At the foot of the Kilimanjaro

Moshi is a friendly city in the north of Tanzania.

Like an oasis between beautiful expansive coffee plantations, with an attractive mix of African and Asian influences, where the skyline of the Kilimanjaro dominates.

  • Surface 59 km2
  • Inhabitants 201.150
  • spring rain season april & mei
  • fall rain season november

About Moshi Town

Moshi, the city of tranquility and space, offers a warm welcome in a beautiful environment.
It is one of the starting points for short safaris and climbing the Kilimanjaro.

Culture en products in Moshi Town

Moshi city is one of the tourist centers in the northern safari circuit of Tanzania and capital of the Kilimanjaro region. As the capital of the region, Moshi is also the center of government activity, commerce, finance and tourism. Moshi city is located south of Kilimanjaro, at an altitude of 700m – 950m.

The population is mainly Wachagga, who moved here between the 11th and 15th centuries. The Wachagga developed advanced agricultural techniques, such as terrace construction and irrigation systems. Due to the early access to Western education and the presence of several higher education institutions, the population of Moshi has a high level of education.

Moshi has a strong colonial background, which is reflected in the architecture of the old buildings that still stand there. Some of these have been restored to their original charm and converted into tourist lodges and hotels.

Moshi is the coffee-producing center of the country. Everywhere in the city and on the slopes of Kilimanjaro are extensive plantations that cover the area with a blanket of coffee.
There are large farms in the immediate vicinity of Moshi where corn and beans are grown. There are many sugar plantations and there is a large (cane) sugar factory. Coffee and bananas are grown on the slightly higher slopes.

Climate & seasons

Moshi has a tropical climate, dominated by the monsoon flow. Moshi city can be visited all year round.

March to May:
Rain is more likely from March, peaking in April. That mainly means a tropical shower in the morning and sometimes at night. Temperatures do drop, but it stays warm (29 degrees on average).

June to August:
In Moshi this is the “cool” period. The temperature has dropped to an average of 25 degrees during the day. There is virtually no rainfall.

September to October:
The temperature is rising again. Little rainfall to be expected.

November to February:
The rainfall varies. This is the hottest period of the year (average 32 degrees during the day).

Interesting facts

1. Moshi is Swahili for “smoke.” Probably a reference to the last eruption of Kilimanjaro in the 17th century or to the clouds and mist that often envelop the summit.

2. Germany established a military camp in Moshi (Neu-Moschi) in August 1893.

3. In 1956 Moshi received city rights.

4. Roman Catholic missionaries introduced Arabica coffee cultivation to the Moshi region in 1893.

5. Moshi organizes the Kilimanjaro Marathon, Tanzania’s largest sporting event, which has been held annually since early March since 2002.

6. Moshi has been the basis of opposition politics since the struggle for independence.


Moshi is a host city for the Kilimanjaro Marathon, has several waterfalls, springs and a tropical forest. From here you can climb the Kilimanjaro all the way or hike on the lower slopes.

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Mountain hiking

Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and the tallest mountain in Africa!
You can make multi-day climbs from Moshi to the top of the Kilimanjaro. View our Kilimanjaro destination for this.

But it is also possible to take guided day trips from Moshi on the lower part of the Kilimanjaro, with great views of the snow-covered peak of the Kilimanjaro.

For example, a walking safari of about 8 km, at an altitude of 2750 meters, which takes about four hours. You walk partly through dense rainforest and mountain forests where you can encounter blue monkeys, black and white colobuses and bush babies.

Coffee tour

Everywhere in and around Moshi you can visit coffee plantations, as well as the coffee auction and coffee roaster, to learn all about the cultivation and production of coffee.

Make a coffee tour and learn how beans are grown, picked and get insight into the lives of the Chagga coffee farmers, who live on the lower slopes of the Kilimanjaro.


The Kuringe waterfall is very impressive and one of the highest in the area. At the foot of the Kilimanjaro, 70 meters of crystal clear glacial water fall into a basin.
The beautiful path that leads to this waterfall of Materuni is 2500 meters above sea level
You walk through valleys and hills covered with tropical rainforest, past coffee -, bananas – and avocado ‘shambas’ (the Kiswahili word for farms). On a clear day you have a great view over the city of Moshi and the Kibo top of the Kilimanjaro. Walking shoes are recommended.

The village of Materuni is one of the few authentic villages in Northern Tanzania, with picturesque views of the city of Moshi and Kilimanjaro. In this green village with all fresh air, you will learn about the cultural heritage of the Chagga people. And you may also taste their home-brewed banana beer and / or the traditionally roasted coffee.

Chagga caves

Close to the waterfall of Materuni are the Chagga caves. The caves, actually excavated tunnels, were excavated by the Chaggas about 200 years ago to protect themselves from Maasai attacks. The Maasai mainly targeted water, food and livestock, but also Chaggas, which they then enslaved. Chaggas sometimes had to survive for months in these caves.

The guide will take you to the excavated caves to experience this whole new (underground) historical world of the Chagga tribe.

Lake Chala

Lake Chala is a unique caldera lake and is considered the deepest inland waterway in Africa. This lake is fed by underground sources of Kilimanjaro.

The lake has a great diversity of life. From lush lakeside forest to beautiful volcanic savanna; from river beds beautifully carved by old rocks, to thick bushes or open ‘mbuga’ (park). Hiking on Lake Chala is a magical experience that brings you back in touch with nature.

You can go on a walking safari, canoeing, swimming and fishing.

Chemka springs

Located about 35 km from Moshi, just outside the city of Boma, in the heart of the Sanya Plains, are the hot springs of Rundugai (Kikuletwa / Chemka springs).

These springs emerge in the middle of a parched and dusty landscape. They are locally called Chemka (cooking). That may seem so, but the water is not hot, rather it is a pleasant temperature!
This is a good place to visit for a picnic and swimming. And the view of the Kilimanjaro on a clear day is also fantastic. Unfortunately, the water is full of fluorine, which means the locals can’t use it for drinking. The crystal clear, turquoise water surrounded by palm trees and winding roots offers a picturesque place to enjoy a swim.

But be careful, do not swim unattended and always follow the safety instructions on the signs and instructions from your guide! Some wild animals also like to swim!

City tour

Under guidance you will discover all aspects of daily life in Moshi city. For example, you visit the local market, where fresh products are displayed and sold in a special way. While walking, the guide will tell you everything about the city, its buildings and its past. On the street you will see business men at work. You have lunch in a good restaurant.

Mountainbike tour

Discover Moshi and its surroundings by mountain bike.

Cycling is healthy and good for the environment. By cycling you also help the local community.


You can take a guided bike ride through nature for a day or for several days with an overnight stay.
On these organized mountain bike tours you cycle through nature in the vicinity of Moshi Town and the Kilimanjaro. You drive through savanna landscape, the jungle, past waterfalls and various mountains. You will encounter zebras, giraffes, antelopes and monkeys! There are day trips and multi-day tours, which also take you to other national parks.

City tour
With this bike tour you will get to know your way around picturesque Moshi and its relaxing suburbs. You will learn about the history and culture of Moshi and its inhabitants and try the local dishes. This city tour lasts half a day.

Animals in the area

Because of the volcanic soil and fed by the natural sources of the mountain glaciers, Moshi has a lush vegetation
and it is the natural environment for many bird and butterfly species.

In the nearby Kilimanjaro National Park you can indulge in the elephants, buffalo, blue monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys.

Click here for the wildlife overview

Dieren overzicht Moshi Town

  • Butterfly
  • Diverse bird species

Imagining yourself in Moshi Town yet?

Have a look at the example trips that can be customized to your specific preferences or contact us directly!

example trips trip advice

Accommodation in Moshi Town

This small city is especially a nice place before and after your Kilimanjaro climb.

But also an interesting base for short (walking) safaris in the area.

Chanya Lodge

Moshi Town, North Tanzania
Cozy lodge
€ 60 to € 85 pppn (lodging & breakfast)

Kaliwa Lodge

Moshi Town, North Tanzania
€ 110 tot € 120 pppn (bed & breakfast)

More Than a Drop

Moshi Town, North Tanzania
Bed & Breakfast
€ 25 to € 40 pppn (lodging & breakfast)