Upon returning from safari, I was exhausted. I was happy I chose to spend my last night in Tanzania at the Kaliwa Lodge. It was a bit far from Arusha, approximately a two hour drive, but it was exactly what I wanted. It was away from the hustle and bustle, a place where I could relax and catch up on sleep, but also enjoy some activities at my leisure. It is also a great place to stay if you are catching a flight out of Kilimanjaro Airport the following day, being that it is only about a twenty-five minute drive.
The Kaliwa Lodge is located near Moshi, a town in northern Tanzania and is a short distance from Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s largest and most well-known mountain. The lodge is situated at a height of 1300 meters and in addition to being a great place to stay post-safari, it is also a great place to acclimate to the high elevation before beginning the trek up the mountain.
More specifically, Kaliwa is located in the beautiful Machame region, which comprises the southwesterly slope of Kilimanjaro. It is situated next to the Weru Weru River and is surrounded by great places to explore.
Kaliwa Lodge is a modern lodge, designed in the style of Bauhaus and is actually German owned. The rooms are surrounded by beautiful gardens and just a short walk away is a beautiful deck with the most amazing views of the forest below, as well as, Kilimanjaro. It is a great place to sit and unwind from your day with a drink. I really enjoyed it and found it to be one of the highlights of the lodge.
Kaliwa also has a bar and offers some amazing meals. They have a beautiful outdoor dining setup, where you can enjoy your food, while taking in views of Kilimanjaro. The food was fresh, delicious and some of the best I had while in Tanzania.
After catching up on sleep I decided to take advantage of the many activities offered by the lodge and chose to do Kaliwa’s Machame Walk. The walk includes a guided hike to a beautiful waterfall, a lesson in coffee preparation, and lunch. It’s an additional $30-40 per person, depending on how many people are in your group. Other activities to choose from include a river walk, biking to hot springs, and a day trip to Kinukamori Waterfall. Trips to Arusha National Park and safaris can be arranged as well.
The Machame walk lasted about half the day and was about 5.5 km long. Our guide was from the area and was extremely knowledgeable on its history. As we walked through banana and coffee plantations, we learned about the Chagga tribe. The Chagga are one of Tanzania’s largest tribes and have populated the area for over 400 years.
We walked to the river, passing a school on the way, and crossed an old, wooden bridge. From there, we continued onward to the waterfall. The waterfall and its surrounding greenery are beautiful. We took a short break before beginning our walk back to Kaliwa Lodge. We took a different route back and walked along a paved road through a small town. I enjoyed people watching and getting a feel for what daily life is like in the area.
We made one last stop at the home of Mama Rosa. Mama Rosa grows and sells her own coffee. We were able to watch the traditional coffee making process from start to finish and even had the chance to enjoy a cup. It was so good, I purchased a bag to take with me.
The Kaliwa Lodge is a terrific little place, surrounded by so much natural beauty. In addition to being beautiful, it is also pretty affordable and I found it to be a great value for the money. If you are looking for a place to stay near Moshi or Mount Kilimanjaro, the Kaliwa Lodge is a great option!