Welcome to Moshi, Tanzania
Tanzania is located in East Africa and borders Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. It is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago. A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley. A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania has the highest peak – Mt. Kilimanjaro, the lowest point – the lakebed of Lake Tanganyika, and the largest lake – Lake Victoria, on the African continent. Tanzania is a young but stable democracy and one of the safest countries in Africa. It was recently named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries for Travel in 2011 based on scores for topicality, excitement, value for money, and “that special X-factor.”
Moshi is located at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa. Moshi is home to the Chagga and Maasai tribes and is comprised of approximately 150,000 people. The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), about 40 minutes away. The nearest large city is Arusha, approximately 1.5 hours by bus. Moshi has a downtown area (about 15 minutes walk from where the volunteers live) with many shops, restaurants, banks, and bars. There are many neighbourhoods in Moshi. The volunteer house and Adult Education Centre are located next to Ushirika University, which is a very safe and beautiful area.
How to get here
There are several ways that volunteers come to Moshi:
- Kilimanjaro International Airport – Several international airlines fly into the Kilimanjaro airport including Swiss, KLM, and Air France. A member of GHTA will meet you at KIA.
- Dar es Salaam – Dar is the capital city of Tanzania and almost every international airline offers flights here. After landing, you arrange to take a local bus to Moshi. There are many bus companies that make the trip and buses leave very frequently from the main bus station. The most comfortable tourist buses are Dar Express and Scandinavia Express. A bus ticket is easily purchased on site once you arrive and the trip to Moshi takes approximately 8 hours. When arriving this way, a member of GHTA will meet you at the Moshi bus station.
- Nairobi – Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and almost every international airline offers flights here. After landing, you arrange to take a local bus to Moshi. There are many bus companies that make the trip and buses leave fairly frequently from the main bus station. The most comfortable tourist bus is Scandinavia Express. A bus ticket is easily purchased on site once you arrive and the trip to Moshi takes approximately 7-8 hours. When arriving this way, a member of GHTA will meet you at the Moshi bus station.
Flight prices vary based on airline, destination, and time of year so it is worth doing some research in advance.
The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh). In general people find costs in Moshi quite low, although foreign items (pasta sauce, shampoo, cereal, etc.) are more expensive. To give you a sense of everyday costs in Moshi, here are some examples of things you might buy:
- 1L Milk – 3,500 Tsh
- Bread – 1,500 Tsh
- Cheese – 10,000 Tsh
- 10 tomatoes – 1,000 Tsh
- 3 cucumbers – 500 Tsh
- 1 mango – 500 Tsh
- Coke – 600 Tsh
- 1L bottle of water – 1,200 Tsh
- Cereal – 10,000 Tsh
- Pasta – 4,500 Tsh
- Butter – 5,000 Tsh
- Shampoo – 7,500 Tsh
- Liquid soap – 4,500 Tsh
- Taxi ride from volunteer house to downtown Moshi – 3,000 Tsh
- 1hr of internet at local internet café – 1,000 Tsh
- Pizza at a restaurant – 8,000 Tsh
- Chicken and chips at a restaurant – 3,000 Tsh