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> Kilimanjaro Region Starter Kit
post Nov 22 2009, 10:44 AM
Post #1


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Kilimanjaro Starter Guide

Moshi Town is the capitol of the Kilimanjaro Region. The region is divided into 6 districts.

District Populations:
Moshi Urban 144,000
Moshi Rural 402,000
Rombo: 246,000
Hai: 260,000
Mwanga: 116,000
Same: 212,000
Total Population is approximately 1.38 million.
Location: Moshi Town
3.3 South Latitude
37.3 East Longitude

Elevation: Moshi Urban varies between 700 - 900 meters. Uhuru Peak is 5895 meters
Getting There:
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)(45 minute drive)
Bus from Dar es Salaam 9-10 hours Tsh20,000 to 25,000
From Arusha 90 minutes Tsh2,500 bus fare

Language: Swahili but in Moshi Town centre, there are enough English speakers to get by without much Swahili knowledge. Not so outside of Moshi rural. Chagga and Pare languages are also spoken but Swahili will nearly always be understood.
Tribes: Chagga, Pare, some urbanized Maasai.

Currency: Tanzanian Shillings. USD accepted in some places, tour companies will only accept payment in USD,
Credit cards are accepted in a few hotels, no restaurants, a few souvenir shops and a few tour companies (mostly higher priced companies). Travelers checks are generally not accepted and may not be accepted even at exchange bureaus or accepted at a much lower rate. Exchange bureaus will give a higher exchange rate for $100 and $50 notes compared to smaller denominations. Older bank notes will not be accepted. ATMs are found at several locations in city centre, seldom found outside of city centre. Maximum daily withdrawal is Tsh 400,000. Lines may be quite long from around the 27th of the month until around the 3rd of the month.

Economy: Agriculture especially coffee, tea and rice; tourism; Coca-Cola Bottlers and Tanzania Produce Company (TPC) are large employers.

Diet: Fresh vegetables and fruits, rice, ugali (polenta),potatoes,beans,eggs,goat,chicken and beef. Most foods are not spiced very much. Wide range of restaurants may be found especially with Indian and Italian dishes.

Beverages: Moshi has some of the best water found in Tanzania but is not safe to drink unpurified or unboiled water. Bottled water is easily found in Moshi urban. Sodas are common but diet sodas, while available are not common. Several beers from Tanzania and Kenya are found. Konyagi,a spirit is readily found. Wine is not common. Banana beers are home brewed and a favorite with locals but may not be safe for tourists to drink.

Electricity: 240v, UK 2pin and 3pin sockets. Plug converters easily found at shops. Fluctuation of current is significant at times. Having an electrical supply is not a guarantee at any given time. Many hotels and some restaurants have back up generators.

Internet: Many internet cafes in town centre. Wireless signals are not found. 3G modems may be bought from cellphone companies with prepaid options. Internet speeds are frustratingly slow, hovering around 10 KB/s or less.

Telephones: Vodacom, Zain, Tigo and Zantel are the major providers. US cellphones without removable chips will not work in Tanzania. European cell phones will work. A pre- paid phone line may be bought very inexpensively. New cellphone may be purchased for starting at $35. Cellphones are extremely common and signals may be found nearly everywhere in the county.

Local Transportation: Dala-dalas are overcrowded mini-vans costing Tsh250 for in town trips. Taxis have no common rates, negotiate before you begin your journey. Expect to pay more during rains or at night. Vehicles are driven on the left side of the road. An international drivers license is required.

Religion: Tanzania is a deeply religious country but has had amazing ability to live peacefully with differing religious factions. Christianity and Islam are found approximately even in numbers. Moshi also has Sikh and Hindu Temples. There are local pagan religious followers as well. St. Margaret's Church (Anglican) offers an English service and Kariwa Church (SDA) has English translation during all services.

Weather: Long rain season: mid March through mid May. Short rain season is November through early December. June is the coolest month with daytime highs at times staying in the 17 C range with night time lows around 10 C in metro and cooler in the higher altitudes of Moshi rural. January highs in the mid to upper 30's C with lows in the mid 20's in lower areas, cooling in the higher elevations of rural Moshi.

Disease/Dangers: Precautions against malaria is advised. Check with a Travel Medical Clinic for latest advice. Immunizations against typhoid, hepatitis a & b and yellow fever are usually advised. Other dangers include awareness against scorpions, centipedes and mamba snakes. Normal precautions against theft are to be taken especially near bus and dala-dala stands. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers as some people are drugged through this technique.

Volunteer Opportunities: Extremely abundant especially in teaching English, medical, orphanages and environmental fields. Class C permit required ($120 for up to 1 year).

The Mountain: Mt Kilimanjaro straddles the Tanzanian/Kenyan border but can only be climbed from the Tanzanian side since all but part of the lower northern slopes lie within Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world with an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,330 ft). It is also the highest mountain in the world possible to climb without any technical equipment or technique, making it literally a difficult hike. The major obstacle is altitude sickness. This can affect even the fittest climbers. Climbing at a slow pace and adding an acclimation day increases the possibility of success. A climb will take you from tropical rain-forest to arctic conditions within the span of a few days. The mountain is snow capped year round, even though its glaciers are disappearing at an alarming pace. There are several climbing route options. The most popular is the Marangu Route, also known as the "Coca-Cola Route". It is the only route where overnights are spent inside of huts. This route is usually climbed in 5 or 6 days. The next most popular is the Machame Route or "Whiskey Route". Like all routes other than the Marangu Route, overnights are spent in tents. This route is considered the more scenic and requires a minimum of 6 days. Other, less traveled routes include the Shira, Umbwe, Mweka and Rongai Routes. A minimum of $1,000/person should be budgeted for a climb, not including gratuities. If necessary, all required gear may be rented in Moshi or Arusha.

Things to do: Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru climbs (in Arusha National Park), northern circuit safaris, tribal cultural tours, day trips include coffee/banana plantation tours, Pare Mountain hikes, several national parks are close enough for one day safaris.

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post Nov 23 2009, 12:38 PM
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Rolling Stone

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Posts: 14509
Joined: 5-November 07
From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Member No.: 103914

Very nice starter kit. I'll just get some contact info from you and then I can sign you up as a Local Expert, thanks!

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