Moshi Township – Tanzania
Home to the chagga, Pare, and Maasai tribes and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the snow capped and roof top of Africa.
currently, it is approximately 300,000 residents. During the 2002 population census, Moshi was reported to have 144,739 residents a number which rose to 206,728 in the 2011 estimations.
The number of residents is vital component for Moshi township which is on the fast track to become a city by 2016. In order to reach a target of high urban status a town must have a minimum of 500,000 residents.
Area of Moshi Township:
Covering about 60 square kilometers, making it the smallest Municipality in Tanzania by area. Moshi Municipality is the administrative capital for Kilimanjaro region.
- In August 2012, Moshi Township celebrated 120th year since its inception.
History of Moshi:
The town’s history began when the colonial Germany rule established a military camp in the area which later became Moshi. This happened in August 1893, (some 120 years ago). In other words Moshi township came to life seven (7) years before Arusha Town was conceived. Also, Moshi township came to life six (6) years before Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya was founded. Nairobi was founded in 1899. Moshi attained township status in 1956 eight (8) years after its neighbor Arusha was declared township (1948).
Moshi also become a Municipality in 1988, again this was eight (8) years after Arusha, which attained its Municipality in 1980. Moshi is divided administratively into 21 wards and then subdivided into 60 villages. Moshi population was 144,739 by the year 2002 population census, a number which rose to 206,728 in the year 2011 estimations.
The term ‘Moshi’ essentially means ‘smoke’ in Kiswahili, though nobody knows exactly well why this town which is the administrative capital for Kilimanjaro region, ended up with such name.
The chagga who are among the native residents of the area have ‘moshi’ as well as similar sounding ‘Mushi’ and ‘Mosha’ in their dictionary of local surnames.
Moshi used to be the most vibrant commercial hub in the Northern zone during the 60s, 70s and early 80s.
Moshi is home to the Wakwavi and Waarusha in the lower parts of mount Kilimanjaro, Wapare in the Pare mountains, Chagga and Maasai ethnic groups. Moshi is a town inhabited with humble, generous and charming people. This is a must go and never miss visiting place and is often considered the cleanest town in East Africa.
Moshi Township is situated on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a volcanic mountain that is the snow caped roof top of Africa and lies on the A23 Arusha – Himo east – West road connecting Arusha and Via, Kenya. Just to the east of Moshi is the intersection with B1 North south road eventually connecting with Tanga and Dar essalaam.
Airports and Airstrips:
Moshi town is connected to the outside world via Kilimanjaro international Airport which is under the operation of Kilimanjaro airport development Company (KADCO) and located in Hai district along, the Moshi – Arusha highway in Kilimanjaro region. Several international and domestic airlines serve the airport, including KLM, Ethiopian Air ways, Kenya airways, precision air and many more.
Generally, Kilimanjaro region is divided into 2 major Agro climatic zones. Mt. Kilimanjaro zone, lies between 1800 to 5895 metres above sea level and where the temperature is between 0 – 15 degree centigrade with annual rainfall above 2000mm. Highland zone lies between 1,100 and 1800 meters above sea level, temperature is 15-25 degrees centigrade and annual rainfall is 4,250 – 2000mm that drops on fertile volcanic soil. The other zone is the intermediate zone that lies between 900 to 1,100 meters above sea level. The temperature in this zone is between 25-30 degrees centigrade with annual rainfall 800-1200mm and with moderate fertility. The lowland zone lies at 900m above sea level and the temperature is 30 degrees centigrade’s and annual rainfall is 700 – 900mm
Kiswahili and English
Christians and Muslims and others.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the region accounting for over 60% of the output of the region
(Regional gross romestic product – GDP) and 70% of the population lives in the rural region are dependent on agriculture for livelihood. About 56% of adult population is engaged in agriculture. Major cash crops cultivated include coffee, cotton, sisal, wheat, sunflower, barley, groundnuts, cardamom, Irish potatoes, maize, bananas, flowers, paddy, lab lab (fiwi), ginger and sugar cane. Other economic sectors that contribute to the regional GDP with its percentage in brackets is Trade (13.8%), Public administration (6.2%), manufacturing (3.2%) construction (2.6%),
Transport and communication (2.3%), Finance and Business (1.9%), public utility (0.7%) and mining and quarry (0.1%).
There are also a number of manufacturing industries including Bonite Bottlers (Carbonated drinks), Serengeti breweries, kibo match and many more.
Kilimanjaro is endowed with one of the world’s wonders, Mt. Kilimanjaro the snow capped and roof top of Africa (Kilimanjaro National Park in Moshi rural). Other wildlife areas include, Mkomazi National park, Kalimawe and Ruvu …. Reserves in SAME district and Sanya / LetaTema in Hai district. Aquatic life such as crocodiles are found in river Pangani, Bwawa la nyumbayaMungu and lake jipe. Because of these varieties of attractive sites that is why Kilimanjaro region hooking thousands of tourists from across the world.
Tourist – attractions around moshi
SPORTS – TOURISM
Every year, Moshi town is host to the Kilimanjaro Marathon. This international accredited Kilimanjaro marathon was established in 2002 and is rapidly growing in popularity and every year at the end of February the race take place.
CULTURAL TOURISM PROGRAMS:
There are several cultural tourism programs operating on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. Moshi also serves as the base for many expeditions up nearby mt. Kilimanjaro, with many climbers staying in nearby hotels and employing locals as guides, porters and cooks.
One of the place that have the most pronounced evidence of the wachagga.
Second oldest Roman Catholic in the country at KilemaThe second oldest Roman catholic church in the country, at Kilema was built from 1890 to 1895 mainly by stones in the tropical combination of French and German architecture styles. The church attracted worshippers from as far as TAITA and Voi in Kenya, apart from Moshi, Pare, KondoaIrangi, Tanga and Arusha in Tanzania
History of the church:
The church founded by father Aloyce munch,
who was the head of the church in 1910 followed by father Henry Gogaity in 1922.
The church also hosted several different foreign and local priests, living side by side with the local for many years and this adds some flavor to the history of the church. Here you may see the first coffee (Arabica) which was planted here by the first missionaries nearly 100 years ago. At nearby Ngangu hill, 1530m, every year mainly during the dry season, Christians from different places in and out of the Kilimanjaro region flock to the sacred hill for different reasons, mainly to pay their respect and renew their faith.
The pillar which stands majestically on the hill is where different religious rituals are held (religious prayers take place).
The priest from the church would grant permission for such religious pilgrimage and later conduct a service mass for the congregation at the church to wind up their pilgrimage visit. Apart from being a religious point Ngangu hill has sweeping fantastic views of mount Kilimanjaro (on a clear day the snows of kibo are seen so close, the plains so wide and the pare mountains close enough to grab), as well as TAITA HILLS Kenya and HIMO town.
MARANGU MTONI (RIVERINE MARANGU)
During a market day in MaranguMtoni village there are all sorts of things on sale: food stuffs, second hand clothes and so on. And here the famous sweet bananas (Ndizikisukari) are plenty and natural ones, liked by many. The strategic MaranguMtoni offers on electric day and with global trekkers meeting and getting to know one another. Here the bananas, the stapple food, are cooked in different cookings such as Machalari, Kiburu, Kitawa and Ngararimo, which attracts many visitors.
KINUKA MORI WATER FALLS
Kinukamori water falls situated along the MUE river, the starting point for a trip deep in the well maintained coffee and banana fields within the precincts of Marangu surroundings neighbor hoods. The beauty of this water fall and its cultural history has attracted a greater number of visitors. Its good environment and rich history will leave you interested. With more than seven water falls in Marangu one can spend whole day enjoying the picture post card views. Famous for some of the world’s sprawling collection of water falls in the neighbor hood, Marangu offers Kilasiyendoro and Kinukamori water falls, among others , which offer home to plenty of water life as well as high rise cliffs. It is the magnificent views of valleys and water falls that offer great entertainment for nature lovers and bird watchers here. Trees, flowers and fruit nurseries help to portray mountain life and give visitors the chance to see a wide range of unique flora and Fauna. The bird life is prolific and monitors and lizards are frequently sighted.
The vegetation changes dramatically as you gain altitude, beginning with forest on the valley floor and changing to valley bushveld then fynbos and grassland on the summit. Mamba Makundi black smiths in the area where they make iron tools using traditional methods to make spears and other tools. Visitors here are able to see black smiths.
NOTE AND REMEMBER – MARANGU
The name Marangu originates from the 19th century when Wagweno now living in Mwanga district visited the township of Himo (near Marangu), and found water streams nearby. They shouted Mora! Morang! – meaning land of water when the European came to the area had difficulties to pronounce the world morang – instead they pronounced Marangu.
Underground tunnelsBelieved to have been built in the 17th century to protect the chaggas from attacks during the intertribal conflicts chagga – Maasai war, are found in the area.
OTHER NUMEROUS TOURS:
There are numerous tours through Marangu that offers sighting of huge trees, flowers, fruit nurseries, including a visit to the home of LAUWO, a native who accompanied Dr. Hans meyer on the first recorded climb of Kilimanjaro in 1889 and read the original log books of the late Lauwo.
KIKULETWA HOT SPRINGS AT CHEAMKA VILLAGE
Is located outside moshi, towards Arusha. Passing through a vast and wide country side close to the village chemka lie the beautiful , natural Kikuletwa Hot springs – a different kind of paradise, Tanzania has to offer.
WHAT TO DO
You need the contact of a driver who knows the hotsprings and how to get there.
From Moshi, it takes you about 2 hours to get there by car due to the so called horrible roads.
KIKULETWA HOT SPRINGS
Is an oasis right in the middle of a dusty land scope. Arriving there, a little explosion of green plants like fig and palm trees welcomes you. The spring contains the clearest water you have probably ever seen and the roots of the big trees draw beautiful patterns along the rim of the waterhole. Kikuletwahotsprings consists of two water holes and a stream that appears at the surface out of nowhere and suddenly goes subterranean again. The main hole is like a beautiful swimming, pool in which an adult can stand without problems. The other waterhole is very small and only knee deep.
MACHAME COUNTRY SIDE
Situated north of Arusha, and combining beauty and history, is the place to be. For visitors travelling to Machame, the first sight that heralds your arrival is several striking houses and trees that line the road from the charming intersection at the month of the moshiArusha highway.
The main point of attraction for many visitors to Machame is the natural forests, including rain forests, which also boasts such a wide and rich diversity including banana and coffee farms.