enjoyable safaris from Moshi as a starting point.

      Sorry if you find it misleading, but generally I get a lot of positive feedback and responses regarding my articles on Tanzania.

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