Sure Tanzania has amazing nature. But it is not all just Safari. When I was in Tanzania, I decided to make Moshi my base site, and from there, I would go on trips. One of them and perhaps most spectacular one was my day trip to Kikuletwa hot springs. Anyone might think that Africa, as hot as it can be, doesn’t need to have hot springs. In the northern part of Tanzania, it can get very cold. And since from there, the sea is pretty far, hot springs are quite a nice place to visit.
Kikuletwa hot springs day trip
Moshi is a base town for most of everyone who wants to climb Kilimanjaro. But locals like to offer a variety of day trips around. And believe me, there is a lot of places to discover. If you have a spare day, Kikuletwa hot springs should be on your list of day trips to take from here. This clean blue water in the middle of nothing is just asking for a visit.
How to get there?
First of all, just ask in your hotel if they can get you a driver or alternatively, there is a lot of travel companies in Moshi, that can offer this tour to you. There is no need for actually booking this ahead. Especially during the dry season, it is almost always possible to get there.
If your driver will have a good car, on 4×4 wheels, it can take only about 40 minutes to get there from Moshi. If they have a normal car, it will take about an hour and a half.
On your way there, you will go through Masai territory, so you will see a part of their culture. During the time I was there, there were markets in some of the villages so we saw them with a lot of donkeys, who carried their things.
Kikuletwa hot springs facilities
The great thing about this little hidden gem is the fact, that even though it seems like this place is in the middle of nowhere, it still has everything you might need. There is a one food stand, where you can get Tanzanian version of fast food (very yummy). And if that is not all, there is also a little shop/rental place, where they can borrow you a towel and swimming glasses. As a bonus, they do offer swimming lessons.
This place also has toilets. And when I say toilets, I mean the ones where you have to squat. It might sound terrible on western standards, but compared to a lot of other places in Tanzania, it is still very nice and clean.
A day in paradise
I first get to Kikuletwa hot springs around 11.30 on that day. By that time, there were already around 30ish people. A big group of Kilimanjaro climbers who came there to relax. Once I get into the turquoise water, there was a first thing that I found out. There are little fishes who really likes to nom on you. You might know these fishes from Thai massage places in every bigger city. Well, here you have them for free. Here is a fun thing about them: It doesn’t hurt to be bitten by them, however, note that legs are not the only place where they would go for a snack. My butt and belly were also viciously attacked by those little creatures.
One of the greatest things about these hot springs is possibly the fact, that it is not only for relaxation. This natural pool is big enough for everyone to swim, and locals build here a swing to the water. The swing here is perhaps most of the fun, as most of the tourists, would just hold it and jump when the time comes, but locals are trained in this thing, so they would show quite a lot of acrobatic gigs.
When it comes to swimming – part of this hot springs does have a stream. Which means that if you are not a good swimmer, it is fine, if you stay in the base pool, where most people are anyway. If you want to feel challenged, you can try to swim against the stream to the deeper part of the pool, where isn’t too many people. Due to the stream, it is harder to get there, but easy to swim out of there.
Practical info about Kikuletwa hot springs
I’m guessing that the main thing that people will want to know is about money. The whole day in this little paradise cost about 50 dollars, including the driver, food, water, and entry fees. But I was there with a tour company. As far as I know, the driving might cost something about 20 dollars there and back. The entry fee is about 15 dollars and then you would probably spend something on food, which was there for about 5 dollars. So you can have a cheaper than me, but you should probably make sure that the driver will take you both ways and will wait for you there.
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