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Zanzibar - Tanzania

Let's go for a short visit to the Tanzanian continent. The continent is very large and unknown to tourists. The main destinations are for game drives. But we wanted to discover the regions of Arusha and Moshi, so we made a ten days getaway from Zanzibar. Discover in this article what there is to see in these two Tanzanian cities:

How to get to Arusha / Moshi?

From France or any other country, it is possible to land directly in Arusha .

Then to go to Moshi, it is possible to take a taxi, a dala dala or a bus.

From Zanzibar it is also possible to fly to Arusha .

Or the cheaper but much longer version we opted for. Take the ferry from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam ($35) then a bus (Kilimanjaro express) lasting approximately 12 hours to Moshi (€13). Certainly not very comfortable and very long (you never know in Africa) but it was an experience ! Then between Moshi and Arusha same thing, a taxi / bus.

What to do in Arusha?

- Visit the Cultural Heritage Center  

The Cultural Heritage Center is a cultural heritage center of Tanzania. The center brings together sculptures, paintings and works of art. It's a super interesting and free place. A must visit when visiting Arusha. I personally spent several hours there.

 

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- Visit the Shanga workshop.  

To think outside the box. The Shanga workshop is a place for creating souvenirs, blown glass objects, jewellery, clothing, scarves, plaids... 

This association employs people with disabilities. In order to protect them and integrate them into the  society. It was a wonderful moment that will remain engraved. You visit the workshop and you have the opportunity to try yourself to weave a scarf in an artisanal way and to get your hands dirty. Buying something at the shop helps the association to live. You can also make an additional donation.  

 

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- Shopping at the craft market

A place that looks like a souk. A perfect place to shop and bring back memories for the family ! You just have to be patient because each person will want you to enter their shop.. Which means, the standard of living remains very low, let's remember. Of course, we cannot help everyone, so a simple  "no, Asanté" (no thank you) with a smile will be welcome.


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- Go to Themi waterfalls

I haven't done it personally so I can't comment.

Where to sleep in Arusha?

From my personal experience, (this is not a partnership) I had 2 favorites:
- Banana farm eco hostel 

It is a hostel with dormitories and individual rooms in the middle of a banana plantation. Quiet, surrounded by nature, in a very hippie and colorful decoration. A perfect place to relax before or after a safari, with these positive phrases and these hammocks. Not to mention the campfire in the evening. It's an out-of-the-way place so you'll have to come by taxi and there's nothing around. But if you come to rest it's the perfect place. It is possible to eat on site for $5 per meal and breakfast is included. The owners live on site and welcome you  gladly in their house. They're lovely.

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- Utamaduni House 

It is a guesthouse run by a mixed couple. A very comfortable and pleasant place. It is possible to have meals delivered like Uber Eats.
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What to do in Moshi?

- Bathe in Kikulewa hot springs

These natural pools are not super hot as the name might suggest. But the water has an incredible color ! You can get your dead skin eaten by the little fishes if you're not ticklish haha ! There is also something to jump into the water with a rope, and floaters for rent to let the current carry you quietly.

There are 2 swimming pools that join each other. The first (the first photos) immediately on the right after the place where you pay the entrance. The second furthest from the food shops.

 

A great place for a moment of relaxation.

 

You can also eat there if you wish. 

How to get there ? With a cab. You can negotiate the price. The price of entry is 20,000 tsh or about 8€.

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- Go to Mataruni waterfalls

This waterfall was my favorite. There is a simple hike to do with a guide who tells you about the region, the habits of the tribes, the vegetation and also who tells you about the surrounding animals, like this chameleon which has changed color in front of us ! On the way back from the waterfall you can make an additional stop in the village to see how the coffee at the foot of Kilimanjaro is made. You can even make it yourself and taste it !  

You have to take a driver for the day, because the waterfall is quite far from Moshi. We had negotiated $30 per person for the driver and the guide. For coffee, a small contribution is appreciated, for example by buying a bag of coffee beans.

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- Visit the Rau eco forest

This forest is a protected nature reserve. It is home to many tree species including very old specimens.

The belief is that the oldest of them brings good luck. It is therefore appropriate to lay your head against the tree and whisper your wishes with your heart. Spinning around the tree clockwise would add 15 years of life to each spin.

You can also see several kinds of monkeys and learn from their habits.

Medicinal plants as well.

Our guide, who was very close to nature, also made us hug a tree, and a meditation to connect with the forest. A great time!

Admission: $10 + pay the guide

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Go see the Marangu waterfalls

From Moshi it is possible to go to Marangu in dala dala. Or by taxi if you arrange a taxi with a guide. If you take the dala dala, you will then have to take a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) to take you to the different waterfalls.

Negotiate the price with him according to the time you want to spend there.

 

Know that you will also have to pay the entrance fee for each waterfall (approximately 10,000 each if I remember correctly)

We had done Kinukamori waterfall and Kilasiya / Ndoro waterfall

These are not the most impressive but if you are an amateur it's still nice.

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Get off the beaten track and go to Lake Nyumba ya Mungu

Here for once we really deviate from the tourist trails. This lake is out of the way and to my knowledge tourists do not go there.

You have to take a car and it is more than 2 hours drive from Moshi.

There is not necessarily much interest except that of discovering the remote "real life" of the continent. When we were walking around the lake we met Maasai children. You could see that we were a curiosity for them but they were very fearful. They followed us while laughing. Then little by little they got closer and trusted. We took selfies, laughed. An embarrassing but timeless moment !

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Where to sleep in Moshi?

- Kilimanjaro mad monkey hotel  

 

There is a great guest house that I can only recommend (this is not a partnership) . The places are crazy, the host Amani is incredibly welcoming and friendly and he will help you with any request. A great price, very comfortable where you feel like at home. With a little luck, when the sky is clear (rather in the morning at sunrise or at sunset) you will be able to see Kilimanjaro ! 

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I hope this article has made you want to discover a little more than safaris on the Tanzanian mainland !

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