The city in with all things Kilimanjaro are based, Moshi has few ‘must do’ attractions outside of its shining star. Ah, but what a star it is. Surprisingly few restaurants cater to the tourists, although hotels rely soley on the money they bring. A note worth mentioning – gear is hard to come by in Moshi. If you’re desperate, visit the kind folks at the Porter Project.
Transportation: Impala Shuttles
Operated by a hotel chain of the same name, Impala Shuttles are cheaper than their competitors such as Riverside. They offer pick-up from certain hotels but keep in mind it’s EARLIER than the departure time they list, so you have to be ready half an hour beforehand. They WILL NOT wait for you and you will have to chase the bus. Take it from one who knows.
At the border crossing, the driver may take non-East Africa passports and your visa money in attempt to expedite the process. Expect to fight your way through vendors on the Kenyan border. If you pay on the bus, you will be charged the cheaper locals rate. Rates: 15,000 TSh one way, locals rate.
Hotel: Keys Annex
Away from the city center, the Keys Annex is a perfectly nice hotel with fans, clean rooms and a decent complimentary breakfast. There are two Keys hotels in the city, although they are not that far apart. Note that some bathrooms are shared. Rates: 30 USD.
Hotel: Hotel Zebra
Plllthhh. That’s my version of a big, fat raspberry for Hotel Zebra. A relatively pricey hotel for Moshi, the only reason you’d come here is for air conditioning in some of the rooms. The staff is amazingly inept and unreliable. The showers have poor draining systems and flood the bathrooms, and water comes in one temperature: cold. Rates: 60 USD for a double room. Out of country residents must pay in dollars.
Lodge: Ndarakwai Wildlife Reserve
Although not located in Moshi, this amazing game lodge is worth the weekend excursion. On a private game reserve of 10,000 acres, this eco-friendly resort houses guests in luxury tents, complete with heated safari-style showers, robes and artisan soaps. Prepared meals are of high restaurant quality each time. Safaris are not included in the cost of the room, but can be added on easily. Rates: Around $75 USD/person
Internet Cafe: Dot Cafe
One of the few places you can find air conditioning in Moshi stores, the Dot Cafe offers new computers and a decent connection for Moshi. Mozilla has been installed on most machines, for those adverse to IE. Come during ‘happy hour’ in mid-afternoon or on the weekends for better pricing. Rates: Around 1,000 TSh/hour.
Internet Cafe: Buffalo Internet Cafe
The Buffalo Internet Cafe is located near, not surprisingly, the Buffalo Hotel. Computers are old and the room is very small and stuffy – and always packed. Expect to wait if you come here. Rates are very cheap – less than 1,000 TSh/hour.
Across from the Buffalo Internet Cafe, this excellent restaurant is the only place in town to find the pizza you’ve been craving. You’ll have to wait two hours for it (literally), but it’s almost as good as what you’ll find in Italy. The Indian food is also outstanding. Warning: waits really are extraordinary, and sometimes the Indian or Italian chef will not be around, so half of the menu will not be an option. Ask before you sit. Rates: 4,000-6,000 TSh for pizzas, around 5,000 TSh for Indian dishes.
Restaurant: Sikh Club
Within staggering distance from both IndoItaliano and the Zebra Hotel, the Sikh Club is an Indian restaurant with its very own cricket/field hockey grounds. Although most people enjoyed their meals, I found the food to be disappointingly boring. The menu is misleading as well, and list ingredients that are not actually included in their dishes. Rates: Mains around TSh 4,000.
Head to IndoItaliano for pizza and Crisburger for the other western favorite: hamburgers. Be warned – it’s not like the burgers you have back home. This ‘fast food’ restaurant also offers chips and other fried staples. The only vegetarian option – a sandwich – comes lightly fried and dosed in butter. Rates: Around 3,000 TSh for a burger and fries.
Tour Company: BootsnAll Adventures
Yeah, I gotta admit, we do a pretty good job with all things Kilimanjaro. Our guides were attentive, helpful and boasted 25 years on the mountain between the two of them! Rates: Vary
Tour Company: Blue Moon Safaris
Our two day, one night shortened mountain biking trip around Mt. Kilimanjaro was an intense experience, but one that allowed us to see the mountain and its people in another light. Most travelers never make it to the far side of Kili, so there are less tourists. Also, you have more opportunities to interact with locals when you’re on the back of a bike and not in a car. Rates: $1,555 USD for full tour.