If you are coming from Western Europe it’s a good idea to spend at least one night in Africa before you begin climbing Kilimanjaro, and if you are coming from North America or Australia two days is better. The long flights and the time difference will throw your body off a bit regardless of how fit you are.
You can almost always save money by flying in to Nairobi, Kenya instead of directly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, but doing it this way usually adds a full day to your trip. The buses from Nairobi to Moshi take about 8 hours and they are usually done by sunset (at 6 p.m. all year round). This means if your flight into Nairobi arrives any later than, say, 10 a.m., you’ll be spending your first night there and then leaving for Moshi early the next morning.
Lodging in Nairobi
If you are spending the night in Nairobi, it’s best to always take a taxicab even during the day. If you don’t know where you are and where you are going the city can be a bit dangerous. Other travelers usually recommend two mid-range hotels – Hotel 680 and Hotel Boulevard. They are about $50 to $75 per night per room, and are safe, secure and can organize your shuttle service to Moshi. There are other youth hostels in Nairobi if you are looking for a more affordable place to stay – Nairobi Backpackers, YMCA and Nairobi Youth hostel.
Lodging in Moshi
There are loads of hotels and hostels in Moshi to choose from. It’s usually quite easy to find a basic room for around US$20 per night, and some hostels and guesthouses can be as low as US$10-15 per night. There are also nicer hotels in the US$40-60 range and even places well north of US$100 per night.
Finding Moshi hotels online can be a bit tricky since most sites don’t show more than a few each. There are plenty of hotels in Moshi that aren’t available for advanced reservations on the Internet, so as long as you start your search early you should have little problem finding a suitable bed for the night. If you are coming during peak seasons it’s not a bad idea to reserve in advance because places do fill up and you don’t want to waste a lot of time looking when you could be resting instead.
There are many hotels hidden outside of Moshi in the countryside, some near the Machame route, the Marangu route, along the highway and elsewhere. Some other thoughts about Moshi.
A Shortlist of Accommodation Options In & Around Moshi
By Peter Baxter
November 16th, 2007