We do facilitate walks in the area but the amounts involved are very modest and we like to see the guests paying the local people involved directly. For example, the price of a day guide is about $10 for a few hours or a full day. That is per guide, not per guest. Thus for 4 guests it would be $10, not $40. Then there are custodians at the various features such as waterfalls. These people charge adult guests $5 each. Children are less or even free. If there are a few of them you can negotiate. The custodians of the various other features such as traditional huts, blacksmiths, cave shelters for children, women and livestock (from the days of Maasai raids) usually charge about $3 per visitor. So the price of the tour will vary with the kind and number of features visited and it is best for the guests to deal with it directly.
This is a rural area. Imagine a belt, a few kilometres wide, running the entire circumference of the mountain between the rainforest belt and the plains below. On the southern slopes especially (the northern slopes are much drier) this belt is a patchwork quilt of tiny farmsteads. This is the home of the waChagga people. It is a heavily populated area although you don’t see that at ground level because of the prolific vegetation. You are never far, in this whole area, from the mountain’s many rivers and waterfalls and the myriad rural pathways linking the whole.
The city's best-kept secret.
Our reception will introduce the guests to a reliable day guide and then they take it from there. Coffee is grown on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and Meru. The day guides are knowledgeable about this and the other crops grown on the farmsteads. Coffee is not as important a cash crop to the local people as it once was but the day guides can talk to visitors about it and show them how it is grown, harvested and processed. They will probably offer to sell you some beans. Caveat Emptor!
Tsavo West National Park
Located in Kenya (past Lake Chala), is very close. The nearest gate is about 50 kms from the hotel. A day trip to the extraordinary oasis of Mzima Springs, which supplies much of Mombasa’s fresh water, is feasible but there are additional expenses involved.
Arusha National Park
A full day can be spent at this park. It takes about 2 hours to drive to the park from Marangu, and one can then spend several hours driving around the park’s main attractions.
For recreation, the hotel has a swimming pool and croquet lawn, or guests may simply relax in the comfortable bar and lounges, or in our lovely gardens. Birdwatchers frequently rave about the many varieties of birds (over 300 at the last count) seen around the hotel’s grounds. There are also pretty walks to be had locally through the surrounding banana and coffee farms, along the river that borders the hotel on one side, and to other rivers and waterfalls in the area. Where time permits, the colourful local markets are well worth a visit.
If you would like any advice on fitting trips into your itinerary please contact us.