Around Kilimanjaro: Moshi and Marangu Waterfall

I arrived in Tanzania on Saturday evening and had some free time on Sunday to explore surroundings. I went to Moshi – closest town to my hotel and then to a small village of Marangu. Moshi is a sleepy tourist town with not much to do. After visiting all local attractions (and there are not that many of them) I decided to see waterfalls near Marangu – about 40 km away. I took local dala dala bus from Moshi to Marangu and it was quite an experience. I could never imagine that 25 people and 6 kids can fit into small minibus.


View from second floor of Springland Hotel on a road to Moshi (small town near Mt. Kilimanjaro) and old railway line from Dar Es Salam to Arusha


Market street in Moshi.


Old railway station in Moshi. It used to be very busy with several passenger trains a day during colonial times. Now it’s in complete disrepair.


According to my guide one or two freight trains per week pass through the station


Station name signs look very similar to signs on Russian railways.


Local kids on railway tracks with a T-Shirt from Nebraska. One thing that surprised me in Tanzania is the number of people in t-shirts from random places in US. I saw t-shirts from local 5k races and small community colleges in US.


English and Swahili are used interchangeably on most signs.


Some roads become tracks without bridges


Majority of people in area around Mt. Kilimanjaro are Christian with small minority still believing in indigenous religions. There are a lot of places of worship – you can see one above that looks more like car repair shop than proper church.


There are cars that you will see only in a few countries in the world like this Landrover from sixties.


There is small minority Muslim population in Moshi. Majority of Muslims in Tanzania lives in Zanzibar and on the coast.


Even though for most people native language is Swahili, most signs are either in English or in English and Swahili. Sometimes even signs on official buildings are only in English.

One reason for this is that Tanzania has unusual educational system – all classes in Primary school are in Swahili but most subjects in Secondary school are in English. I think it’s one of the reasons that almost all people speak at least a little bit of English.


Main attraction in Moshi – monument to soldiers who fought for independence. This monument is located on main highway between Dar Es Salam and Arusha. ‘Maji Ni Uhai‘ is simple Swahili which, translated into English, means ‘Water Is Life’

By the way, this monument is sponsored by Coca Cola :)


I am still waiting for sign on Red Square that says that Kremlin is sponsored by Gazprom :)


I was disappointed – no way to find out distance to Seattle or St. Petersburg.


Politically correct (or incorrect – depends on your point of view) advertisement of Zantel – largest mobile operator in Tanzania.


Local street dancers in Moshi.


Typical main street Moshi – very few cars, relatively good asphalt and no sidewalks. Most secondary roads are still unpaved.


Typical store building in Tanzania – you can see them along all major roads.


Central street in Moshi with a bus station on the left.


Weather conditions in tropics change rapidly -  weather went from sunny to torrential rain in 5 minutes. And in Tanzania if it rains, it really rains. Most streets outside of city center are unpaved and become real mess.


Full 4WD is recommended even in a city.


I am hiding in a cave that was used by Chugga tribesmen to hide from Maasai slave raiders. Slave trade was widespread and very profitable in nineteenth century. Slavery caused large number of wars between tribes.


Marangu waterfall.


Traditional Chugga house – many people still live in similar houses in rural villages.


View on Mt. Kilimanjaro from Moshi.


This is wonderful presentation Sergey, Pictures speaks Louder. Moshi is a tourist town and is a base for planning kilimanjaro trekking adventures. 


Tanzania is not Paris or Rome and even the most touristy place in the country - Zanzibar is not overrun with foreigners. When I walked in Moshi or Dar Es Salam, I saw very few whites. Most people live on subsistence agriculture so seeing how they live feels like "slum tourism". I talked to people who visited Kenya and other countries in East Africa and they said that they are all very similar. Schools and hospitals in Tanzania look very basic outside - so brace yourself for the worst. ;) Moshi or Dar Es Salam are not Paris or


Very neat pictures! I wonder if the schools in Zambia will look like anything like the ones you have encountered. I think it is most interesting to go outside of the touristy areas and see how people really live. Thanks for sharing!


В Моши было облачно но все равно довольно жарко - 25-30 градусов. В Занзибаре было гораздо жарче - 35 и солнце.


Навевает грусть о российской глубинке. Ну очень похоже. На фото совсем не ощущается жары, или ее не было? Фото супер.


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