Modern lodges have sprung up in villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro readily equipped to provide services to mountain climbers and other tourists visiting the coffee and banana farms on the mountain’s foothills.
Development of medium size and modern tourist hotels and small sized establishments in villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro is a new kind of hotel investments outside the towns, cities and the wildlife parks.
Living standards, economic activities and rich African cultures have all attracted tourists from across the world, who come to visit and stay with local communities in villages on the laps of Mount Kilimanjaro, far from the town.
Most of the tourist hotels are located in big cities and towns, where tourists stay after visiting village-based tourist sites or wildlife parks. Villages on the laps of Mount Kilimanjaro have been pulling hotel investments during the past ten years, with new hopes to see the entire area surrounding the mountain would become a competitive tourist hot spot.
But, with the growing prominence of Mount Kilimanjaro, coupled with demand for more hotels in the surrounding area, luxury hotels and lodges are sprouting in local villages.
Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge is one of the newly established tourist facilities designed for hosting mountain climbers. The lodge is located inside the 40-acre coffee and banana farm at Uru-Kifumbu Estate in Uru-Mawella village, on the foothills of the mountain.
With a capacity to accommodate over 40 tourists per day, Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge is an old German homestead which has been refurbished and expanded into a luxury village lodge.
Tourists, who stay in hotels and lodges established in villages, get a rare chance to mingle with the locals, to work in small coffee and banana farms, without any pay, but for leisure.
“The norm has been for tourist hotels to be built in town and cities, but villages have been left with no such facilities, which I think could boost village based tourism,” Mr. Joachim Minde, owner of the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge said.
These new facilities have created a new luxury environment for mountain climbers and other tourists wishing to enjoy African lifestyle, Mr. Minde said.
Other luxury hotels have sprung up on the shores of the picturesque Lake Chala on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, along the common border between Tanzania and Kenya. This lake is located some 45 kilometers from Moshi town, and had attracted hotel investments worth over $ 24.5 million.
A 100-bed lodge, horse riding and nature walks have been planned for Lake Chala villages – all blended into a typical Chagga village homestead sitting on 580.7 hectares of land surrounding the lake.
Mountain Inn Lodge with a total of 37 double-bed rooms is also located in a village on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge gives visitors to Kilimanjaro a village atmosphere to remember.
On the western side of the mountain, there is Aishi Hotel, located in Machame area, within coffee and banana farms, designed to accommodate foreign visitors as it offers all services required by tourists including a swimming pool and sport facilities.
Other hotels on the mountain side include Nakara Hotels, Capricorn Hotel, Midways, Ashanti and Babylon Hotel – all built in village surroundings to offer cultural tourism to visitors who wish to do just that.
With the growing demand for hotel investment in Africa, the government of Kenya in conjunction with the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) will host the 2012 Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF). The forum is expected to draw several premium global hotel and tourism giants. The two day event will be held in Nairobi at the intercontinental hotel from the 25th to 26th September this year.