Mt Kilimanjaro offers a variety of activities other than climbing to Uhuru Peak. The beauty and culture of the Kilimanjaro Region and its Chagga tribe presents a fascinating opportunity to experience the relationship between the mountain and its inhabitants.
Options for activities include: visits to the local people and their environment or walk to one or more of the majestic waterfalls (Makoa Waterfall, Mongioni Waterfall, Manambe Waterfall, Masare Waterfall, Rau Waterfall, Materuni waterfalls and Uru Waterfall). There is the chance to visit historical sites of clan wars and ancient legends including large caves that were used for hiding during the Chagga vs Masai wars.
Visiting Makoa Waterfalls (a 10m waterfalls created by the Makoa River in Machame) is well worth an afternoon?s stroll. It is surrounded by banana and coffee plantations where you will see the indigenous people farming by traditional means.
Uru Waterfall is a 50m waterfall where you can swim in the plunge pool at the base of the falls. Local farms where you will have a glimpse into the past surround the falls. The 50 meter waterfall is a hidden treasures of Kilimanjaro Region and provides you with the chance to trek through coffee farms and enjoy spectacular views. After walking you swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall to cool off before enjoying a delicious picnic lunch at the base of the waterfall.
Materuni waterfall is a very impressive falls of around 100m falling from the jungle slopes of Kilimanjaro into a valley farmed with coffee, bananas and avocados. There are two possible walks: a short walk of 20 minutes, and a longer hike through “Shamba” (farms) of about 2 hours round trip.
The long trail is an ideal walm up before a Kilimanjaro climb. The pleasant path through the cultivation on the Lower Slopes traverses slowly up the steep valley sides passing small shops and bars. You can see the local “Chagga” people working in the fields and often doing what they like best – drinking “beer” – a locally made bucket of brown frothy brew. Banana beer is also popular here and can be bought in one of the basic wooden bars.
The long trail meets the track at the start of the short trail and from here is is 10mins downhill to the bottom of the impressive white vertical falls. It is possible to bathe in the plunge pool at the bottom if you can tolerate glacier melt-water temperatures – few people are mad enough!
Another great cultural activity around Kilimanjaro is to visit to local Chagga blacksmiths who continue using ancestral methods to prepare Masai spears and tools. You can also visit a traditional Chagga house.
Marangu is 30km northeast of Moshi Town at an altitude of 1800m. Getting there takes around a 45 minutes by car form Moshi town. Tours which can either be a either full or half day in length. Attractions here include waterfalls, great views, coffee bushes (this is where the first coffee bush in Tanzania was planted by German Missionaries), traditional Chagga arts and crafts will also be available to buy.
Some walking tours can visit points where the lights of Nairobi can be seen at night. For more information on climbing Kilimanjaro or visiting Tanzania’s mountains please
These are massive underground tunnels (some caves reaching several kilometers) dwellings where the Chagga tribes hide from Maasai warriors during intertribal wars. Appreciate the architectural designs of the caves and listen to stories on how they were effective as hiding tunnels. You will get the full story of this war and the caves from our experienced guide when you arrive at the cave
Walk through coffee and banana farms to learn how coffee is grown, harvested and prepared into a cup of coffee in local people’s style. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn local skillfull practices of producing the best quality Arabica coffee using traditional ways. While drinking a locally prepared cup of coffee, you will also be getting stories of how local farms are managed and different ways of preparing and processing coffee
A walk through a local community market on Mondays and Thursdays will give you a good perspective on how Machame people live, eat and interact to each others. This tour will give you an insight into local economy and daily life activities of Chagga people.
An opportunity to visit places where first German Missionary to Machame area visited many years ago. Explore some of the remaining memorial stones some put in place by Mr. Johannes Rebmann who came to Machame around 1840s where they built the first church in the area. Get an insight on how these missionaries worked to expand the missionary tasks in other parts of Kilimanjaro and the rest of Tanzania. Take a round walk to explore the whole route of the missionaries in the area and enjoy the scenery, people and various old buildings.
This will lead you in knowing their local skills practices of producing the best quality Arabica coffee using traditional methodologies. While drinking a locally delicious prepared cup of coffee, you will also be getting the details of how these farms are managed, how coffee are prepared and processed
Maji Moto is 70km from Clock Tower via Boma Ng’ombe . The road from Boma Ng’ombe is unsealed and some of it requires a vehicle with good road clearance; a 4WD would be preferable although it has been known for daladalas to make the trip. The road can be difficult to follow but there is usually someone nearby you can ask, however, following local directions can be a challenge.
Whether you want to recover after touring around or simply want an environment in which to relax, Maji Moto is just the place. An oasis in a typically dry area near Mount Kilimanjaro, Maji Moto is the clearest blue water you will see anywhere, set among shady trees where you can relax on a blanket of dry leaves.This is a great place for people of all ages and an ability to swim which is essential for enjoying the warm spring waters that well from rocks and flow from the main pool through channels into other pools. A rope tied to a tree on the bank is great for swinging and jumping into the crystal water.