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Top 6 things to do during your stay at Salinero Hotels, Moshi

If you missed my post on how I traveled by bus from Nairobi to Moshi worry not, you can read it here.  After my arrival at the Salinero Millie Lodge, Machame, the next item on the list was to immerse myself in the fun things to do during my stay. To my surprise, the hotel had already planned all these activities out.

Here is a list of the places to see and the things to do.

1. Take a day hike inside the tropical rain-forest of Mt.Kilimanjaro National Park.

During my visit, the peak season of mountain climbing was almost coming to an end and groups of hikers were at the park for the six-seven days affair. The park was a bee hive of activities. Porters, tour operators, hikers, day hikers… The hike is about eleven kilometers to the first camp. The same route used to go up is still the same one used to come down.

Registration at the gate.
Starting point of the hike.
Dozens of hikers that make approximately 50,000 annual visitors who attempt to summit Kilimanjaro.
They make you think summiting is easy.
Well…now you know.
Mad respect to porters. They are the real winners in any expedition.

Salinero also offers packed lunch for its clients(On full board basis). So hunger should not stress you one bit!

Ze lunch box 🙂

2. Visiting Bonde la Huruma to understand the history of the Chagga people better

The hotel can organize a trip to one of the most interesting places within Machame;Bonde la huruma, which is a 180m deep valley that has a waterfall, geometric volcanic steep cliffs and caves. The curator at Bonde la huruma; mzee Dickson ,is deeply knowledgeable about the history of the Chagga people.

History has it (From mzee Dickson) that the caves at the bonde la uhuruma have an interesting story that dates back to the colonial era when Germans colonized Tanzania. The Chagga people of Machame used to hide their chiefs, wives and children in the caves as they went to fight. After the colonial era the war shifted to the Maasai and the Chagga. Across the river, there was yet another cave. This was used as a ‘cell’ to instill discipline to the villagers who went astray. For example, in the event that someone was caught cheating on their spouse, they were put inside the cave and given only a banana that was meant to last them for seven days. The cave was heavily secured with the village army. If the perpetrator survived the seven days, they are integrated back into the society. If not, they were thrown into the river, wrapped in banana leaves! Interesting huh…..

Mzee Dickson driving the point home.
Bonde la Huruma waterfall.
To the caves.
Inside the caves.
The river across which the ‘cells’ are.

3. Take a coffee tour

This by far was the most interesting part of my trip (well, coming from someone who hadn’t seen coffee beans before except in text books). In this trip the host takes you through the process of roasting coffee, crushing it and making a hot cup of black coffee for the guests. The whole process is done locally. The beans are roasted in a sufuria with firewood and crushed with pestle and mortar. While having coffee mzee takes you through the history of the people,their sub-tribes, cultural practices etc.

New skills learnt.

4. Drink ‘mbege’ at a local shopping center or village

Mbege is a traditional alcoholic brew made from banana and ‘ulezi'(finger millet).The whole process is through fermentation, preparation then filtration/mixing. Mbege is then served in large yellow plastic  containers called chibuku. Initially it used served in guards.

Mbege O’clock.
That is just some kind of froth at the top, it is not as thick as porridge.
Chibuku. They are sold in the supermarket.

As you travel across Moshi, you will notice locals drying the finger millets in the field for this process .The spirit of unity is propelled in the evening as people sit down to enjoy mbege. This can be an equivalent of Muratina in Kenya.

Ulezi or finger millet. This is how they dry the ulezi.

5. Take a two hour trip to Marangu to check out Kilasiya water falls…

This is a bit similar to the bonde la huruma trip, only that the water fall here is bigger, more scenic and dramatic. Also, you will get the see the second of the six routes used to summit Uhuru peak of Mt.Kili.

Spoilt for choice? well, we also were…
To good friends along the way. Babu from Kilasiya waterfalls.
The furious Kilasiya waterfall.
Hey…let me go!

6. Take a dip in Kikuletwa  Hot Springs

Kikuletwa is the most beautiful natural swimming pool I have ever seen and swam in. It is nestled in the middle of a semi- arid land and is naturally fenced with fig trees. Contrary to popular belief, the water is not hot, just warm. It is the underground caves that supply the pool with lots of water that gives it the bubbling impression that many locals liken to boiling water hence the name hot spring. Never before had I ever seen crystal clear, still, blue waters. As you step into the water, tiny fishes tickle your feet while giving a natural  fish pedicure. The water gets deeper as you swim towards the center. There is yet another end of the pool that is more chilled. Most swimmers choose to swim the front side.Dunno know why…

The semi-arid route to Kikuletwa Hot Spring.
More lone trees and dry land.
Approaching Kikuletwa.
The fig trees behind which the best kept secret lies.
Doesn’t get clearer than this…
Best feeling in the world…

 

Dreamy…
Heading to the abandoned end.
Let us stay here forever…
Well, hide and seek perhaps?

All the magic unravels when you wear diving glasses .The water has small fishes, turtles, bigger fishes and deep caves from where the waters come in. It is only then that one can comprehend the depth of the waters.

You have to visit Kikuletwa to understand what I mean!

 

Get in touch with me today to get a package to Salinero and experience these and more.

Like my facebook page and lets keep the conversation going!

 

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Salinero Millie Lodge-Machame,Tanzania

As earlier mentioned, apart from Duncan telling me I would like the hotel, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. The drive from the Machame road junction preempted nothing either.

Location

The lodge is strategically located twenty kilometers from the Machame road junction at 1,800 above sea level. The drive uphill, paves ways to cooler temperatures, greener banana plantations, tiny streams of waters, a few bridges and gentle bends and turns. As you approach the lodge, there is a huge concrete stand-alone signage of the hotel on the right side of the gate then  a smaller gate that opens up to a grey pebbled drive way that goes all the way to the main entrance and parking.

You can’t miss the turn…

 

Nature at its best.

Palatial lodge

The palatial lodge almost looked like the state house(Kenya), only smaller. The lawn was carefully manicured that it almost looked and felt like a good painting, the stack contrast with the white pillars of the front porch and the brick red roof against the blue sky effortlessly put my color-matching skills to shame! The feel at the lodge is that of a chilled, sophisticated carefully selected design that appealed to an audience that valued some quiet, relaxing and exclusive getaway. This was tranquility at its best.

Nature doesn’t get better than this.

Entrance

A warm reception from the staff, quick brief from the manager and check-in kicked off what was to be a memorable stay in the beautiful country side of Machame.

 

I knew Mt. Kilimanjaro was in the vicinity. However, I didn’t imagine it was only two hundred meters from the Salinero gate. The weather was a bit chilly and the sky was cloudy, I didn’t think in my wildest imagination that I could see the roof of Africa from the hotel. After a short walk to Machame gate of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, an unexpected golden sunset cleared the clouds at the peak of the mountain and rendered a view that was nothing short of beautiful. A breathtaking spectacle!

Rooms

The rooms at the lodge are spacious, well ventilated with large windows, they have a modern fully equipped bathroom with wide shower heads. The sink and mirror area are made of top quality grayish-black marble tiles counter tops. All rooms have expensive looking hard wood furniture, flat screen televisions, wardrobes, round coffee table with a set of two set comfortable seats, a telephone and burglar proof doors with modern locks. The beds have large black head boards giving the rooms a classy modern contemporary touch.

The bed…
The coffee table.
Large windows.

Restaurant

The restaurant faces the tropical rainforest of the national park from one end and the snowy peak of Mt.Kili on the other.It is spacious, tastefully furnished with a bit of a minimalist touch. There is an open balcony, huge windows, a small bar on one end of the restaurant which side that sums up the intricate design.

Meals

The restaurants have set menus, the chef’s delight (or chef’s choice), buffet and al a carte: all dependent on the number of guests and their preferences.

Dinner is served.

The compound

Right outside the entrance, there is an artificial fountain, to the further left, a pool table, as you walk down the stairs, it is evident that so much thought was put in the general landscaping of the property. The vibrant green perfectly cut grass and the colorful exotic flowers created beautiful magic.

 

 

There you have it!

Reach them on Facebook and book your stay.

Stay tuned for part three of my stay at Salinero Hotel in my next post…

If you missed how I got to Salinero read that post here.

 

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