The Kilimanjaro Friendship Trail is situated near Moshi. It offers insights into the Kilimanjaro/Chagga culture by eco tourism along the trail. The trail is 100km long and runs through the garden belt of Mount Kilimanjaro, past spiritual places of the first missionaries and along gardens with banana and coffee-culture. It intends to initiate dialogues among people of different cultural backgrounds. Next to the aspect of eco tourism the trail puts an emphasis on pilgrimage on spiritual grounds. The Kilimanjaro's surroundings are ideal to experience a distance to the personal daily routine. This makes it possible to experience and explore things from a different angel, the experienced stress of daily life can be forgotten and creates a space of encounter inviting the hiker to pause and reflect.
The garden belt of Mount Kilimanjaro goes around the south and east of the mountain at an altitude of about 1000 to 1700 metres. It is still a little Garden of Eden. It is situated between the cloud forest uphill and the savanna and gras lands downhill. On the ridges of the mountain, running parallel down its slope, live the Chagga in small scattered farming communities with their home gardens. The gardens' five layers of cultivation and their intricate irrigation system are a UNESCO world heritage site.
The centres of the Chagga clans are markets, historical churches and mosques on the south slope of the mountain. The Kilimanjaro Friendship Trail links these places in the footsteps of the first missionaries. The trail runs past spiritual places and health centres and tries to combine pilgrimage with health aspects. It leads through horticultural land and the rain forest and calls for the hikers to get to know new things about agriculture and nature. Along the trail are various attractions, waterfalls, caves and museums. With a bit of luck a monkey crosses the hikers path.
The route is 100 km long, divided into stages of 10 to 25 km per day with accommodation in mostly simple church guest houses. We recommend to contact one of the local coordinators in the website's contact column. The coordinator will be very happy to organise accommodation, dinners and lunch boxes as well as the guide for the hike. In addition he or she will provide you with an introduction module giving you further insights into the trail. Please visit the project's TripAdvisor page for little hiker experience reports.
Dr. Ernst Schumacher and Hans-Jörg Bahmüller have published a hiking guide about the Kilimanjaro Friendship Trail. In 2015 the 2nd edition was published.
Languages: German or English
The hiking guide can be acquired for 10€ at
The guide entails detailed maps, hiking descriptions and drawings. The booklet informs about the local culture and history. In addition it helps with the planning of your hike. Further chapters of the booklet explain the provision of medical care, elevation profiles, kilometre tables, list of places as well as the basics of courtesy.
The new English version from 2015 entails a Suaheli introduction and is therefore perfectly suited as a gift for Tanzanian friends.