After two days of staying in Moshi, I was happy that I was finally going out of the hotel and seeing something new.
I met my young guide, Enock, at the hotel lobby for my day trip to Kinukamori Falls in Marangu. Enock will also be my mountain guide in Mount Kilimanjaro so I thought it would be good opportunity to ask him a few questions about the climb.
From Buffalo Hotel we walked to the bus terminal in Mawenzi Road. The terminal was filled with minibuses going to different routes which leaves once it’s full. It reminded me of the V-hire (van-for-hire) system in the Philippines.
While waiting for the minibus going to Marangu, I got the chance to meet another crew member for the climb. The young gentleman introduced himself (unfortunately I can’t remember his name now) and told me that he is going to be the cook for the team.
After standing for quite some time, Enock asked me to follow him. We walked towards the middle of the terminal where an almost packed minibus was waiting for a few more passengers before leaving. Enock talked to another local in Swahili as he seem to be confirming if the minibus is heading for Marangu. As it was already quite cramped, Enock told me that we take the next minibus.
We were able to get a good seat but the minibus was packed when it left the bus terminal and it was still picking up passengers along the way. It wasn’t a convenient ride but I wasn’t complaining. Taking the public transport is a good way to experience the local life.
It was a cloudy day but the temperature was well over 30C. We passed by lots of fields and I noticed that the soil were mostly red. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro during the journey but I wasn’t successful.
The journey took over an hour. We decided to have lunch at a local restaurant before starting the hike to Kinukamori Falls. I had chicken with rice and I was quite happy that the food tasted nice.
My guide pointed to me the way going to Marangu gate (one of the ascent/descent routes to/from Mount Kilimanjaro) which he said is still further away from the main road. There were lots of minibuses waiting in the corner of the road. We crossed the street and entered a trail with village houses but as we hiked further the dirt road, there were more greenery to see.
We stopped by for a few minutes on a souvenir shop that were selling African arts and crafts. The works were wonderful but they were expensive for my tight budget.
After about 15 minutes of hiking on a relatively easy trail we reached the entrance of Kinukamori Falls. I paid the entrance fee (I forgot the exact amount in TSh but definitely not more than USD5) and a guide accompanied me and Enock going to the falls.
The guide led us first to the Hall of Chagga Culture. The entrance wall was painted with the flag and coat of arms of Tanzania on the right while on the left side it was painted with the Chagga symbol.
The Chagga people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Tanzania. They live in the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and also in Moshi. They have their own unique language.
As we walked inside the Hall of Chagga Culture, there were different kinds of statues depicting Chagga culture or history.
After the tour in the Hall of Chagga Culture, we went down the stairs leading to the foot of Kinakamori Falls.
After taking a few photos, we then went up to the top of the waterfalls where a statue of a young Chagga woman and a leopard can be found. Chagga legend says that a Chagga woman became pregnant out of wedlock which is against their culture. She decided to kill herself by jumping from the top of the waterfalls but after contemplating atop the falls, she changed her mind. However, just as she was turning around to leave the place, a leopard approached her from behind. She had two choices, either jump to her death or get killed by the leopard. She decided to jump from the falls.
Our tour ended and we walked back to the main road to take a mini-bus back to Moshi.
If you want to get away from Moshi for a short day trip you can consider going to Kinukamori Falls and the Hall of Chagga Culture. The falls are quite interesting to see but don’t expect much about the Hall of Chagga Culture.