Many Kilimanjaro Climbing companies use hotels in Moshi as a base for their Kilimanjaro climbs, but if you want to see a little bit more of the ‘real’ Tanzania; it is worth heading into the city of Arusha, where you will find some great hotels and restaurants that serve traditional food to local people.
Arusha is just a 45-minute drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport and a 2-hour drive from Kilimanjaro’s Machame Gate. A popular stopover for those climbing Kilimanjaro or heading off on a Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater Safari, Arusha has everything you could possibly need in terms of banks, shopping centres and eateries, and it’s a lot less ‘touristy’ than Moshi.
When it comes to hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from in Arusha, but if you are looking for a clean, comfortable and friendly hotel with a good internet connection and on site restaurant, you might struggle to find anywhere better than the Planet Lodge Hotel.
While not in the centre of Arusha, the Planet Lodge Hotel is just a 5-minute ride away, and the hotel provides complementary shuttles throughout the day. There is free (safe) parking on site, laundry service is available if you need to refresh any items before starting your Kilimanjaro climb or safari, and there is a great bar and restaurant where you will meet other travellers from across the world and, quite possibly, share your adventures into the early hours of the morning.
The Tanzanian people are known for their friendliness, and in the Planet Lodge Arusha, you are greeted with warm smiles, a cool towel, a delicious fruity beverage and the traditional welcome – Karibu!
While checking in, your luggage is whisked away to your room, so the only thing you have to do is fill in the check-in form, enjoy your drink, and explore the beautiful gardens and pool area before heading to your cosy chalet. Planet Lodge Arusha has its own bar, pool bar and restaurant, so if you want to kick back and relax, you do not have to venture far for a refreshing G&T or a delicious snack.
We stayed in the Planet Lodge before and after our Kilimanjaro climb, and would have no hesitation in recommending it to others, and after passing through Moshi, we are glad we stayed on the other side of town!